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Tuesday, 21 June 1994
Page: 1803

Senator MICHAEL BAUME —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes that:

    (i)the Honourable Edward Obeid MLC, a New South Wales right-wing factional colleague of the Prime Minister (Mr Keating) and a `mate' of former Senator Richardson, became, on 22 April 1994, a director of Jensay Pty Ltd, Mr Keating's formerly half-owned member company of his piggery group which was shown as the owner of the group's Meek's Road, Marrickville property, with the company's fixed and floating Commonwealth Bank charge over its assets being discharged on 29 April 1994,

    (ii)on 22 April 1994, Mr Obeid also became a director of a new company, Olympia Group Pty Ltd, over whose assets Macquarie Bank Ltd has a fixed and floating charge dated 29 April 1994, coincidental with the technically bankrupt Keating piggery group company, Olympia Refrigeration (Sales) Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries discharging, on 5 May 1994, a fixed and floating charge over its assets, held by the Commonwealth Bank as part of the piggery group's huge, and largely bad, debt to the Commonwealth Bank,

    (iii)Mr Obeid's solicitor in this and other matters, such as the remarkable recent settlement with the Tax Commissioner of his tax problems relating to a superannuation scheme, is Mr Greg Keating, who acts as secretary of his brother Paul's family investment company, Pleuron Pty Ltd, and

    (iv)Mr Obeid and his son Paul Obeid appear to have bad luck with fires in companies of which they are directors; and

  (b)seeks an assurance that the security held by the Commonwealth Bank over the Keating piggery group debts, against which a provision for bad debts of $4.5 million has already been made, has not been further diminished by these arrangements, as both Jensay Pty Ltd and Olympia Refrigeration (Sales) Pty Ltd are still shown as owned by the piggery group.