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Allegations against David Knott.

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Media Statement


25 September 2003

Allegations against David Knott

The Business Review Weekly has today published serious allegations against the head of ASIC, Mr David Knott.

It is alleged that Mr Knott was involved in a tax avoidance scheme at his former business partnership, Collie Knott and Co. Mr Knott denied any involvement when the BRW first raised this matter six weeks ago but now the magazine has produced new information (see attached).

Allegations of this kind cannot be left unresolved. The reputation of ASIC and sound corporate governance practices in Australia are too important. This is why the Treasurer, Mr Costello, must investigate the allegations and clear the air as quickly as possible.

Mr Costello should also release all the documents relating to Mr Knott's appointment, including the probity check on Collie Knott and Co. It is difficult to believe that the involvement of Collie Knott and Co in the tax avoidance scheme was not drawn to the Treasurer's attention prior to Mr Knott's appointment in November 2000. After all, the other half of the partnership, Ian Collie, was sent to gaol (see House of Representatives Hansard, 18 August 2003, p. 18688).

Australia's international reputation for integrity and transparency in corporate governance is at stake. The Treasurer must act in a prompt and thorough way. He vigorously defended Mr Knott in Parliament last month. Now he must investigate the allegations against him.

Contact: Michael Cooney 0411 591 120 mob