The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (14:41): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Human Services regarding a conflict of interest.
The Hon. E.S. BOURKE: Yesterday, the minister was asked a series of questions about her shares and interests, whether she disposed of those shares correctly and whether those shares and interest caused a conflict of interest for the minister. The minister refused to answer those questions.
Just before parliament rose yesterday, the minister returned to the chamber to make a personal explanation about the true nature of her shareholdings. My questions to the minister are: given the error the minister has made in her register of interests, will she now publicly release all details of her shareholdings and transactions in an effort to restore her integrity? When did the minister first become aware of the mistake on her register of interests and did the minister in fact correct the record when she was first available to do so?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:42): I thank the honourable member for her question. I am, of course, grateful that the Labor Party has alerted me to the fact that there was an omission on my register. I have not done that yet. I have not exactly had a lot of white space in my diary. I will correct that as soon as possible, but I have alerted the parliament to the fact that the IRESS shares should not have been omitted from my register. The requirement under the parliamentary act is to place on the register all interests over a 12-month period, or any interests that have been an interest within that 12-month period. My intention is to correct the record so that I comply with that requirement.
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Bourke, a supplementary.
The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (14:42): Given the minister yesterday had to make a personal explanation that her share portfolio was incorrectly listed, and you are still yet to update that, despite coming into parliament and apologising, how are South Australians meant to have any confidence in your credibility?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:43): Look, I fessed up. People make mistakes on forms, and so I have done so. I have corrected the record. That is, I think, what the expectation is, that if an error is discovered you correct it. I would also like to reject the assertion in the honourable member's original question about a conflict of interest, because I don't believe there is a conflict of interest.
The line of questioning that the Hon. Ms Scriven took yesterday was also of that nature, and whoever the Labor Party staff are who are writing these questions for them really ought to read the estimates beforehand, because they would know that one of those particular issues had been well and truly dealt with. The Labor Party in opposition don't even bother to read the Hansard to ensure that they have all the facts before them. So, really that's just—
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Their righteousness in this place is noted, but they can't even be bothered to read the Hansard that has already taken place.
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Bourke, a supplementary.
The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (14:44): Is the minister certain she has made no other errors in her disclosure?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:44): I can say that of myself I am quite particular. On this occasion clearly I made a mistake. I will double-check all of those records prior to resubmitting to the Clerk.
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Bourke, a further supplementary.
The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (14:44): If the minister doesn't think she is responsible to the chamber in regard to her shares and interests, can the minister explain why she felt compelled to make an embarrassing correction yesterday and stop parliament to do so?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:45): Look, I think I have done what would be expected of me, which is to correct the public record. I will do so in a written form. I would have to say that I am quite busy dealing with issues that South Australians are very interested in, such as the announcement that we made today—
The Hon. K.J. Maher interjecting:
The PRESIDENT: Leader of the Opposition, you have the opportunity to ask a supplementary, given I am reasonably generous. So if you want to ask that as a supplementary, ask it in a minute. Minister.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: —in relation to walk-up flats, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, there is a whole range of policy issues that exercise a minister's time and we have to organise our priorities accordingly.
The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (14:45): Further supplementary: is the minister aware whether the Auditor-General is currently investigating the minister's disposal of shares and potential conflicts of interest, and if so, will the minister commit to a full cooperation with the Auditor-General?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:46): I think that is a new line of questioning, but we will let that slide. I am not personally aware whether there is, but of course I would fully cooperate with the Auditor-General.
The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Leader of the Opposition) (14:46): Supplementary.
The PRESIDENT: One last supplementary on this; I am keen to get moving.
The Hon. K.J. MAHER: When will the minister correct her register of interests?
The PRESIDENT: Isn't that so much easier than screaming it across the chamber? It's delightfully simple, isn't it? Probably take that on board. Minister.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:46): At the first available opportunity.
The PRESIDENT: You've got another opportunity for questions, Leader of the Opposition, on your bench.