Inspector of Transport Security

House Hansard
Source: House of Reps - Parl No. 41 page.30

Schapelle Corby
FLASH BACK - 23rd June 2005

BEAZLEY, the Hon. Kim Christian
Member for Swan (WA) 1980-93; Member for Brand (WA) 1993-2007
Australian Labor Party

Q: Mr BEAZLEY (Brand) (2:51 PM) - My question is to the Prime Minister, not the Treasurer, despite his determination to insert that comment in Hansard. I refer the Prime Minister to allegations that four kilograms of marijuana were placed in Schapelle Corby's baggage at Sydney airport, the infamous camel suit incident at Sydney airport in April and the alleged detection of a large quantity of cocaine in baggage at Sydney airport earlier this month. 

Can the Prime Minister confirm that, as Inspector of Transport Security, Mr Palmer was responsible for investigating the security of baggage handling at Australian airports. 

If Mr Palmer is not doing this important job, who is leading the Office of Transport Security?

ANDERSON, the Hon. John Duncan


Member for Gwydir (NSW) 1989-2007 - The Nationals 
(formerly National Party of Australia to 11.10.2003).
Deputy Prime Minister from 20.7.99 to 6.7.05.

A: Mr ANDERSON (Gwydir) (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) - It is the case that, in November 2004, Mick Palmer took up an appointment with the Department of Transport and Regional Services as the Inspector of Transport Security. 

The inspector was to investigate transport security matters referred by me, and they would include such things as major transport security incidents, patterns or series of incidents that might point to a systemic failure or other possible weaknesses of aviation or maritime security problems. As a result of his initial recommendations, I might note, we have determined that we ought to put in place a legislative basis to support the inspector, particularly in the protection of information for no-blame investigation. But I reiterate the answer that I gave a moment ago: he is on a temporary assignment elsewhere. 

I do not see that going for very long and, in the meantime, the Office of Transport Security is fully capable of undertaking any necessary inquiries on my or the government's behalf.