BAE Systems

Today, Abigail used Question Time to demand answers as to why the Government had signed a contract with global weapons manufacturer BAE Systems in relation to the construction of the Western Sydney Airport.

Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (12:50): My question is directed to the Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts, representing the Premier. Given the recent announcement by the Premier of a memorandum of understanding for western Sydney airport with global weapons manufacturer BAE Systems, is the Government aware of the bribery, corruption and fraud investigations undertaken by the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office into BAE Systems' dealings with over 12 countries and the fact that it was found by the United States Department of Justice to have violated laws which resulted in the largest criminal fines in the history of the Department of Justice?

The Hon. DON HARWIN (Special Minister of State, Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts, and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (12:51): I take it that Ms Abigail Boyd is referring to some of the Premier's excellent work lining up new participants in the industrial precincts surrounding the new western Sydney airport and the aerotropolis. Recently, as most members of the House will know, the Premier travelled to the United Kingdom and Germany to encourage investment in the Western Sydney airport. This is outstanding news for western Sydney. It is part of the vision, together with the Greater Sydney Commission—

Ms Abigail Boyd: Point of order: I do not believe that the Minister is being directly relevant to the question.

The PRESIDENT: As I have indicated previously, the Minister is permitted a little time to set up the foundation to the directly relevant point. I am certain that the Minister is now proceeding to that directly relevant point.

The Hon. DON HARWIN: As I was saying, it is part of the Government's vision to develop, together with the Greater Sydney Commission, three cities in the Sydney Basin—cities where people have to drive or commute at the most for only 30 minutes to get to work. I hear the points that Ms Abigail Boyd has made about BAE Systems. I was not aware of those allegations. I will take that part of her question on notice, refer it to the Premier and provide a response as quickly as possible.

Read full transcript here.

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