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austrade and Mr Dawkins

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ALEXANDER DOWNER M em ber f o r Mayo, Shadow M inister fo r Trade & Trade Negotiations Έ οΞ ^ . ; \ \ έα:.τ: i \

P A R L I A M E N T A R Y L! DR A R Y \ M i C A H

AUSTRADE AND MR DAWKINS In Question Time today the Treasurer, Mr Dawkins - who is the glrandson of a squatter - abused me for criticising the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).

In so doing, is Mr Dawkins saying he supports the rorts which I have exposed as rampant in Austrade? ■

Does he condone the following?





payment of a subsidy on a housing loan of

$477,000 worth $43,000 per annum to the

former Managing Director of Austrade, Mr Lindsay McAlister, meaning he received an effective interest rate of about 8 per cent when housing loans were at their peak (say

17 per cent);

Mr McAlister will continue to receive his housing loan subsidy until the date of his original contract expires on 31 January 1993 although it was Mr McAlister who sought to be released from the contract three years early;

Mr McAlister was retained as a consultant to Austrade after he departed as Managing

Director and was paid $30,000 to attend

conferences in Berlin and Hawaii which could have been attended by permanent Austrade officers at much less cost;

To attend these two conferences Mr McAlister and his wife were provided with first class round the world air fare, travel allowance and accommodation at a total cost of


Mr McAlister was also paid a further $20,000 in consultancy fees for which Austrade has not yet identified the nature of the work undertaken;

* Austrade former Manager for Corporate

Communication, Mr John Hemphill, received a housing loan subsidy of $13,000 for a

After Hours (08) 339 5152 Office No. (08) 391 0888

(06) 277 4720

housing loan of $181,000, which meant he received an effective interest rate of 9.8 per cent when home loan rates were at their peak;

* Austrade used the public relations firm

Robert Dempsey Consultants from 1989 to June 1991 at a cost of $217,143.16 despite the fact that Austrade had its own public

relations unit.

* The management consultancy firm Egon Zehnder International was paid $213,800 to recruit Austrade 10 new general managers but six of the 10 positions were eventually filled by public servants. .

Mr Dawkins' suggestion that the Opposition should not raise such matters as these suggests that the Government approves of them. If it doesn't, then why-is he-squealing?

My comments should be considered in light of the fact that the then Minister responsible for Austrade, Senator John Button, personally approved the housing loans subsidies and the

conditions of the severance payment to Mr McAlister when he ended his contract.

The full implication of Mr Dawkins remarks today is that under Labor Austrade can continue as a self-serving organisation rather than to serve the needs and interests of Australian exporters.

ends. Canberra, 1 April 1992