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Tuesday, 18 October 1983
Page: 1880

Mr GRIFFITHS(10.35) —I note that the Leader of the National Party of Australia (Mr Anthony) spoke for some five minutes without any points of order being raised, even though the points he raised were going to matters of credibility on this side of the House. I sincerely hope that the same approach will be taken to the comments which I am about to continue making having adverted to these matters earlier this evening. I was continuously interjected upon. Having described the family company of the honourable member for Ryan (Mr Moore) and his involvement in that company, the honourable member for Ryan addressed the company in some ways as an arms length involvement. It is interesting to note that the name of the company, Colinton, is the second name of the honourable member. I doubt whether it is such an arms length relationship . Certainly, the honourable member for Ryan admitted selling his company to bottom of the harbour operators and copping an assessment. We might compare that with the situation which the Opposition alleges the Minister for Finance (Mr Dawkins) is involved in. The Minister has been cleared by the Commissioner of Taxation. There is certainly strong evidence that in this case the honourable member for Ryan is in debt to the Australian taxpayer.

On 4 June 1980 Coghill and Edwards, who were directors of that company, departed the scene. Replacing them were a number of directors of some notoriety. I refer honourable members to the McCabe-Lafranchi report. The directors were Kampala Airways Ltd, John Madden and Terrence Noel Steward who replaced Alan Richard Taylor as the company secretary. Without going into the details-time will not allow me to do so-suffice it to say that another director, one Hank de Froideville, was appointed. That is a very interesting name; it is quite apt in the circumstances. Far from residing in the somewhat luxurious building that the company had originally found itself in, it resided in a Housing Commission dwelling in Ipswich. That is something of an indication as to where the company was about to go.

I am not in a position to say that these directors are fictitious, although they were named in a list of directors who, according to the Australian Taxation Office, were involved in profit stripping tax avoidance schemes. As honourable members would be aware, that list was published in the National Times on 10 October 1982. My assessment is that these series of transactions bear all the hallmarks of bottom of the harbour transactions. Accordingly, I think it would be quite appropriate for this information to be forwarded to the Special Prosecutor, Mr Gyles, for his assessment. As I have indicated, the honourable member for Ryan has already stated to the House that the company ended up at the bottom of the harbour. Without going into too much detail, let me simply say that since I have been a member of this House and certainly for a very long time before-I go back to 1972 to 1975-the Opposition has not demurred from using the privileges of this House to slander and, by implication, to try to indicate that members from the now Government side were involved in all sorts of shady operations.

In talking about the Minister for Finance, it was a consistent theme to hear the words 'illegality' and 'impropriety'. Of course, honourable members opposite were saying there was none of either. But they went on and on. The words 'the company transactions' were used and by implication the Minister for Finance is slurred. I say simply that two can play that game. If honourable members opposite do not rein in their hard heads and fools who abuse the processes of this House, I indicate that I and other members on this side will certainly not be bound by conventions of the House which are not adhered to by both sides.