Tuesday, November 8, 2005
|Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Australian industrial relations legislation, 2005|
The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, was asked in parliament today about the contract to print the new industrial relations legislation booklets. Kelvin Thomson asked the question because the contract was awarded to Salmat Ltd., who has been said to have donated $120,000 to the Australian Liberal Party, of which the Mr Howard is a member. The contract was worth $800,000 AUD. It was revealed by Stephen Smith the week earlier that these booklets were “pulped” at a cost of $152,000 to the taxpayer.
The Prime Minster John Howard said that “the contract was awarded in the normal fashion”, and that he did not know if Salmat donated to any other parties, and said that he ask someone to “just do a little bit of research this afternoon” to get further information on the matter. After Question Time the Prime Minister confirmed that Salmat was selected through an open tender process, and expressed his belief that “expressions of political support should not disbar one from preferment on the merits.”