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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 127

Bell Group

MR PORTER: On 30 November 2016, I provided an answer to a question without notice [asked of the Hon. Tony Burke MP] regarding the Bell Group matter. Since providing the answer and following a comprehensive search of my Office’s emails, I can add to this answer by noting the following.

Between 18 March 2015 and 2 March 2016, other than two emails from the Commonwealth Treasurer’s Office which are subject to an ongoing Freedom of Information request, my Office received only the following relevant documents.

Copies of the Second Reading Speech and Explanatory Memorandum for the Bell legislation after the introduction of that Bill. A media release from the Western Australian Bar Association after the Bell legislation introduction. A copy of the letter previously sent from the former Commonwealth Treasurer the Hon. Joe Hockey MP to Western Australian Treasurer the Hon. Mike Nahan MLA, which has already been tabled.

Two background briefing notes from the Western Australian Government, each containing information I was previously apprised of in my former role as Western Australian Attorney-General and Treasurer, and over which the Western Australian Government asserts legal professional privilege and public interest immunity against their production.

The received documents are either on the public record or otherwise contain information I was already apprised of in my former role as Western Australian Attorney-General and Treasurer. This search of emails also indicates I was not provided with a draft of the Bell legislation as was asserted in the original question.