[Answers in response to Senator Collins questions to Defence in Senate Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, 4 June 2003 - provided to the Senate on 5 August 2003]

SENATOR: Senator Collins
HANSARD: Pages 256-257 [now pp. 366-7]

In response to W43 from the February 2003 additional estimates hearing, Defence stated that "there were no RAN investigations into the owner of SIEV X".
a) Did any information provided by Defence to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet lead to the conclusion that the vessel known as SIEV X sank in Indonesian waters, as indicated in a 24 October 2001 brief to the Prime Minister?
b) Does Defence have any information about the owner of SIEV X?


a) Defence did contribute to the 24 October 2001 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) brief [For a copy of the brief see pp. 4-5]. Initially, and following telephone advice from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in the early hours of 23 October 2001, a situation report dated 230800K OCT 01, noted that a vessel "... is suspected to have sunk inside ID TS [Indonesian Territorial Sea]". Subsequent verbal reporting from the Australian Federal Police to the People Smuggling Task Force at 1515 that afternoon, an intelligence note from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (83/2001) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade cable of 23 October (O.JA25691) provided greater detail and more up-to-date information.

b) Defence holds no information as to the owner of SIEV X.

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