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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 249

Department of Agriculture: Serana (WA) Pty Ltd

(Question No. 499)

Ms MacTiernan asked the Minister for Agriculture, in writing, on 30 September 2014:

(1) How many representations have been made to his office in respect of the handling of the Serana (WA) Pty Ltd investigation by his department, and on what date was the first representation made to his office.

(2) What action did he take to ensure that departmental officers were not behaving in an unfair way during the investigation, and did he, as part of this process, acquaint himself with the rulings and decisions of the Federal Court dated 20 February 2014.

(3) In light of the Federal Court's concern about the truth of the contents of the affidavits of Mr Andrew Baxter dated 10 December 2013 and 24 January 2014, what action has been taken to review Mr Baxter's conduct in providing sworn evidence that was at the very least inaccurate.

Mr Joyce: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Department does not hold this information.

(2) The Department does not hold this information.

(3) The errors in Mr Baxter's affidavit were genuine mistakes made unintentionally and identified by Mr Baxter himself. No investigation was commenced into the conduct of the sworn evidence.