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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3059

Mr ELLICOTT (Wentworth) (Minister for the Capital Territory) -At page 537 of the Senate Hansard of 4 March 1980 an answer was given on my behalf to Question No. 2066 which was asked in the other place by Senator Mason about the allocation of government housing to members and senators. The answer given stated that a government house had been sold to the Honourable Sir Robert Cotton. It has since been found that the answer was incorrect. That answer has in fact been corrected in the other place. I wish to state that the information was provided by the Department of the Capital Territory. The error arose from confusion over Sir Robert's name and a person with a similar name.

I simply wish to correct that error and at the same time publicly apologise to Sir Robert for the embarrassment that may have occurred as a result of that answer and from subsequent publicity based on it in the Australian newspaper on 5 March 1980 which suggested that he had made big profits on house deals. It was alleged that he had acquired a house from the Government and sold it at a profit of over $20,000.

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