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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1809 ..

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Whitecross for his question. Mr Speaker, the Department of Urban Services invited tenders from seven auctioneers listed in the Canberra telephone directory. The lowest tender received was from Harold Hird and Associates, who were subsequently appointed to conduct the auction. I understand that the auctioneers fee is being donated to a local charity.

MR WHITECROSS: I ask a supplementary question. I asked several questions, and I am not sure that I have been given the answers to all of them. I asked how many applied, not how many were invited.

Mr De Domenico: Seven.

MR WHITECROSS: You said that seven were invited. I asked how many applied. I asked what criteria were used to determine the successful auctioneer. I am not clear whether I was given an answer to that.

Mr De Domenico: The cheapest.

MR WHITECROSS: I asked what commission was to be paid, and Mr De Domenico has not answered that at all.

MR DE DOMENICO: Seven people put in tenders, Mr Whitecross. I answered that the first time, but I answer it again. The criterion was: Who was the cheapest? The cheapest tender was $250, and that happened to be from Harold Hird and Associates.

Mr Whitecross: Is that $250 per plate or for the whole day?

MR DE DOMENICO: A flat rate of $250.

Mr Whitecross: For the whole consignment?

MR DE DOMENICO: They were appointed to conduct the auction on that basis. All unsuccessful tenderers have been notified in writing. I can also tell you that a Mr Michael Hawkins from Capital Property Auctions subsequently raised concerns, as I did, with Transport Regulation regarding a possible conflict of interest in Harold Hird and Associates receiving a contract from the Government to conduct the auction. The contract services unit of the Department of Urban Services have advised that the correct procedures have been followed and that there was no conflict of interest, because Harold Hird is - - -

Ms McRae: Have they read the self-government Act?

MR DE DOMENICO: You listen. You might learn something. Harold Hird's status as a Government MLA played no part in the selection process. Harold Hird and Associates have advised that the auction fee will be donated to Fabric - Family Based Respite Care Inc. - a Belconnen-based charity.

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