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Tuesday, 15 October 1996
Page: 4154


Senator PANIZZA(3.19 p.m.) —Quite a bit was spoken in here yesterday about ill-gotten gains. I think it came from somewhere in the opposition section. The idea of the ill-gotten gains was debunked yesterday and I would like to move on to the `gains' bit after the `ill-gotten' because the `ill-gotten' has been blown out of the water.

There was much said about the gains that were made so I took the liberty of writing down Senator Short's portfolio and compared the statistics of 5 March 1996—in the first Australian Financial Review after the election—with those of 10 October 1996 when this matter was raised. At the top, ANZ shares are listed. I believe he had something like 6,360 shares. On 5 March 1996 they were worth $6.54 and on 10 October 1996 they were worth $7.28; in other words, they had risen by 74c a share. But now let us look at the rest of Senator Short's portfolio and see where those gains were. The next on the list is BHP. On 5 March 1996 those shares were worth $19.23 and on 10 October they were worth $16.12, a drop of $3.11 each—and where did anyone over that side, right down to the Democrats, mention that loss that Senator Short had of $3.11 per share? Did anyone mention that—Senator Sherry, Senator Schacht, Senator Cook or Senator Faulkner? No, they did not.

Let us go down the list. Next is CRA. On 5 March it was worth exactly $20 a share. On 10 October it was worth $18.85; that is,—$1.15. Who on the other side mentioned these ill-gotten gains? The next is CSR. It was worth $4.65 on 5 March 1996 and $4.41 on 10 October. That was—24c. Did anyone mention that? No, they only mentioned the ANZ that went the other way. Let us go down one more. Boral has been mentioned in this Senate today. On 5 March 1996 those shares were worth $3.66 and on 10 October they were worth $3.30, which is—36c per share. Were they mentioned? No, the only ones mentioned were the ANZ ones that happened to go the other way.

If I go down this list far enough, I might find one where there has been a gain. But I have read out a list that shows that there were far more losses than gains for Senator Short. So where are the ill-gotten gains? They were not ill-gotten and, moreover, there were no gains.

I have been going through the register of shares of those opposite. Why is that side—Labor, Greens and Democrats—shy of invest ing in Australia? I have gone through almost all of the senators' interests register and you can hardly find a share over there. There is a spare one over there that Senator Minchin might sell off. He has a share to sell that you can probably buy off market for some sort of price and between you, you might be able to say that you have invested in Australia.

The Greens have jumped on the bandwagon too. Yesterday I got a call from the media asking me, `Do you hold Wesfarmers shares?' `Yes.' `Do you intend to take part in the debate?' `No.' `Do you intend to vote in the debate?' `Yes.' `Do you intend to declare your shares?' `Yes.' And then they said, `How many have you got?' And my answer of course was, `None of your business.' That is how the Greens tried to jump on the bandwagon, as they always do at the last moment.

I get back to where I started: where are Jim Short's gains? From what I have read out from his portfolio, ANZ is the only one where he has made a gain. So how can they have the hide to say that he had ill-gotten gains. (Time expired)