Stonewalling Treats Public with Contempt
The Tasmanian Greens today accused Premier David Bartlett of treating the community with contempt by his refusal to admit that he had misled Parliament last year, and his failure to front up and correct the public record immediately.

Acting Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said that under the Westminster system the buck stops with the responsible Minister, yet despite having had three days to apologise to the public and come clean with exactly how and why he made the decision to continue with his plan to appoint Richard McCreadie as Interim Commissioner, the Premier instead seems determined to try and weasel his way out of being held accountable.

“It is clear that there is a prima facie case that the Premier misled the Parliament last year when questioned about any concerns raised with his office before he made his Interim Commissioner announcement,” Mr booth said.

“Greens Leader Nick McKim specifically asked whether any concerns had been raised with the Premier’s office by any stakeholder, including the DPP, prior to David Bartlett making his announcement, to which Mr Bartlett replied that he was ‘not aware of any concerns raised by the DPP’ before making the announcement in Parliament.’

“This is clearly not true on two accounts. The first being that we now know that Acting Police Commissioner Darren Hine had warned the Premier before the announcement was made, but the weasel word statement of the Premier omits any reference to that conversation.”

“Secondly the Premier was asked whether concerns had been raised with his office, and we now know that the DPP was leaving urgent messages with the Premier’s office seeking to talk to him before the day’s announcement, but David Bartlett carefully avoided divulging that fact.”

“The shockingly poor judgement shown by David Bartlett when deciding to continue with his Interim Commissioner appointment despite receiving advice from Acting Commissioner Darren Hine not to, is now on display yet again with his failure to come clean, provide a clear statement and a public apology.”

“Three days the public has been waiting to see whether David Bartlett will behave like a Leader and explain why he ignored the advice he received, and why he then pretended that he had not received that advice, yet all the community has received is dissembling, weasel words and stonewalling.”

“So much for openness and accountability.”

“If the Premier thinks this matter is just going to fade away, then his track record of poor judgement calls is set to continue,” Mr Booth said.


Hansard excerpt:

Tuesday 21 October 2008


[11.02 a.m.]

Mr McKIM (Question) – Premier, were any concerns about your intention to appoint Mr McCreadie as temporary police commissioner raised with your office by any stakeholder, including the Director of Public Prosecutions, prior to your making your announcement? If you do not know the answer to that question, will you please have the matter investigated?

Mr BARTLETT – I am not aware of any concerns raised by the DPP before I came into this place and made that announcement.
Kim Booth MP Acting Greens Leader