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Wednesday, 1 April 1987
Page: 1921


Mr ROBERT BROWN(7.38) —A couple of days ago I gave details of three abuses which had occurred in Queensland and were associated in some way with the Government of Queensland. The fourth abuse is the second one concerning Minister Hinze. Mr Russ Hinze had a financial interest in Maralinga Pty Ltd, the company operating a gravel pit on the Coomera River. The Albert Shire Council rezoned the land from rural to extractive. The rezoning was approved by the Minister. The Minister was none other than Mr Russ Hinze. In order to facilitate the removal of the sand and gravel, a new road was proposed which required the redirection of the Tamborine-Oxenford Road. In December 1983 the Main Roads Department approved the redirection of the Tamborine-Oxenford Road. The Department was responsible to none other than Russ Hinze. Hinze said that the new road gave better access to the locals.

The fifth case involves two former Ministers. In 1980 two former National Party Ministers in Queensland, Mr Ron Camm and Mr Tom Newbery, paid $2,000 each to take out a State Government application for a mining lease. Mr Camm had been Mines Minister for a number of years. He retired in 1980 with a lump sum superannuation payment of over $300,000 and was appointed State Sugar Board Chairman on an annual salary of $40,000. Mr Newbery was tipped to become the Agent-General in London. On 15 November 1980 Mr Camm said he could see no conflict of interest. He said: `I haven't been Minister for Mines since 17 July'.

The sixth case involves the Moscow Narodny Bank. The Moscow Narodny Bank was embarrassed by an indiscretion of Russ Hinze. The bank provided over $12m for a land development venture at Samford Valley on the outskirts of Brisbane in the late 1970s. It also lent $550,000 to a company owned by the family of Russ Hinze. As Minister for Local Government it was Hinze's job to obtain Cabinet endorsement of a council rezoning recommendation for the project to proceed. The question asked was: Why would Hinze borrow money from a bank which benefited from the rezoning of land over which he presided? When the issue was raised with Premier Joh with the suggestion that such a business transaction should have been cleared with him, he said: `We don't do that in our Party. We trust every Minister. I don't think any of ours will get caught'.

The seventh case involves the Premier. In 1978 the Queensland Government considered the siting of a new power station. Sir Joh said that he would accept the recommendations of the State Electricity Commission on the matter. However, between the alternate sites of Millmerran and Tarong, the SEC recommended Millmerran. The Minister for Mines, Mr Ron Camm, said that the Tarong station would cost $260m more to build and would cost substantially more to operate-Sir Joh had the decision of the SEC overturned. The power station was built at Tarong which just happened to be in the electorate of Barambah, represented by Sir Joh. Queensland electricity prices today are among the highest in Australia.

The eighth case involves Mr Robert Hope, the Managing Director of Prospect Marine, a company building a marina on Fisherman Island, Brisbane. In 1982 the Port of Brisbane Authority rejected a proposal by Prospect Marine to build a marina on the western side. The company accepted a proposal to build the marina on the eastern side, but withdrew the acceptance the following day, in March 1982. In June 1982 the Queensland Cabinet overruled the Authority and accepted the original proposal for a massive recreational development in what is essentially an industrial area. When the company pumps and fills the area it will be entitled to freehold-the only freehold on the island.

The ninth case involves the Queensland Government. Duaringa is a small hamlet of 429 voters about 113 kilometres west of Rockhampton. About 1983, things started to change. A new school costing $131,000 was opened for the eight children who enrolled. A splendid architect designed police station was built to prevent a crime wave among the 429 voters, and unexpected assistance of $200,000 was received from Brisbane for the race track, the golf course, and the sports centre. Work was carried out on roads that had not seen a grader for seven years. A council road was transferred to the Department of Main Roads and almost $400,000 of a total allocation of $1.2m was made to it. A $4m bridge will span the Mackenzie River. On the other side of the river are 12,500 hectares of cattle country which the Bjelke-Petersen family acquired in August 1982. Duaringa is also to get a new $4m dam. When the former Leader of the Opposition in Queensland, Ed Casey, raised the issue Joh replied:

The honourable member is at his lies again . . . every week he attacks my family and my son. It is completely untrue. It's got nothing to do with my son.

I will resume the examples of abuses when I have the opportunity to do so.