Page 623 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022

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procurements. Minister Steel said that it would be a substantial undertaking to commit to an independent review. Minister, do you know when to do a substantial undertaking? You do that when there is a substantial problem, and this is a substantial problem. You are not listening to the Auditor-General; you are not listening to the Integrity Commissioner. Shame on you! What does it take for you to improve something that is clearly broken? Mr Steel’s amendment should be rejected.

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (3.51): I wish I could say that I was surprised, but this is so predictable and so typical of the Labor and Greens members in this place. They cannot fathom that there may be some improvements to be made—that maybe they are not doing everything correctly and that maybe they are not doing the best job for the Canberra community. They cannot fathom that, even when it is in black and white, even when it is in a damning report by the Auditor-General, and even when it is in a scathing media release by the Integrity Commissioner. This Labor-Greens government has fostered, and is continuing to foster, a culture of secrecy.

Minister Steel went to great lengths to talk about the procedures, the frameworks, the processes and the guidelines that are in place. What he has absolutely failed to grasp is that they are all good on paper, but they are not worth the paper they are written on if there is a toxic culture—a culture of secrecy that is being driven from the top. That is where the buck stops. It stops with the Chief Minister and his cabinet, of which Minister Steel is a member. He cannot fathom being able to go beyond the words written on his paper for him and acknowledge the huge role that the culture of secrecy that this Labor-Greens government has created is having on integrity, probity and confidence in government decisions that our community has every right to expect.

I will give him credit for this: he has, for the very first time, stated that the Renée Leon review will be tabled. I implore the minister to make sure that that review is tabled in full. We know that this Labor-Greens government is very good at saying, “Oh, look at us; we’ve released this document. Oh, wait; 200 out of the 205 pages are redacted.” I urge him to instil confidence in the public and to table that in full.

Let us not forget, whilst he hangs his hat on this review, that that was done before the scathing findings of the Auditor-General that were tabled in December last year. It is funny because his amendment goes on to say, “Look at us, the ACT government. We’re the ones who established the Integrity Commission to look into stuff like this.” They came to the party kicking and screaming. It was my predecessor, the former leader of the Canberra Liberals, Alistair Coe, who tabled a bill to get that moving. Let us not forget that. If it was up to this Labor-Greens government, I do not know that we would actually have that Integrity Commission right now.

Let us also not forget that, to do his job to make sure that we find and stamp out any risk of corruption in ACT government, the Integrity Commissioner must be appropriately resourced. It is very clear that, with the budget for the Integrity Commission lower this year than last, there is already a sign from the Labor-Greens government about the capacity of the Integrity Commissioner.

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