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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (26 October) . . Page.. 2098..


MR CONNOLLY (continuing):

The very fact that he is a member of this Government, that he is the Government Whip whose responsibility it is to go out there and sell the Government's message, makes it improper and a conflict of interest for his company, the company associated with him, to be bidding for this sort of work. It seems that Mr Humphries acknowledges that that would be the case if Mr Hird still had the shares in the company; but he says that it is all right because those shares have been transferred to Mr Hird's wife, even though all those other links are still there. Mr Hird defends himself, saying, "I no longer have any interest in the company"; but even he cannot control his divulging of the truth of this matter when he says "our company"; "We put in a bid"; "I instructed them to direct the cheque to this charity". There is no question of the links this company has to Mr Hird. The Government seems to accept that if he still owned the company or had shares in the company it would be wrong, but it is all right because the shares have been transferred. Mr Speaker, that is the ethics and morality of the 1970s tax avoidance industry, and that is not good enough for this Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: I draw members' attention to the time. It is almost 12.40 pm. The question for the Assembly is whether we suspend the sitting for lunch and adjourn this debate. Is that the wish of the Assembly? That being so, the resumption of the debate will be set down as an order of the day for a later hour this day.

Sitting suspended from 12.38 to 2.30 pm

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Taxi Licence Auction

MS FOLLETT: I have a question for Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Minister for Urban Services. Minister, this Liberal Government constantly claim that they are open and consultative. In fact, this morning we heard the Chief Minister say that the Government had nothing to hide. I ask you now: Will you table in the Assembly this afternoon copies of all the documents provided to the Auditor-General relating to the auction of taxi licence plates that took place yesterday? Will you also table the documents relating to the sale by auction over the past 12 months of equipment, computers and furniture owned by the Department of Health? Furthermore, will you table this afternoon the letter the Chief Minister wrote to the Auditor-General concerning the auction of taxi licence plates, which she said she would table this morning but has not?

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, I am prepared to table now the letter Mrs Carnell wrote to the Auditor-General. We thought we had tabled that. I will seek advice on whether I am able to table all the documents that went to the Auditor-General, because some of them may be commercial-in-confidence. If there are no problems with that, I will come back and give the Leader of the Opposition the documents she needs. As to whether I am able to table documents from the Department of Health, I think that question should be addressed to the Chief Minister and Health Minister.

Ms Follett: No; you are the disposer of assets.


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