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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4150 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

I have read clause 32 and have some difficulty in differentiating whether the disposal or transfer of leases will be the transfer of assets or the letting out on a year-to-year basis of a lease. So we have just added a qualifier to ensure that the authority will account according to accounting standards. Further, in the schedule, we are asking that before appointing a person these fairly standard clauses will apply. I commend the amendments to the Assembly.

MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (5.32): The Government does not have a significant objection to the amendments. We can live with them. I propose an amendment which has not yet arrived, Mr Speaker, to the clause 20 amendment, which will require committees to treat information on a confidential basis. There should be no release of information.

The first question I would ask is why a disclosure of interest of this kind is being made to Assembly committees. I appreciate that the Kingston foreshore development is a major exercise in financial management. Clearly, all on the board need to have a very clear sense of what conflict of interests might arise. If the Assembly's relevant committee has been apprised in advance of a particular interest of a board member, it will be able to alert the Government or the Kingston Foreshore Authority, or whatever, of a potential conflict of interest.

The point is that one would expect the board would already be aware of that fact, since the information would be before the board. The board would be aware of what the interests of other members of the board would be. It would be a matter dealt with by the board. We are only assuming that this is going to be of any benefit if the board collectively decides to ignore a conflict of interest by one or more members.

So I cannot quite see what Mr Quinlan's disclosure requirement is all about. I ask why this requirement is appearing here, when it does not appear in any other development related statutory authority or board in the ACT. For example, the Gungahlin Development Authority legislation has a very similar brief - - -

Mr Quinlan: Do you want me to foreshadow?

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, you can if you like. I just wonder why it is happening. We dealt with that authority only a few years ago - - -

Mr Quinlan: Can I have a complete list?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Quinlan has asked for a complete list of the statutory authorities and territory owned corporations that only deal in large amounts of money. Well, they practically all do. Even if it were only a relatively small amount of money, why is the disclosure of interest required by some and not others? Perhaps Mr Quinlan can explain when he stands up again why this disclosure is required. Is it something he now wants to build into all statutory authorities and all territory owned corporations or, indeed, all bodies to which the Government appoints members from time to time?

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