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Monday, 27 September 1993
Page: 1159

Senator PARER —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the reference to the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration for the reconsideration of the committee's report on the Metway Bank be withdrawn.

I seek leave to make a short statement in regard to this motion.

  Leave granted.

Senator PARER —This reference is being withdrawn because of a board decision by Metway not to give evidence to the committee. I am personally saddened that political realities have forced the Metway Bank to make a commercial decision. I believe the airing of the evidence at a public hearing would have assisted in deterring either the Labor government in Queensland—or any government in the future—from grabbing funds which are not theirs and thus introducing further uncertainties in financial institutions vis-a-vis governments.

  Some of the more responsible state Labor members of parliament in Queensland have let it be known privately that the Goss government confiscated by legislation some $18 million, which was rightfully the property of the Metway Bank and its shareholders, because of the enterprise agreement entered into willingly by the employees of Metway without the involvement of unions. The fact that the punitive action of a government, pushed by unelected people in the union movement, has resulted in a decision by the board of Metway to decline to appear before the Senate committee highlights the influence by unions on Labor governments.