QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
COSWAY PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANCIES
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD: My question without notice is directed to the Treasurer. I refer the Minister to allegations raised in another place this afternoon concerning the letting of certain government contracts to the public relations firm Cosways. I refer the Minister also to the comment of his colleague the Minister for Public Works and Services, and Minister for Ports implying that Cosways was in some way advantaged by having employed John Brogden, the Liberal candidate for Pittwater. Does the Treasurer know that Mr Brogden was not employed by Cosways at the time that the GIO, the State Bank float and the State Budget contracts were awarded? Is the Treasurer further aware that at that time Mr Brogden was working for me? Is the Minister also aware that at that time Cosways had never heard of John Brogden? Will the Treasurer now withdraw the scurrilous allegations made by the Government against Mr Brogden and apologise for them?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: Unlike the Leader of the Opposition in this place, I have work to do other than listening to my colleagues in the lower House, so I am not aware of what transpired in the lower House today. One thing I do know is that Cosway Creative Communications was a real racket that ripped off the people of New South Wales with the waste of millions of dollars. For example, last year honourable members will recall the acclamation with which my first budget was received by the people of New South Wales, without a single cent being spent on public relations consultants. But for the two years previous to that millions of dollars of taxpayers' money were wasted by the coalition Government by employing Cosway to sell its budgets to the people of New South Wales. We all know that Cosway is full of all the colleagues of members opposite. It was a Liberal Party front from start to finish.