PAUL CARTER, AAP, June 30, 2009 09:00am

A TASMANIAN Labor senator with links to a nepotism scandal has refused to answer questions about her staffing.
Senator Carol Brown left a Hobart news event yesterday without fronting the media.

Senator Brown also refused to answer questions about family members employed on her staff.

“I have no comment to make,” was all she said before getting into a car.

It is understood Senator Brown has at least one sister employed on her staff and other family working for her on a voluntary basis, whose efforts are subsidised by an electoral allowance.

Senator Brown has refused more than six requests for comment about her staffing arrangements since her niece, Tasmanian Labor MLC Allison Ritchie, abruptly quit politics on June 20.

She quit as a scandal grew about her employing her mother, two sisters and a brother-in-law on her staff.

Premier David Bartlett has banned his MPs from employing family and the state’s Auditor-General is investigating the propriety of Ms Ritchie’s and other MPs’ staff appointments.

Denison Labor MHR Duncan Kerr attended the same news event yesterday as Senator Brown and was willing to answer questions about his staffing.

Mr Kerr said he had never employed a family member on his staff.

CAROL BROWN – Wikipedia

Carol Louise Brown (born 19 July 1963), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate, representing the state of Tasmania, since 25 August 2005. She was appointed by the Tasmanian Parliament to the casual vacancy created by the resignation of Senator Sue Mackay, as required by section 15 of the Australian Constitution.

Brown comes from a family with a long Labor tradition. Her great-grandmother Mary Butler was a founding member of the Hobart branch of the ALP, her grandfathers and father were strong trade unionists, her late uncle Leo Brown was a Tasmanian state ALP president, and her niece Allison Ritchie is a member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council.

Brown was an administrative Officer with the Tasmanian ALP from 1984 to 1996, an advisor to Senator Mackay 1996 to 1998, and a senior public servant in the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet from
1998 to 2002. In 2004 she was appointed to the Office of the Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources.


Senator Carol Brown belongs to the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances (the Senate’s oldest committee).

The committee’s job is scrutinising legislation for compliance with principles of personal rights and parliamentary propriety.

Senator Wortley (Chair)
Senator Ronaldson (Deputy Chair)
Senator Carol Brown
Senator Cormann
Senator Moore