Gutwein Government fails transparency test

Tasmanian Labor
  • Familiar stonewalling tactics from Gutwein Government
  • Minister refuses to disclose where millions in taxpayer funds spent
  • Business grants should be on the public record
  • The Gutwein Government is refusing to disclose which businesses were paid more than $26 million in grants as part of the Small Business Hardship scheme.

    Labor believes that as a bare minimum the Tasmanian public deserves to know where this taxpayer money has been spent.

    Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said Labor appreciates the need to assist businesses impacted by the pandemic and how much hardship many of them have experienced.

    “But the Government should not be using COVID as an excuse for its decision to keep secret the names of those businesses that received government support,” Mr O’Byrne said.

    “Today we’ve witnessed another example of this Government’s stonewalling, when Sarah Courtney refused to disclose recipients publicly to the Public Accounts Committee.

    “This should be a matter of public record, the public has the right to know where its money is being directed.

    “The way the Government processed the Small Business Hardship scheme was deeply flawed, with many applicants missing out while others with very similar circumstances were successful.

    “It raises the question of this Government’s propriety and the least Sarah Courtney can do is answer questions on the public record, not behind closed doors.”

    David O’Byrne

    Shadow Treasurer

    /Public Release. View in full here.