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Thursday, 13 October 1983
Page: 1730


Mr TUCKEY —I refer the Minister for Finance to the answer he gave to the previous question to him by the Leader of the Opposition. How does the Minister reconcile his answer with a request from the liquidator of Coomel Pty Ltd, sent to him as a director of that company on about 6 April 1979, seeking his advice on land transfers involving a scheme on capitalisation of interest on the sale of the land, which I henceforth refer to as the Dawkins scheme?


Mr DAWKINS —As I have indicated, in these circumstances the liquidators have the responsibility for taking the decisions. Indeed, this is no surprise because two of the documents that I have already tabled indicate in one instance that the liquidator made arrangements for the realisation of certain assets. In a follow- up document I indicated-or the liquidator indicates--


Mr Peacock —You said you had nothing to do with the decision.


Mr DAWKINS —In a document which I presented the liquidator indicates the way in which the arrangements were arrived at. Of course, the liquidator has a responsibility to ensure that the interests of the shareholders are met.


Mr Tuckey —You said you had nothing to do with it.


Mr DAWKINS —I had nothing to do with the decisions that the liquidator took. The liquidator is the one who is responsible for those decisions. It may be--


Mr Howard —You have misled the House again. That is the second time.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! I have shown a lot of tolerence in the last couple of days to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. I ask him to show some discretion.


Mr DAWKINS —I must say that it does astonish me that the Opposition has taken up the whole of the last week with its preoccupation with my financial affairs. It has yet to make or sustain any allegations of impropriety or illegality. But still it persists. It persists because it knows that this Government is doing such a teriffic job of running the country. It can expose no weaknesses as far as our performance is concerned. I am unaware of what on earth Opposition members are driving at. It may be that in relation to the arrangements for the sale of land it was necessary to make provision for my mother, for instance, who was intending to keep the adjoining land. It was necessary, therefore, to discuss with the intending purchaser certain matters which would ensure that her interests were met. My mother, by the way, is the person to whom the honourable member for O'Connor referred yesterday as being 'a greedy old woman'. I do not care what the honourable member says about me. But I do take enormous exception to the cowardly attack he made first on my late father and now on my mother, not to mention my brothers. But, Mr Speaker--

Opposition members interjecting-


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The House will come to order. I indicated yesterday that I will apply the Standing Orders strictly. The position is the same today. I ask the House to come to order so that the Minister for Finance can finish his answer.


Mr DAWKINS —Of course-honourable members would know about these matters-the liquidator provides reports to the shareholders. But I repeat that the decisions are entirely the decisions of the liquidator. The liquidator has responsibility for them. That is what I was referring to the other evening. The Opposition can make what it likes of this matter. I suppose it can go through the whole of my affairs which have been completely laid bare. The whole of the Opposition's attention has been directed towards nothing else for the last week. I think it is about time someone asked the simple question: When is the Opposition prepared to allow the same sort of scrutiny of its affairs as it is demanding of me? Whilst Charlie McCarthy's doll is getting his instructions from Charlie McCarthy on how to conduct the affairs of the Opposition, I just want to get a straight answer from him, and from George sitting next to him, as to what exactly the Opposition will do and when it will come clean and allow the people of Australia to look into the business dealings and the private transactions of its members. I said the other day that the Opposition would rue the day that it ever set out on this particular course. There are plenty more days of parliamentary sittings available this year, and the Opposition will live to rue the day.


Mr Tuckey —Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table documents.

Government members-No!


Mr SPEAKER —This is not the appropriate time. I call the honourable member for Leichhardt.