Harriss denies being bought by Ta Ann'

Harriss denies being bought by Ta Ann'

UPPER House MP Paul Harriss has defended an overseas trip taken in 2010 that was paid for by timber processor Ta Ann.

Bass Greens MHA Kim Booth raised the issue in the House of Assembly yesterday when he pointed out that Mr Harriss, an independent MLC for Huon, had declared a trip paid for by Ta Ann and a $1000 gift from the company made in 2007-08.

He said that raised questions over whether Mr Harriss, or any other MP with a pecuniary interest, should be voting on legislation resulting from the $276 million state-federal forests deal.

Mr Harriss, who has publicly supported the company, said it was outrageous for Mr Booth to imply in Parliament that I have been bought by Ta Ann to be a lobbyist for them in Parliament''.

He said that he accepted the paid trip to find out the facts about Ta Ann's overseas operations upon the condition he would set the itinerary.

However, Mr Harriss said that he would seek advice on his continued right to debate and vote on issues related to the forests deal in Parliament.

""I will need to take advice based around those financial contributions. I don't think it will be a problem, but if there is of course I will remove myself from the debate.''

In response to Mr Booth's question, Premier Lara Giddings said that she had not accepted any cash or paid travel from Ta Ann.