Senator Eric Abetz is a Barrister.
Abetz & Co is a law firm in Tasmania which shares an office with another law firm, Shields Heritage, at Shop 2, 29 Channel Highway, Kingston, the same street given by Senator Abetz on his nomination form when elected to Parliament in 1998 and 2004.
There have been several name changes associated with Abetz and Co. ABN: 26 477 023 371 as detailed below:
‘Abetz and Co’ became a Registered Entity after the introduction of the GST on 1st July 2000. On 19 September 2007 the firm was retitled ‘Abetz & Co’ this company name is still current.
‘Shields Heritage’ was a Registered Entity from 3 December 2003 to 29 August 2007. On 29 August 2007 the firm became ‘Shields Heritage’ the current Registered Entity. In summary, Abetz and Co has morphed into Shields Heritage Inc. Abetz & Co a company that has existed since at least July 2000 albeit with different names.
The Entity Type shown for the firm of Shields Heritage is “Other Partnership.” An “Other Partnership” is defined as that “which consists of two or more entities carrying on a business or in receipt of income jointly.” From 9 June 2000 the entity names, as given under the ABN 26 477 023 371 were: ‘Messers Dalgleish, Sansom, Chalmers and Others’ this partnership closed on the 3 December 2003 when the ‘Others’ was dropped from the list of entity names.
I suggest that Abetz remained a partner in the business Shields Heritage, at least until December 2003, and I would like to know whether he made this known on his Parliamentary Statement of Interests.
The reason for this request is that Shields Heritage are lawyers for Gunns Ltd and the link between Abetz, the former Minister for Forests and the legal firm representing Gunns Ltd must be of interest to any discerning investigator.
Should Abetz have drawn income or fees from this firm since becoming The Special Minister for State or Minister for Forests he has broken the law for it would appear that such an interest was not declared under the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
His current declaration of interests does not disclose any connection with the firm Shields Heritage. Perhaps the Senator would like to comment.