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Tuesday, 25 June 1996
Page: 2665

Mr LEO McLEAY(5.27 p.m.) —by leave—The members' interests report to this parliament is a very important report because it was one of the innovations of the Labor government. One of the problems we had in the past with the then opposition was that they were too willing to try to keep secret the jobs that some of their people had. The members' interests report provides some transparency in what is around in the entitlements that members have.

I know that the government supports this proposal because it ensures that what we have in this House is a better situation than we had in the Senate for many years, where the senators were all too willing to conceal their interests. The House of Representatives, in a bipartisan manner, was always willing to disclose the interests of its members.

I think the new chairman of this committee will do this job in an excellent way. He fills the role of his predecessor, my colleague the former Government Whip. One of the few people who never did this job properly was the former Speaker, who probably presided over this committee in the past—

Mr Beddall —And should be in the chamber now.

Mr LEO McLEAY —Yes, he should be in the chamber right now. Fortunately, he has now arrived. I will not go too much into the job that he did as the Speaker on that occasion. I thank the House for supporting this report.