6 June 2018
The NSW Labor Opposition has condemned the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government for doing everything in its power to avoid scrutiny of its controversial policy decisions and wrong priorities by delaying the release of crucial documents.
While the Liberal-National Government may have finally capitulated to a censure motion in the Upper House, it is still trying to evade scrutiny by not releasing papers until 5pm on Friday before a long weekend.
The crucial documents relate to the Government’s stadiums splurge, the move of the Powerhouse Museum and the report on out-of-home care of the state’s most vulnerable young persons.
The documents will now not be scrutinised by Parliament until it returns on Tuesday June 19th for the State Budget.
The Government was forced to comply because its Leader in the Legislative Council Don Harwin could have been banned from Parliament for failing to comply with the request for more information.
This morning, having failed again to produce the documents, Mr Harwin on behalf of the Government completely surrendered to the assertion by the House of its power to compel production of these documents.
Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley:
“The Government is in chaos. It’s so rare for a former Minister, a senior Liberal Party figure to say ‘Premier you have to stop here; the public has a right to know’. And that’s what’s happened here – senior Liberals are revolting against Ms Berejiklian’s obsessive secrecy.
“The Parliament had to take an extraordinary step. This hasn’t happened this century until last night. You have Liberal Party senior MPs deserting the Premier.
“It’s been a chaotic 24 hours for the Government but the only point here is how important it is that the public has a right to know.
“Whether it’s the stadium splurge, the Powerhouse relocation, or the care of our State’s most vulnerable children there a golden rule – the public has a right to know what their government’s up to and how their taxpayer dollars are being spent.
“Isn’t it tricky – they’ll deliver it on Friday night before a long weekend, when the Parliament’s not sitting next week, to avoid further scrutiny.”
Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council Adam Searle:
“This is a complete surrender by the Berejiklian Government to the power asserted by the Legislative Council to compel the production of these documents.
“It is now clear that the Legislative Council does have the power to order production even of Cabinet documents, as long as they do not disclose the internal workings and decisions of the Cabinet.
“I look forward to closely examining them, to ensure compliance with the orders of the House, and hold this government accountable for its wrong priorities.”