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Tuesday, 28 August 2001
Page: 30373


Mr CREAN (3:17 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Have you seen a report in today's Courier Mail that one of the three Queensland Liberal fundraisers at which the GST scam was used took place in the North Queensland seat of Leichhardt? Was this the Cairns fundraising dinner that you hosted in late March and, if so, why was the GST scam still operating a month after you claim it had been shut down?


Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —The answer to the first part of the question is no, I have not seen that report in the Courier Mail. To be perfectly honest, I have been occupied on other things this morning that have prevented me from reading in detail all the newspaper reports about this particular matter. I have attended numerous fundraisers in Queensland and I have got to say that I am always proud to go to a fundraiser in the seat of Leichhardt because if ever a person identifies with his electorate and lives amongst, and works for, his people it is the member for Leichhardt. I am absolutely proud, as indeed I am to go to fundraisers for any of my magnificent colleagues. As to the details of individual fundraisers, I do not know what those arrangements are any more than I suspect you do.


Mr Crean —This was a scam!


Mr HOWARD —Mr Speaker, I don't think the word `scam' does anything to enhance the dignity of the House.


Mr Bevis —You touched a nerve there!


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The member for Brisbane is right, but it is in fact the chair that is feeling sensitive.