Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
[address blacked out]
date stamped: 14 Sep 2005
Dear Ms Hutton,
Thank you for your letter of 21 June 2005 to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator The Hon Amanda Vanstone, in response to her reply to the Question on Notice (QON) 431 from Senator Brown regarding the sinking of the vessel known as SIEV X. The Minister has asked me to reply on her behalf.
The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) has not conducted any investigation into the position where the SIEV X sank. DIMIA has reviewed the original source of the information relied upon in our reporting at the time. This information reflected Coastwatch advice that the vessel was believed to have sunk in international waters. However, this advice is inconsistent with information from the other agencies who stated that the vessel sank in an unknown location. This finding was endorsed by the Senate Select Committee on A Certain Maritime Incident in October 2002.
Accordingly, our advice to Senator Vanstone has been changed to reflect the Senate Select Committee finding that the location where the vessel known as SIEV X sank is unknown.
Thank you for drawing this matter to the Minister's attention.