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Thursday, 2 April 1987
Page: 1980

Mr LLOYD —My question is to the Minister for Transport and Minister for Aviation. Why is a senior officer of the Department of Transport visiting coastal surveillance bases with Mr Amman, the successful tenderer for the Coastwatch contract to commence on 1 July, and attempting to persuade pilots and technical personnel of Skywest Aviation Ltd to join Mr Amman to try to avert the non-fulfilment of the contract? Where does this emerging scandal place the Minister and his assurance that the company had been thoroughly checked, including security and credit aspects, and that the successful tenderer had the necessary aeroplanes, personnel, technical expertise, et cetera, to continue the present high standard of coastal surveillance, when it is becoming more and more evident that it has not?

Mr PETER MORRIS —The assertions are those of the honourable member; they are assertions. The honourable member has been seeking, following the award of a contract by a properly constituted tender assessment panel and following the proper procedures in the use of public moneys and a proper procedure in the calling of tenders, along with other vested interests, to try in some way to show that the successful tenderer should not have been the recipient of that contract.

Mr Lloyd —Why is it necessary to send a departmental representative?

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member has asked the question.

Mr PETER MORRIS —If he is asking this Government to deal with tenders in the same way as do his Party colleagues in Queensland, that is not on. If, on the other hand, he has some evidence, that he wishes to put to paper and to stand by, of something that is in conflict, some legal impropriety, let him do so. In the meantime--

Mr Lloyd —I take a point of order, Madam Speaker. I have already given the evidence that Mr Ramsay of his Department, quite improperly--

Madam SPEAKER —Order!

Mr Lloyd —is going around the country--

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. It is quite out of order for him to be shouting from the dispatch box.

Mr PETER MORRIS —The honourable member will find that the processes being followed are very similar to the processes followed by the previous Government, by his own National Party colleagues, in respect of similar tenders when they were awarded in the past. The simple fact is that, as with all business arrangements, tenders were invited. In this case eight tenders were received. Only one can win. Those who do not win embark upon different methods to try to justify their case. I say to the House that the procedures that were set down were followed. If the honourable member has some evidence of legal impropriety that he wishes to put to me or to the Government, I will be pleased to look at it. But, in the meantime, I remind him that he is being seen as pushing the barrow in this case, as I understand it, of a tenderer who did not run second but who ran third. I again say that this Government does not deal with those procedures and processes in the same way as does the National Party Government of Queensland. If the honourable member wishes to have that kind of rigging of tenders introduced, let him stand up and say so.