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Thursday, 5 May 1994
Page: 280


Senator MICHAEL BAUME —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes that:

    (i)Commonwealth Bank mortgage documents, dated from 1988 to 1991 and covering more than $20 million in loans to Mr Keating's formerly half-owned piggery group through Rincraft Pty Limited, required Rincraft Pty Limited and the group as a whole to supply annual audited accounts to the bank,

    (ii)no such audited accounts for Rincraft Pty Limited, nor for the remaining companies of Mr Keating's piggery group, had been submitted to the Commonwealth Bank over the 4-year life of the loans by the time the bank's credit committee made a $4.5 million bad debt provision against its loans to the group in August 1992, one and a quarter years after Mr Keating became half-owner,

    (iii)the Keating piggery group could not have provided audited accounts as it did not appoint an Auditor until December 1992 and only then as a result of a belated request from the Australian Securities Commission at Senator Baume's instigation because of the need to correct the group's patently false annual returns which had understated its losses by millions of dollars,

    (iv)the Commonwealth Bank, while Mr Keating was, in his own terms, `running' it as Treasurer, allowed Rincraft Pty Limited's debt to mount by multi-millions of dollars for years despite the absence of audited accounts; and

  (b)regrets the double standards shown by the Commonwealth Bank in its handling of Mr Keating's piggery group as against these other less-indebted primary producers it has thrown off their land.