Michelle O’Byrne MP Deputy Labor Leader
• Former Primary Industries Minister won’t give straight answers
• Were investigators provided with all relevant materials?
• Government can’t gloss over the fact that questions still not fully answered
Important and relevant questions about Minister Sarah Courtney’s confirmed breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct remain after her dismissive and evasive performance on the floor of the Parliament today.
Deputy Labor Leader Michelle O’Byrne said although Ms Courtney confirmed today she routinely used encrypted message service WhatsApp in her Ministerial role, it was now clear the content of messages potentially relating to her breach had not been disclosed to investigators.
“Ms Courtney finally admitted to using the service after four attempts to get an answer in Parliament but it’s clearer this information was not given to investigators who concluded she had breached the Code of Conduct,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“Equally as important is the lingering question about the potential misuse of taxpayer funds by Ms Courtney during her relationship with the head of her department, particularly during her recent trade mission to Hong Kong and China.
“Ms Courtney has been deliberately evasive in avoiding answering this question.
“She has deliberately avoided confirming whether or not any expenses she charged to taxpayers were provided as part of the breach investigation.
“It’s no fault of the independent investigator if a completely thorough investigation has not been able to be carried out because comprehensive information has not been provided.
“But since Ms Courtney clearly has no intention of answering these questions, it’s up to Premier Hodgman to step in and ensure everything possible has been done to address these lingering and genuine