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Minister Can't Confirm Intelligence Information

Lockwood Smith National Trades Spokesperson

5 November

Minister Can't Confirm Intelligence Information

"The Report from the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee of Parliament has today revealed that Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has been unable to confirm the information Australia received about the Bali terrorist bombing was the same as New Zealand had received", says Lockwood Smith, National Party member of the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee.

During the examination of the Estimates, the Select committee questioned the Minister at some length on the intelligence information on the terrorist attacks in Bali.

The Minister had claimed he was satisfied that the intelligence information received by the United States, Australia and New Zealand was of a general rather than a specific nature and that New Zealand would have been given the same information as any of the other countries.

"We asked the Minister what steps he had taken to verify that the intelligence information he had received was the same as Australia. He undertook to report back to us on that.

"We were told that the reason the Minister was unable to confirm New Zealand had received the same information was because Prime Minister Howard had not disclosed the information he held.

"That in itself is evidence that New Zealand doesn't receive all intelligence information Australia possesses. If we did then Prime Minister Howard would have been happy to pass on the information he holds on Bali", concluded Lockwood Smith.


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