Kim Booth, Press Release

Greens Shadow Building spokesperson Kim Booth MHA said that despite the scandal growing on virtually a daily basis surrounding the Deputy Premier, a situation which was also damaging the Premier’s leadership, Labor still sought to avoid thorough scrutiny on the matter.

Mercury report

MEDIA RELEASE

Kim Booth MHA

Wednesday, 12 JULY 2006

LABOR USES NUMBERS TO DEFEAT JOINT HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO TCC AGREEMENT

The Tasmanian Greens today said they were disappointed, but not necessarily surprised, that Labor used their numbers to defeat the Greens’ motion to establish a Joint House Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the contentious agreement between the government and the Tasmanian Compliance Corporation.

Greens Shadow Building spokesperson Kim Booth MHA said that despite the scandal growing on virtually a daily basis surrounding the Deputy Premier, a situation which was also damaging the Premier’s leadership, Labor still sought to avoid thorough scrutiny on the matter.

Mr Booth also revealed during the debate that despite the Deputy Premier claiming in both the Parliament and on local ABC radio this morning that the Auditor-General was also investigating the situation, that in fact the Auditor-General is still to decide whether he will undertake such an inquiry.

“The trend of stonewalling Parliamentary scrutiny was evident again today with Labor closing ranks and using their numbers to defeat a Greens’ motion to establish a Joint House Select Committee Inquiry to examine the circumstances surrounding, and development of, the TCC agreement,” Mr Booth said.

“This denial of openness and accountability comes hot on the heels of yet another Question Time embarrassing for the government, where the only option available to both the Premier and the Deputy Premier was to refuse to answer question after question on this growing scandal.”

“This Joint House inquiry is an appropriate mechanism by which the Parliament could scrutinise all events surrounding this agreement and evaluate whether full disclosure has been made and if not, the Committee could have ensured that the full story was told and that people were held to account where necessary.”

“This Joint House inquiry would have been able to examine areas which are not covered by the KPGM audit.”

“Another contradiction that came to light this afternoon is that despite the Deputy Premier’s public statements otherwise, the Auditor-General in fact has not yet decided whether he will be examining this matter or not.”

The unanswered questions

MEDIA ATTACHMENT – Wednesday, 12 July 2006
Tasmanian Compliance Corporation & Government ‘Agreement’
Frequently Unanswered Questions
Based on new information the Tasmanian Greens have reignited the debate over the TCC deal. This information raises questions of the accuracy of the information given as part of the Premier’s and Deputy Premier’s attempts last week to wipe the slate clean over this dodgy deal.
The Premier and Deputy Premier have continually attempted to confuse the public over the details of the deal by failing to answer questions and by challenging those who should question the deal to prove the absolute illegality of any particular event or issue relating to the deal.
The latest list of frequently unanswered questions include:
Who originally drafted the Agreement, was it the TCC’s John White or his agent?
During February this year, did senior departmental staff advise the Minister’s Office that clause 9 granting exclusivity to the TCC was “unacceptable” and prepared a document for signing with this clause deleted?
Did the Minister’s Office or the Minister then, following John White’s personal intervention, instruct the department to re draft a new Service Level Agreement restoring clause 9?
And if this is the case what date was that instruction given?
Can the Minister confirm that the Service Level Agreement was not meant to see the light of day unless there was a change of government?
Although the Minister states that he did not “sight” the Crown Law advice received by his office (divulged after questioning by the Greens), was he informed of the substance of that legal advice?
Did the Minister inform the Premier, during their meeting following the Australian article, that he had been advised that the exclusivity clause 9 was “unacceptable” by his department, and that another version of the SLA without that clause had been prepared, but that his office had instructed the department to re-insert that a clause 9 restoring exclusivity following intervention by John White?
The Premier has also refused to answer whether the Minister disclosed to him the above chain of events regarding the contentious “unacceptable” clause 9 provisions.

Timeline
Jul12_TCC_Timeline_Update_K_Booth_ATTACH2.doc

Earlier:
Legislative Council must act