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Wednesday, 24 August 1983
Page: 163

Mr CUNNINGHAM —I assume that the Minister for Primary Industry is aware of a report in the Primary Industry Newsletter of 1 August concerning a revision in the Australian Dairy Corporation's advertising arrangements and the resignation of its former marketing director, Mr Brendan Jones. Has the Minister been advised of the facts of this matter by his Department or by the Corporation and, if so, what are they?

Mr KERIN —I thank the honourable gentleman for his question and note that he takes a very close interest in dairy industry matters. I have seen the article in the August issue of the Primary Industry Newsletter. Both I and my Department maintain an arm's length relationship with the Australian Dairy Corporation in its day to day administration and internal management but, unlike the previous Government, this Government accepts some notions of ministerial responsibility. The circumstances of Mr Jones's resignation were reported by the Corporation to the Department which reported them to the Acting Minister for Primary Industry. The Acting Minister, Senator Walsh, then called for a full and detailed report from the Chairman of the Corporation. I have studied this report which shows that the Corporation has acted in this matter according to the legal advice it received. I believe that the action taken by the Australian Dairy Corporation has been proper and appropriate. Mr Jones was asked by the Chairman of the Australian Dairy Corporation to resign from his position with the ADC for non- disclosure of property transactions by him in a private capacity with the ADC's former advertising agency, Rees, Bertel, Maddocks and Reardon. The Corporation considered that such transactions should have been disclosed as they might reasonably be seen to involve a possible conflict between Mr Jones's duty as an ADC employee and his private interests.