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Labor governments must explain pressure on N.C.S.C.



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR FRED CHANEY “— LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN TH.E SENATE10/89 LABOR GOVERNMENTS MUST EXPLAIN PRESSURE ON N.C.S.C.

The pressure brought to bear by the West Australian Govern­ ment on the National Companies and Securities Commission to stop it investigating Rothwells will be vigorously pursued when Federal Parliament resumes later this month.

We will be demanding answers from the Attorney General, Mr. Bowen, and the Minister for Justice, Senator Tate, about the State Government's role in forcing the N.C.S.C. to stop its 1987 inquiry.

That role, long suspected, has been confirmed by the Connell affidavit to the Victorian Supreme Court which was made public in Perth today by Richard Court.

It is scandalous that the West Australian Government blocked the inquiry.

The N.C.S.C. has today reportedly confirmed the State Government had been aware of its Rothwells investigation.

It is beyond belief that, knowing the nation's top corporate watchdog had raised questions about this organisation, the Burke-Dowding Government was prepared to risk $150 million of taxpayers funds to prop it up.

It is equally incredible that, knowing this, a Minister as senior as now Deputy Premier Parker could tell the Parliament on the 18th of November, 19871

"I have told the people who have invested in Rothwells, and I have also said to the House... that Rothwells is in a very privileged position. I have certainly indicated to people that I believe they could deposit money in Rothwells with considerable certainty..."

I would hope and expect that the media in this State demands a full explanation from Mr. Dowd ing, Mr. Parker and Mr. Berinson who, as Attorney General, is a member of the Council of Ministers to which the N.C.S.C. reports and which it kept

informed about its Rothwells investigation.

I particularly look forward to an outraged reaction in tomorrow's "West Australian" newspaper at this now confirmed and scandalous misuse of its powers by the State Labor Government, a reaction similar to that which marked pages one

and two of today's issue.

Before the Senate adjourned for the Christmas recess we asked Senator Tate a series of questions about the N.C.S.C.'s role in this disgraceful affair. Never at any time did we receive satisfactory answers.

The revelations in the Connell affidavit now demand a full and frank accounting from both the Dowding and Hawke Governments before Saturday's State election.

Perth, 1 February 1989 » Contact» Keith Kessell (09)325 8 Π 9