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Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Page: 5986

Senator LINES (Western AustraliaDeputy President and Chair of Committees) (12:39): I have a couple of questions for the minister. The first is related to a statement that was made by Indue Ltd in their submission to the Senate inquiry into this bill. Indue wrote that Larry Anthony's tenure as a director of Indue concluded in October 2013. Indue does not have any current relationship with Larry Anthony or any company related to him except that Larry Anthony is a co-owner and founding director of SAS Consulting Group. As recently as September of last year, when an extension of the cashless welfare card was being proposed for the Goldfields region, SAS Consulting Group listed Indue Ltd as a major client and actively lobbied the government on their behalf.

Looking at SAS Consulting recently, it appears that Indue is no longer listed as a client under SAS profile on the Australian government registry of lobbyists. However, Larry Anthony, as most people in this place are aware, is the federal president of the National Party. At their federal council in August, the National Party referred to a policy committee resolution supporting the rollout nationally of the card for people under 35 on welfare and those on parenting payments. Also, we note that in here the National Party is, indeed, supporting the government's proposal currently before the Senate. Could the Minister please clarify why the Liberal-National government does not see it as a serious conflict of interest that the company it contracts to administer the cashless debit card was a major client of a consulting group co-owned and run by the federal president of the National Party, a party which is actively attempting to expand the card nationally?