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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3231

Mr HAND(10.15) —On 29 November I spoke in the adjournment debate and a lot of my time was taken up by interjections and points of order. I hope tonight to conclude what I was attempting to say. People can read both speeches. What we may have here is a very clever business exercise. Was the machinery of promoting and listing White River Corporation Ltd really only intended to create a purchaser of the timber business and to convert otherwise taxable accumulated profits in this business to a non-taxable capital receipt while at the same time retaining control of the business via the new listed vehicle and increased working capital available to it from public subscription? I would like to make some comments on questions asked in the New South Wales Parliament. Today, Question No. 455 on the Notice Paper reads:

What was the nature and purpose of the transactions evidenced by the deposits of the following securities of the White River Corporation Ltd by the Nugan Hand Bank with Jewel Acceptance Pty Ltd after the death of Mr F. J. Nugan:

$ 7 March 1980 . 150,000 21 March 1980 . 200,000 28 March 1980 . 100,000 11 April 1980 . 200,000 If one goes through the questions on the Notice Paper one finds there is a lot of information. Question No. 427 reads in part:

Did the Corporate Affairs Commission give its approval to the arrangement whereby the Greiner family interests received cash while the corporation received no boost to its working capital from the public subscription?

Mr Hodgman —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Under the Standing Orders a reflection on a member of another parliament or the judiciary must be the subject of a substantive motion. It is quite improper in an adjournment debate for the honourable member to defame the next Premier of New South Wales.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order.

Mr HAND —There is no point of order, and Mr Greiner is certainly not going to be the next Premier of New South Wales. In fact, when the inquiry into Mr Greiner's business transactions takes place he will be lucky if he is still in parliament. Question No. 428 states:

(1) Did the Corporate Affairs Commission or the Stock Exchange question officers of the White River Group to ascertain whether or not the Corporation was floated to:

(a) divert cash to the Greiner family interests from the public for part of the shares offered to the public;

(b) achieve controlling interest for the Greiner family interests without leaving cash in the Corporation as equity:-

There is question after question. Question No. 430 states:

Is the undisclosed shareholder in the 1978 Accounts of the Corporation loaned an amount of $252,557, a member of the Greiner family?

Large sums of money were milked out of this Corporation. We find now that the Corporation is verging on the brink of bankruptcy and owing nearly in excess of $1m more than what it has in terms of assets. At the same time, the Greiner family over a number of years has stripped the company and stripped the original company. The House ought to understand what has happened. It would seem that the Greiner family, led by the Leader of the Opposition, the man who charges around New South Wales talking about proper procedures, honesty and integrity and labelling everbody else in the State as-

Mr Hodgman —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I believe that the spirit of standing order 75 is being offended. I submit it is cowardly-

Mr SPEAKER —Order! If the honourable member for Denison challenges rulings of the Chair in that rude manner he will suffer the actions of it. The standing order is quite clear.

Mr HAND —We have a situation where the Leader of the Opposition, a person promoted by the Liberal Party of Australia as an alternative leader, has engaged in the stripping of companies, the manipulation of reports for the stock exchange and at the same time he has gone around and pointed his evil finger at other individuals in the community. I do not care what he does in his business, but I hate hypocrisy. It would seem that the Greiner family led by the Leader of the Opposition in New South Wales has avoided tax on business profits while at the same time achieving a de facto distribution of those profits as a capital receipt and still not surrendering control of the business. It seems to me that this is a pretty clear way of bypassing responsibilities as members of the business community. I am sure members of the House will ask: Was the listing of the Corporation merely a tax plan devised on the part of the Greiner family and led by the Leader of the Opposition in New South Wales-

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member's time has expired.