House:Legislative Council - Motion
Date:24, October1996
Member:MacTiernan, Ms Alannah
Subject:MOTION - WORKSAFE WA CONSTRUCTION BRANCH Inquiry into Allegations of Corruption and Bribery
Page:7148 / 1

The answers stating that no threats of physical violence were made, the fact
that no charge has been laid and the fact that the chief executive officer of
WorkSafe told the Sunday Times that the Opposition had made up the threats of
physical violence are all matters of great concern

Sitting suspended from 3.45 to 4.00 pm

[Questions without notice taken.]

Hon A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: I was very alarmed to learn that the questions I had
provided to the Minister's office on the allegations of corruption in WorkSafe,
and specific questions that I had asked about the procedures in the incident at
the Scarborough Beach factory, had found their way - it would seem, courtesy of
senior officers of WorkSafe - almost immediately to the proprietor of the
company that we are calling Paddy's Demolition.

Hon Kim Chance: That is a breach of privilege.

Hon A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: It is of great concern. That was then used as a process
of intimidation against those persons who were thought, quite wrongly, to be my
informants in this information. If what appears to be the case is true, even as
late as Thursday and Friday ongoing attempts were made to cover up this matter
and to stop information coming to me. That is a matter that we will investigate
further.

The Opposition has raised in this place very serious allegations of corruption.

Hon N.F. Moore: You have, and I am sure you are aware of the consequences of
breaching parliamentary privilege.

Hon Kim Chance: I do not know why she should be worried about it; other people
should be worried.

Hon N.F. Moore: She should be worried. Hon Kim Chance should not always
believe everything she tells him. She is making serious allegations and there
needs to be some substance to what she is saying.

Hon A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: I am making serious allegations.

Hon N.F. Moore: They must have substance.

Hon A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: Absolutely. I sought to obtain information by way of
questions in the Parliament before I went further on these allegations. I then
confirmed all the allegations that I had made. As an additional safeguard I
have not named any of the individuals, other than those people who are prepared
to give evidence to the inquiry that we are calling for. I have not named in
this place any of the persons against whom the allegations have been made.
However, I had to set out the allegations in some detail. These matters will
not go away. I am glad that it has been acknowledged now by several members on
the other side of the House that the allegations we have raised are substantial
matters. At least we have got to step one. Now step two must be to have a full
and independent inquiry. It is not good enough to have the department
investigating itself.

The allegations that need to be investigated at the very least are, first, the
allegations of bribery made by Mr Ben Jeakings against the inspector that I have
named here as Mr T. We need to investigate the actions taken by WorkSafe, the
Building Industry Task Force and the fraud squad in investigating this matter.
As I pointed out, there are grave conflicts about the nature of the
investigations by the fraud squad. The evidence suggests that the
investigations by WorkSafe were inadequate and may have been designed to cover
up the incident. We need to investigate the relationship between the person
whom we have called for this purpose Inspector Bill and the company we have
denoted as Paddy's Demolition. We need to investigate why charges have not been
laid over the threats of serious physical violence that were made against
WorkSafe inspector Mr Noel Byrne on 4 October 1996. These are serious matters
and I had hoped to get a response from the Government that was something other
than pure denial. This matter will not go away. It is a matter that goes right to the heart of the operation of health and safety in this State in the construction industry.