Government Environment Minister, Senator Ian Campbell, has weighed into the mounting
dispute over the Gallop Government’s links to Perth telco marketing businessman,
Tim Ungar, whose partner in TSA Pty Ltd, Peter Jones, has been exposed as a
convicted drug dealer.

Ungar, as
well as being chairman of the WA Water Corporation, is convenor of the Labor
Party’s Business Round Table which Labor created to counter the strongly pro-Liberal
500 Club.

And Ungar has
sat on three other state government agencies – the Technology Industry Advisory
Council of WA; the WA Museum; and the WA Olympics Council.

Before teaming
up with Jones, Ungar was Telstra’s WA general manager, consumer and
commercial business, and acted as a character referee for Jones during his
drug case trial. Because TSA Pty
Ltd was created to sell marketing services to Telstra, Senator Campbell has
referred it to Telecommunications Minister Senator Helen Coonan for

“These are very
serious questions that require investigation,” Senator Campbell said. “I think all
aspects of this contract needs to be investigated, including Ungar’s

But acting premier
Eric Ripper has so far been unmoved by the rumpus which was sparked by
revelations that Mr Ungar had donated $10,000 to help bankroll the Labor
Party’s last election campaign. “In making board
appointments the government considers the character and merit of the individual
appointee and not that of his or her business associates,” Mr Ripper said.

Senator Campbell
is undoubtedly hoping Canberra’s
investigation shows Ungar “fingerprints” on the awarding of the TSA contract by
Telstra. Such a finding, if
made, would certainly put Mr Ripper on to the back foot, not to mention Mr