An important Australia Institute report highlighting the serious weaknesses in the Gutwein Government’s ability to operate with openness and transparency cannot be ignored by the Premier.
Shadow Attorney General Ella Haddad said the report, Good Government in Tasmania, exposes the desperate need for the Liberals to improve accountability and transparency, particularly around electoral donation laws and Right to Information requests.
Ms Haddad said Labor welcomed the report and urged the Premier to take action, particularly in light of his government’s well documented failures and its on-going commitment to secrecy at all costs.
“The Australia Institute report covers much of the same ground Labor has serious concerns about and would act upon in government,” Ms Haddad said.
“Some of the issues we are already attempting to act on from Opposition.
“Our political donation laws are the worst in the country and Labor has started debate on our Private Members Bill to improve them.
“There is no question that under this government, Tasmania has become the Secret State. Tasmania has the weakest laws for political donations and while our RTI legislation is good, it is simply ignored by this government which routinely runs roughshod over requests.
“The Premier cannot ignore what is in front of him in black and white.
“The government has a reflex action to hide information and have ensured a culture of secrecy now permeates their offices and departments.
“It was less than two weeks ago that the Tasmanian Ombudsman confirmed in his annual report what Tasmanians have come to understand over the past seven years. The Liberal Government is the worst in the country at processing Right to Information applications and actually releasing information.
“We can no longer operate as the Secret State and deny Tasmanians their fundamental right to access information.
“Once again it has been made absolutely clear that under this government, we are a national disgrace.”
Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Attorney General