SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
Question No. 68
Senator Ludlam asked the following question at the hearing on 20 October 2008:
In relation to media reporting of State police services undertaking covert surveillance and infiltration of peace, environment and animal rights groups:
a) Does the Department believe there is a legitimate role for Commonwealth law enforcement agencies to undertake surveillance and infiltration of such groups, and
b) to what degree do Commonwealth agencies undertake surveillance of such groups?
The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:
a) The Department considers it is appropriate for police services to utilise their powers where they are investigating offences of relevant seriousness regardless of whether the suspects are members of particular groups.
b) The Department does not maintain information as to the operational use of surveillance tools in the investigation of particular groups.