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Watchdog report shows further Howard Government involvement in AWB scandal.

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Media Release

Penny Wong Labor Senator for South Australia Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation, Corporate Governance and Responsibility

Friday 10 February 2006

Watchdog report shows further Howard Government involvement in AWB scandal

"A new report shows the Howard Government has yet more involvement in the AWB scandal, Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility, Senator Penny Wong said today.

A leading corporate watchdog, Corporate Governance International (CGI), has analysed AWB's structure - designed by the Howard Government - and found that conflicts of interest were inevitable.

In fact the AWB corporate governance structure put in place by the Howard Government has been rated 0 out of 5.

The CGI report describes AWB as having a "Frankenstein structure".

"A publicly traded company in which shareholders can't vote for the majority of board members has significant governance problems," Senator Wong said.

"The result is a dodgy culture that disregards the long term interests of the shareholders.

"This is a governance disaster and the inevitable conflicts of interest that led to this governance failure are the Government's work.

"Minister Anderson was responsible for the corporate model of AWB.

"Minister Vaile was responsible for the constitution of the AWB which created this scandal.

"Whether the Mr Howard wants to accept it or not, his government is responsible for the flawed structure and culture of the AWB."

For further information:

Nathan Fabian 0412 128 486