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Wednesday, 29 August 2001
Page: 30582

Mr BYRNE (7:58 PM) —I rise to inform the House of serious developments in relation to activities of a former staffer of mine. On 30 July this year I was informed by colleagues of allegations that were being made that a member of my staff, Mr Jorge Ladowsky, either operated or had a direct interest in a printing company which had undertaken printing work for my office. Given the seriousness of the potential conflict of interest involved, I drew the matter to the attention of DOFA and, on DOFA's advice, raised the allegation in writing with Mr Ladowsky on 1 August. He denied it. Mr Ladowsky resigned from my staff shortly afterwards, on 6 August. Yesterday, the Age newspaper carried a report that the Victorian government was considering an investigation into GD Advertising Materials, in relation to the supply of stationery to parliamentarians. The article named Mr Ladowsky as the alleged operator of the business. The article also reported a DOFA spokesman as saying that DOFA had investigated whether GD Advertising Materials had done business with federal MPs, but no records could be found.

Today I have received a letter from Mr Ladowsky, enclosing a copy of a statement in which he admits to having operated GD Advertising and apologises for having misled me and others in relation to his involvement with the company. The statement also contains a more serious admission, that a gambling problem led him to siphon funds from the operations of GD Advertising with the Commonwealth. I have referred this letter and statement to DOFA today, for the department to take whatever action is appropriate in the circumstances. I now seek leave to table the letter and the statement.

Leave granted.