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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 1877 ..

Ms Follett: I think you have the problem.

Mr Connolly: Because you are using taxpayers' funds to boost the re-election chances of your member.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I think you might let your colleague ask a supplementary question.

MR WHITECROSS: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I think it is already on the record that Harold Hird and Associates are doing the job for money which they are then giving away, which means that in the end they are not getting any financial benefit out of it. Returning to my question about the code of conduct, Chief Minister, you were at pains to point out that Mr Hird has no direct interest in Harold Hird and Associates, but your code of conduct for Ministers makes it clear that it applies not just to Ministers but also to their immediate family. Are you saying that a different standard applies to backbench members and their immediate families in their dealings with the Government from that which applies to Ministers? Will you review your code of conduct to ensure that the same standard does apply? Will you ensure that backbench members and their immediate families disclose to you when they do have dealings with the Government?

MRS CARNELL: I believe that it is very appropriate for any company that any member of this Assembly owns, or has any part of, to be disclosed. In fact it is the rule. They are in the safe out there for anybody to have a look at. As I said, Harold Hird and Associates is a completely separate legal entity under the Corporations Law. Mr Hird has absolutely no shares at all in the company. Are you suggesting here that we should be held responsible for everything that all members of all of our families do - members who may be involved in things that we are not involved with at all, including potential jobs, Mr Whitecross? I certainly hope not. To tell you the honest truth, I as a woman would be absolutely devastated if we started to suggest that we should be held responsible for everything that our partners or members of our families do. That is an unacceptable situation.

To get back to the situation here, Harold Hird and Associates is a company that I understand Mr Hird's father set up. Mr Hird no longer owns any shares in it. It is a separate company that Mr Hird does not own any shares in. Therefore, he could not get any financial return from this, even if there is any financial return, which there is not because the money is going to charity.

Mr Connolly: Yes, in the name of Harold Hird, which boosts him as the local member. Public funds.

MRS CARNELL: I do not know about you, Mr Connolly, but I regularly give money to charity in my name.

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