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Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Page: 40

Mr CLARE (Minister for Defence Materiel) (6:24 PM) —On indulgence, Mr Speaker: before being sworn in as the Minister for Defence Materiel, I advised the Minister for Defence that my brother works for a company that indirectly provides products to the Australian Defence Force.

Mr Pyne —I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. Just for the clarity of the House in this parliament, on what basis are these matters being declared to be matters of indulgence from the Speaker, when matters of indulgence are usually something like condolence on the death of a soldier and so forth? These matters would be quite properly dealt with by writing to the Clerk or advising the opposition rather than by taking the time of the House. We have received no notice of these indulgences at all. While we are aware of the sensitivity involving the former Minister for Defence—

The SPEAKER —The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat.

Mr Stephen Smith —Mr Speaker, I would like to speak on the point of order.

The SPEAKER —There is no point of order, because there is no point of order to an indulgence. Old paradigm, new paradigm, I indicate to the House that I will allow these two indulgences but they could be the last indulgences we get if there is not cooperation across the chamber about these matters.

Mr Pyne interjecting

The SPEAKER —Yet again, in the 43rd Parliament, the Manager of Opposition Business, who wants to be loved, makes it very hard. If he wants me to give him a little bit of credit for something, he should just sit there quietly. I am just saying that I am happy for these matters, now that we have asked—

Mr Stephen Smith interjecting

The SPEAKER —The Minister for Defence will also learn that he cannot sit there interjecting like that. He has got to understand that this was done by indulgence. It could have quite easily been done by leave and all the 150 members of the House would have been involved. In doing it this way, the indulgence is granted by the chair. I am allowing it but I will not be allowing indulgence if I do not think that there has been cooperation. The Minister for Defence Materiel has the call.

Mr CLARE —Matthew Clare, my brother, is the Queensland sales manager of MPM Marketing, which is a supplier of disposable food service products. MPM Marketing is a preferred supplier of Serco Sodexo, which is contracted to supply the Australian Defence Force.

The Minister for Defence has sought advice from the Secretary of the Department of Defence on what controls should be implemented to help ensure no conflict-of-interest issues arise. Dr Ian Watt, the secretary of the department, has advised that MPM Marketing does not hold any contracts with Defence or DMO in its own right and that contracts with Serco Sodexo are primarily managed not by the DMO but by the Defence Support Group. The secretary has therefore advised that it is unlikely that I will be put into a position of conflict with respect to my portfolio responsibilities. Nevertheless, erring on the side of caution and to help ensure no conflict can arise, the secretary has recommended that a number of controls be implemented by the department and within my office.

The Minister for Defence and I have written to the Prime Minister detailing these controls. A copy of these letters is tabled for the information of the House. I will also ensure that this information is included in my statement of private interests that I am required to lodge with the Prime Minister and the statement of registrable interests that all members are required to provide to the House Register of Members’ Interests within 28 days of being sworn in as a member. I table those letters.