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LEASES FOR OFFICE SPACE--ORDER FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

Suspension of standing orders: Senator Campbell, at the request of the

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Hill) and pursuant to

contingent notice, moved--That so much of the standing orders be

suspended as would prevent Senator Hill moving a motion relating to the

conduct of the business of the Senate, namely a motion to give

precedence to General Business notice of motion no. 745 standing in the

name of Senator Campbell for this day, relating to an order for the

production of documents by the Minister representing the Minister for

Administrative Services (Senator McMullan) concerning office leases.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.

Senator Campbell, at the request of Senator Hill, moved--That General

Business notice of motion no. 745 standing in his name for this day,

relating to an order for the production of documents by the Minister

representing the Minister for Administrative Services (Senator McMullan)

concerning office leases, may be moved immediately and have precedence

over all other business till determined.

Question put and passed.

Senator Campbell moved--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) on 1 February 1994, Senator Campbell placed a question

on notice seeking details about the respective leases

for office space at the Casselden Place building in

Melbourne of Projects, Interiors and Asset Services,

including details of the commencement dates and space

occupied, the net rental, the outgoings per square

metre and the value of any leasing incentives,

(ii) the then Minister for Administrative Services (Senator

McMullan), supplied details of the commencement dates

and space occupied but withheld information about the

rental, the outgoings per square metre and the value of

any leasing incentives, and

(iii) Senator McMullan explained in his answer that these

leases are all held by Commonwealth agencies;

(b) expresses its concern that Senator McMullan went on to assert

that notwithstanding that only Commonwealth agencies were

involved, he was withholding the requested information because

he claimed it was commercial-in-confidence;

(c) declares that, consistent with the spirit and tenor of numerous

Senate resolutions over the years, there is no area of public

expenditure and activity of the kind arising here involving one

Commonwealth agency leasing property to another, which is not

subject to parliamentary accountability and disclosure of

information; and

(d) therefore resolves that there be laid on the table, by the

Minister representing the Minister for Administrative Services

(Senator McMullan), by not later than 5 p.m. on 5 May 1994, the

following documents with respect to the Projects, Interiors and

Asset Services leases:

(i) the effective net rental rates for each lease,

(ii) the outgoing payable per square metre in the building

by the agencies, and

(iii) the value of any leasing incentives paid to the tenants

as part of the lease deal.

Debate ensued.

Document: The Minister for Trade (Senator McMullan) tabled the following

document:

Australian Property Group--Property Leases--Casselden Place--Copy of

letter from Frank Walker, Minister for Administrative Services to

Senator Bob McMullan, Minister for Trade, dated 4 May 1994.

Debate continued.

Question put and passed.