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Monday, 15 October 1973
Page: 2057

Mr KEOGH (BOWMAN, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for Services and Property and follows a question asked of him last week by my colleague the honourable member for Robertson. In his reply the Minister expressed concern at the reported donation of up to Sim to Opposition party funds and said that the purpose of it appeared to be to discredit the Minister for Minerals and Energy and to defeat this Government. The Minister said that he would consider the holding of a royal commission into these allegations. I ask the Minister: Is it a fact that the Australian Country Party recently purchased a Canberra property for a reported sum of $187,000? Is the Minister in a position to state whether the purpose for which this property was purchased has any connection with the reports of multi-national corporations contributing to Opposition party funds?

Mr DALY (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Services and Property) - I am advised that lot 2, section 5, No. 10 Mugga Way, Red Hill, was sold on 19 April 1973 to John McEwen House Pty Ltd at a price of $87,000, and not $187,000. It was purchased from Sir Alec Downer, the former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. I have no details as to the reason advanced for the purchase of this property, but it is certainly a very luxurious residence. It may have been purchased as a VIP reception and accommodation centre for the entertainment of lobbyists representing foreign corporations and representatives of multi-national businesses. It would be a most appropriate place for the entertainment of prospective donors to party funds, particularly those from overseas. I am not aware whether this is the purpose for which it is to be used, but there could be some substance in the suggestion in view of the price, the name of the purchaser and the huge outlay of mysteriousCountry Party funds.

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