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Ms McNaughton, SC, stopped short of warning parliamentarians or saying the agency needed more money despite being prodded on the topic during a parliamentary committee hearing on Thursday.

Labor MP Matt Keogh quizzed Ms McNaughton about whether her department could cope with the influx of prosecutions as a result of the royal commission.

Ms McNaughton responded: “There are ongoing discussions between relevant parties given the current environment that is both the royal commission and the extra funding that ASIC got in August funding this year.”

Nationals Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams pressed Ms McNaughton on the issue, asking her if the CDPP had requested any more funding in the last six months.

Ms McNaughton responded, saying: “My office has been in discussions with relevant portfolios and my minister in the past six months”.

Mr Williams continued to try and pry a direct answer on the issue from Ms McNaughton.

“Have you requested extra funding? I think it’s a simple question, yes or no. Here we are pulling teeth again,” Mr Williams said.

Ms McNaugton responded again, saying: “I have been in discussions in relation to our potential needs should further cases be referred with my minister.”

Mr Williams attempted a third try of asking if those discussions related to extra funding in the future due to the royal commission, but he was cut off by Liberal MP Michael Sukkar who suggested Ms McNaughton had said that when she needed funding she would ask for it.

After the hearing, the Opposition said it was committed to cracking down on misconduct in the sector and Labor leader Bill Shorten had pledged $25 million funding boost to the CDPP if Labor was elected at the next election.

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