Statement On The Royal Commission Into Informants

The Royal Commission has advised the Government of new details which have led to the Royal Commission’s terms of reference being amended.

The Commission has advised that information willingly disclosed to it by Victoria Police indicates that the informant at the centre of this matter was first registered in 1995 and that there are further informants who held obligations of confidentiality, who may be relevant to the Royal Commission.

When the Royal Commission was established, it was understood that the informant was first registered with Victoria Police in 2005.  Therefore, the Terms of Reference are being amended to remove any doubt that the Commission is empowered to consider these matters.

Further, and as a result of this disclosure, I have been advised that Malcolm Hyde has resigned as Commissioner.

This is due to the potential for overlap between the matters of interest and Mr Hyde’s time at Victoria Police.

While Mr Hyde has indicated that he is satisfied there are no direct conflicts of interest, I understand that Mr Hyde has made this decision to remove any adverse perceptions about the Royal Commission’s impartiality.

I want to thank Mr Hyde for accepting the government’s request to serve as Commissioner and for his contribution to date.

To ensure that the Commission continues to have access to appropriate policing expertise, it will be open to the Commission to utilise one or more expert advisers as the Commission may require.

As the disclosure has been made to the Royal Commission, and relates to matters that are the subject of legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the nature of the disclosure.

It is now for the Royal Commission to inquire into those matters and report in due course.