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Thursday, 17 December 1992
Page: 5536

(Question No. 2467)

Senator Tambling asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Arts and Territories, upon notice, on 8 December 1992:

  (1) On what date did Cabinet decide to recommend that the Governor-General appoint by commission, Mr John Read, to the office of Administrator of Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

  (2) Did the Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories (Mrs Kelly) or the Minister for the Arts and Territories (Mrs Fatin) attend the Cabinet meeting concerned.

  (3) Which Minister recommended to Cabinet that Mr Read be appointed.

  (4) Did any Minister declare to the Cabinet his or her possible conflict of interest in relation to the proposed appointment; if so, which Minister or Ministers, and on what grounds.

  (5) In the course of its consideration of Mr Read's appointment was Cabinet informed or advised that: (a) Mr Read was a Cabinet Secretary to the Western Australian Premier, Mr Brian Burke; (b) Mr Read took part in preselection of the Minister for the Arts and Territories for the seat of Canning or Brand in the House of Representatives; (c) Mr Read had received $15 000 from Premier Burke's `Labor Leaders' Account', while a State MLA; and (d) Mr Read was under consideration by the Australian Labor Party officials for endorsement for the next WA Legislative Council elections.

Senator Collins —The Minister for the Arts and Territories has provided the following answers to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) 2 November 1992.

  (2) The Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories attended the meeting.

  (3), (4) and (5) The Minister for the Arts and Territories proposed, and Cabinet considered, the appointment in accordance with normal procedures for appointments involving consultation between the recommending minister and the senior minister in the relevant State and other relevant ministers; obtaining from prospective appointees assurances about absence of possible conflict between their public duties and their private interests; and the provision of details of prospective appointees' personal and career details. No question of possible conflict of interests was involved.