Treasurer Pecuniary Interests Disclosure
|About this Item||Subjects||Members of Parliament; Pecuniary Interests; Ethics; Clothing and Textiles
||Speakers||Pearce The Hon Greg; Egan The Hon Michael
||Business||Questions Without Notice
||Commentary|| Supplementary Question, Caringbah Couture
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I address my question to the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive. What action has the Treasurer taken to ensure that his position as shareholder and director of the company Caringbah Couture Pty Ltd has never led to a conflict of interest nor misleading statement during his time as a Minister?
The Hon. MICHAEL EGAN: I do not think Caringbah Couture even exists these days. Caringbah Couture was a company that my mum and dad formed in 1954, I think, when we moved to Caringbah from Coogee. My dad was a tailor and my mum was a tailoress. They ran a clothing shop and had a small factory. My dad died in 1959 and my mother carried on the business. When I came of age I became a director of my mum's company and she continued to run a clothing shop and a small factory. At the age of 65, after she had been in the rag trade for 51 years, mum got sick of it and decided she would open a coffee lounge, owned by Caringbah Couture, at East Gardens. It was a very successful coffee lounge.
I remember when she was setting up the shop she decided as part of the decor she would have the walls lined with bookshelves filled with books. I was given the job of finding about 10,000 books. I did the rounds of St Vincent De Paul and fetes and even denuded my own library. The coffee lounge—which still exists although my mother has long sold it—still has a very impressive library. I do not believe that in the days when my mother operated this business I had a great conflict of interest with anyone buying a sandwich or a cup of coffee, nor do I believe there was a great conflict of interest with women buying frocks.
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister elucidate his answer by explaining why, since 11 December 1998, when Caringbah Couture was wound up, he has declared an interest in this company in every one of his pecuniary interests returns—a total of eight false or incorrect statements by him?
The Hon. MICHAEL EGAN: I have left the company on my pecuniary interests return because I am never quite sure whether these companies are technically wound up. To cover myself I left it on the return. If the honourable member wants me to take it off, I will. I am not a Queen's Counsel.
The Hon. Amanda Fazio: And he is not either.
The Hon. MICHAEL EGAN: And he is not either, as the Hon. Amanda Fazio states. Just to be sure that eejits like the Hon. Greg Pearce cannot ever falsely misrepresent my position, I like to take abundant care and caution. That is why the company is still listed.