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Monday, 3 April 2000
Page: 15016

Mr STEPHEN SMITH (2:54 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that Ms Jane Bennett, a panel member of the government's Telstra inquiry, currently features in paid government television advertisements promoting the goods and services tax? Prime Minister, given Ms Bennett's clear public links with the government, how can anyone believe your fatally compromised inquiry can be independent?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I will examine the factual allegation contained in the question. I will analyse the assumption made about conflict of interest, and let me make it very clear to the parliament that I do not necessarily accept the analysis of the member for Perth.