Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Mr Acting Deputy President, I seek leave to make a brief personal explanation as I claim to have been misrepresented.
I thank the Senate. On 30 August 2012 Fairfax Media made available on the internet an online searchable database showing every federal parliamentarian's financial interests. This database was accompanied by major articles in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Canberra Times and the Melbourne Age, and to use the terminology that was provided in that media, those were articles about 'politicians' perks'. On that day I accessed my own profile on the database, and I seek leave to table a printout of my own profile, dated 30 August 2012—I assure you, Mr Acting Deputy President, in accordance with the usual courtesies that have been shown to all interested parties in the chamber.
I thank the Senate. This profile contains factual errors which are possibly transcription errors, as well as a very significant number of false entries. As of this morning, these errors had not been corrected. I also seek leave to table a further printout of my online profile of today's date. I point out that, apart from the difference in the dates, these two documents are identical. Again, the usual courtesies have been extended and shown to senators representing different interests in the chamber.
I wish to correct the record in relation to 10 entries in my profile. First is a directorship—which involves no remuneration—on the board of the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney. I can assure the Senate that I would not claim that the Whitlam Institute is a public policy institute promoting the life and work of GC Whitlam; I might suggest it is promoting the life and work of EG Whitlam. I can assure the Senate that I am not a member of the Australian Labour Party, spelt L-A-B-O-U-R. I can assure the Senate that I am not a member of the New South Wales Traders Foundation. I am, however, a member of the New South Wales Teachers Federation. I can assure the Senate—and this will come as a relief to the good parishioners of this church, I am sure—that I am not a member of the Clovercrest Baptist Church. Not only am I not a worshipper at the Clovercrest Baptist Church; I can also assure the Senate that I have not become a worshipper twice, which is the suggestion on this particular website. I can also assure the Senate that I have no investment properties, even though the website says I have. I can also inform the Senate that I do not receive a DFRDB pension, although the Herald website says I do. I can also inform the Senate that I do not have, nor have I ever had, a family trust which is bracketed as not applicable after July 2011; in my case it is not applicable before July 2011. Nor do I have life insurance, nor do I own a motor vehicle.
I want to say that I acknowledge that the Sydney Morning Herald has informed me that its website will be amended today. Finally in this personal explanation, I make clear to the Senate for the record that I am not asking for an apology on this matter. I am merely trying to ensure that the public record in relation to my pecuniary interests is accurate.