Australian Government's Secret 'Cabinet Files' Were Found In ... An Old Cabinet

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The ABC said on Wednesday the cabinets had been sold at a second-hand shop which stocked ex-government furniture and were cheap because they were locked and came without keys.

On Wednesday the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) announced an urgent investigation. The documents lost by the AFP were from the cabinet's national security committee, which controls Australia's security, intelligence and defence agenda as well as deploying the military.

Top-secret Australian govt files "sold at second-hand shop" Canberra has launched an investigation into how hundreds of top-secret documents spanning five governments and dubbed The Cabinet Files ended up being sold at a second-hand furniture shop in the Australian capital. The were subsequenrly obtained by the ABC.

One document points to an audit showing the Australian Federal Police lost nearly 400 national security files over five years.

The broadcaster reported that a man had found them after buying the cabinets and drilling through the locks. The documents reported this week were said to delve into the workings of five previous governments over the last decade.

"Negotiations are still underway between the ABC and the department's lawyers".




The ABC began publishing parts of the files this week, revealing the embarrassing inner workings of government - and, today, reporting that the trove of documents also include references to at least two other previously unknown breaches, in which hundreds more secret and sensitive documents were either lost or left unsupervised.

The files include a report on the Australian Federal Police losing almost 400 national security files in five years, and another about how 195 top secret documents were left behind in a senior minister's office after Labor lost the 2013 elections.

It is understood the issue of the documents, held in a locked safe, was never raised with Senator Wong or her staff since the 2013 change in government.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the person responsible for losing the documents will have serious questions to answer.

A report in the Cabinet Files also says that the former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and two senior Labor ministers were warned about "critical risks" of the home insulation scheme before the deaths of four young installers.

"We think it would be highly undesirable (and legally confounding) if the Commonwealth were to simply produce cabinet-related documents to the royal commission on the basis of a purported waiver of public interest immunity", read the advice from Tom Howe QC, chief counsel at the Australian Government Solicitor.

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