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Tuesday, 20 October 1931

Mr SCULLIN - On the 14th October, the honorable member for Corangamite (Mr. Crouch) asked me the following questions, upon notice : -

1.   Did the Gardiner Construction Company have any contract with the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited; if so, for what purpose?

2.   Was the amount of such contract £250,000; if not, what was the amount?

3.   Did the company receive 10 per cent. on the expenditure under such contract: if not, what other commission or payment was received?

4.   Who are the members of the Gardiner Construction Company, and are any of the directors or officials of Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited shareholders or members of such company?

I am now in a position to furnish the following replies: - 1 to 3. I am advised that the Gardiner Constructions Proprietary Limited have no contract with the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited, but act on occasions as consulting engineers to the company. Where work of a special nature is required such as welding tanks and pipe lines, also the construction of country bulk installations, the work is carried out on a "cost plus 10 per cent." basis. The Gardiner Constructions Proprietary Limited supply designs and all plant, accept all risk and guarantee the work. Where the work is put out to tender as is usually the ease the fees paid are 3 per cent. for design and/or 3 per cent. for supervision in accordance with the scale of charges laid down by the Institution of Engineers of Australia. The Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited advises that it is impossible to statu exactly the cost of the different work done or supervised without making exhaustive analysis of the accounts since 1927, but that the total cost of all classes of work carried out or supervised in the fiveyears ending 30th June, 1931, by Mr. Baldwin,B.E., A.M.I.E. (Aust). of the Gardiner Constructions Proprietary Limited, on which they have drawn fees, cannot have exceeded in the aggregate the sum of £180,000.

4.   The names of the members of the Gardiner Constructions, which is a proprietary company, are not available, butI am assured that none of the directors or officials of the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited, is or ever has been a shareholder or in any way interested directly or indirectly in the Gardiner Constructions Proprietary Limited.

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