PILBARA PORTS AUTHORITY —
1004. Hon TJORN SIBMA to the Minister for Ports:
refer to the minister's confirmation via answers to questions without
notice 960 and 984 on 4 and 5 September that under section 75 of the
Port Authorities Act 1999, she requested that the Pilbara Ports Authority
provide her with copies of a number of documents relating to the contractual
arrangements of a single company, Odyssey Marine, so that she could provide
those documents to the State Solicitor's Office for the purpose of it
preparing ''comprehensive advice on the legal aspects of the Pilbara
Ports Authority's dealings with Odyssey Marine''.
(1) Of the myriad
services provided under contract across all the state's ports, what is
so compelling about the PPA's contract with Odyssey Marine that
motivated the exercise of the minister's powers under section 75 of the
act—the only occasion on which she has exercised that power in the
period she has been Minister for Ports?
(2) Did the PPA
raise any issues with the minister regarding its contract with Odyssey Marine
that might explain her course of action; and, if so, when did the PPA raise
these issues with the minister, and what was the nature of those issues?
(3) If no to (2),
was the minister encouraged to investigate this contract by any third party;
and, if so, who?
(4) On how many
occasions, on which times and dates and by what means did the minister and/or
her office prevail upon the PPA, its
officers and/or its board members to provide her with the contractual
(5) When did the
minister receive the contractual documents from the PPA, and which specific
documents did she receive?
(6) When did the minister provide
those documents to the SSO?
The PRESIDENT: That was a very
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member. This is a great
travesty—a minister actually asks one of her agencies for some
documents so that she can understand a decision that has been made! I find it
extraordinary that the member sees this as such an amazing thing. But, anyhow,
my answer is as follows.
matter was raised with me shortly after I took over the ports portfolio. I undertook
to investigate the matters, as the circumstances of the contractual dealings
raised some prima facie probity questions. I formally requested advice and
documentation from the Pilbara Ports Authority in order to obtain comprehensive advice from the State Solicitor's
Office. Copies of the licences for the provision of line boat services
and contracts for the provision of port vessel services were provided by the
PPA on 1 May 2019 and my office provided them to the SSO on the same day.