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Statement from Tim Gartrell, ALP National Secretary [ regarding the Hunt inquiry into Centenary House].

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Media Release

Media Statement from Tim Gartrell, ALP National Secretary

The ALP welcomes the report of the Hunt inquiry into Centenary House, which found:

“It is appropriate that I do state that no criticism should be levelled at the conduct of John Curtin House Ltd or the Australian Labor Party.” (Chapter 15, p.155)

“There was no evidence before this inquiry or the 1994 Inquiry that any Labor politician or executive exercised any undue or improper pressure, tactics or influence over any public servant who had involvement with the transaction.” (Chapter 15, p.156)

“No person involved in the proposals for renegotiation or variation of the Centenary House lease made a misleading statement.” (Chapter 16, p.161)

“John Curtin House Ltd and Mr Robert Hogg, the National Secretary of the Labor Party and a director of the company, were conscious at all times of the sensitivity inherent in leasing to the Commonwealth premises owned by a company associated with a political party, and they were at pains to ensure that no Labor Party members or Parliament were involved in the discussions within the company.” (Chapter 15, p.156)

In relation to renegotiation of the rent the Royal Commission found:

“The Directors sought and obtained legal and financial advice about their own position and that of the Company. The contracts with the financiers of the Centenary House project prevented the Company from varying the terms of the lease in such a way as to reduce the rent.” (Summary, p.xxii)

Like the first Royal Commission in 1994, the Hunt Inquiry has cleared the ALP, and the former Labor Government, of any wrongdoing.

9 December 2004


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