Senate debates

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Questions without Notice

Ms Britt Lapthorne

2:42 pm

Photo of Steve FieldingSteve Fielding (Victoria, Family First Party) Share this | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister representing Minister for Foreign Affairs. I draw the Senate’s attention to the Lapthorne family and the distressing circumstances surrounding the investigation into the disappearance of their daughter, Britt, a Melbourne student, and the subsequent discovery of a body believed to be hers off the coast of Dubrovnik, Croatia. The Australian government has faced criticism from this family over its failure in not notifying the family until five days after Ms Lapthorne went missing. The family is also critical of the lack of legal and consular support provided to the family and the role of the Australian Federal Police officer assigned to the case, who did not meet with the family until five days after their arrival in Croatia. A Croatian translator was withdrawn from the family a day after the Prime Minister promised that no stone would be left unturned in providing support to the Lapthorne family. Is the government satisfied that it left no stone unturned and helped the Lapthorne family in every way possible at this difficult time?

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