广东时时彩快乐十分:Former minister Tom Kenyon gives evidence in trial of BioSA's former CEO
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A former State Government minister has described a public servant accused of abusing his position as an "excellent" CEO.
Tom Kenyon was the minister responsible for BioSA in 2012 when then chief executive Jurgen Michaelis came to him seeking $5 million in funding for Nano-Nouvelle — a company Dr Michaelis also chaired and had a financial interest in.
Mr Kenyon told the court he thought the biotech company was exactly the kind of business the government should be advocating for and he raised it with the Treasurer at the time, but there was no money available in the budget to allocate.
Under questioning he said he remembered Michaelis telling him he was Nano-Nouvelle's chairman and would have expected the BioSA board to handle the conflict, including excluding Dr Michaelis from any decision making.
Mr Kenyon told the court he couldn't remember if he was told Dr Michaelis had a financial interest in the company but was aware that with start-up companies people would often take an equity rather than payment.
"That's true, I had at the time a clear memory of him telling me that he was the chairman, but I have no memory of him telling me that he had shares," Mr Kenyon told the court.
Mr Kenyon said it was important to be aware of any conflicts of interest.
"It's part of that whole culture of government in that you need, every interest needs to be declared and you need to, as much as possible, understand everybody's motives for every proposal that comes to you," he said.
"As a minister you are in charge of public money, it's important how that public money is spent and you need, as part of that process, to understand as many of the motivations for people proposing something as you can.
"It doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad idea or a good idea just because someone holds shares in it or doesn't, but you need to understand that as you deliberate."
Kenyon thought Michaelis was 'intelligent and professional'
When asked of his opinion of Dr Michaelis as CEO of BioSA, Mr Kenyon said he thought Dr Michaelis was intelligent and professional.
"I thought he was excellent," he said.
"He was one of those rare breed of people in government who get things done — efficient and hardworking and highly motivated and that's — when you're in government and you come across that, it's a joy."
Mr Kenyon said he thought the proposal to move Nano-Nouvelle from Queensland to South Australia had merit.
"I thought it was excellent. It was exactly the sort of company that we should be attracting to South Australia."
Mr Kenyon said the proposal could have still gone ahead, if he knew Dr Michaelis held a direct or indirect interest in Nano-Nouvelle.
"This would have to have been a very clear declaration of interest and Dr Michaelis wouldn't have been able to be involved in any of the decision making around that company and around the provision of funds for that company," he said.
Under cross-examination from defence lawyer David Edwardson QC, Mr Kenyon agreed that he was aware that Dr Michaelis, as chairman of Nano-Nouvelle, would have had an obligation to advance the interests of the company's shareholders.