Wednesday 31st August 2016 - 5:53 pm

Police raids referred to Senate Privileges Committee

by Alan Thornhill

Federal police raids on the home and office of Labor frontbencher Stephen Conroy – and later on Parliament itself – will go to the Senate Privileges committee.


Senator Conroy, himself, proposed the move today.


The committee will be asked to rule on whether the raids amounted to improper interference with Senator  Conroy, in the performance of his parliamentary duties.


The government did not object to his proposal.


The police were searching, both times, for the source of a leak alleging cost over-runs and patchy performance of the Federal government’s national broadband network.

This copper wire network is now said to have become more expensive than the faster fibre to the node alternative that Labor had proposed.

Malcolm Turnbull, who is now Prime Minister, pushed hard for the copper wire network, at the time, largely on the basis of cost.

That has since been described by the first man chosen to operate the NBN as “a colossal mistake.”

Senator Conroy recalled that the police raids on his home and office in Melbourne took place on May 20 this year, and that on Parliament House in Canberra occurred on August 24.

Both times Senator Conroy accused the Federal government of using “police State” tactics to investigate a leak, which he said was a common event in politics.

However Mr Turnbull  has denied the charge, saying the police were simply carrying out their usual duties.

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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