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Monday, 23 March 1998
Page: 1280

Mr STEPHEN SMITH —My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, I refer to Senator Parer's interest in QCMM Group (ESP) Pty Ltd, which he personally disclosed to you, and, through it, his interest in Pan Australian. Is it not the case that, when QCMM (ESP) purchased shares in Pan Australian Senator Parer was not only a shareholder in the company but also Chairman of Directors? Prime Minister, how could the Minister for Resources and Energy be unaware of his significant shareholding and financial interest in gold, nickel, diamonds, copper, cobalt, lead, zinc and silver and fail to disclose it or divest it on becoming a minister?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I table the following documents: a letter dated 23 March 1998 from Senator Parer to me; a letter dated 19 March from Nevitts Ltd Stockbrokers and Financial Planners; a letter dated 22 September 1995 from the former minister for resources, the member for Rankin, addressed to Mr K. Talbot, the Chief Executive, Advance Queensland Resources and Mining Pty Ltd; a letter to me dated 23 March 1998 signed by Mr H. W. Shand; a record of conversation of a meeting between the Minister for Resources and Energy and representatives of various Japanese resource companies to which I referred in an earlier answer; a file note signed by Mr David Whitrow dated 20 March 1998, which deals with the meetings in Japan that took place in October 1996; and a minute dated 19 March 1998 from Mr Tim Mackey, the Executive Director of the Resources and Energy Group to the Minister for Resources and Energy which details, in a very painstaking fashion, the various decisions relating to the coal industry in which the minister was involved. I also table various additional minutes dealing with those matters. A careful perusal of those will provide answers to the honourable member's question.