Page 1795 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022
would have? No; it is unlikely, isn’t it? He has been manifestly ineffective in preventing this further largesse. If he had done his job, if he was considered effective, if he was considered something other than a joke by people, this would not have arisen. He was warned 14 months ago, and he has failed to stem the problem that has occurred.
Mr Rattenbury made a great deal about the Auditor-General. If it is looked at by the Auditor-General then that is a good thing. But there is no guarantee of that. What if the Auditor-General does not? As Mr Rattenbury said, we cannot compel the Auditor-General to look at this. If he does not look at this, where are we at? We are where we were 14 months ago, with the minister writing a letter and getting a response. What happens then? Where is the assurance, from our point of view or the public’s point of view, that any action that is effective will actually occur? We know that the last time the minister dealt with this he dropped the ball. The last time that the minister dealt with this, it did not just continue; it expanded. It nearly tripled in its scope.
Yesterday, when the minister was asked, “Do you have confidence in the board or in the CEO?” he refused to express that confidence. He outwardly refused. There was a direct question from Ms Lee: “Do you have confidence?” He refused to express it. But, apparently, we are meant to come in here today and express confidence in the minister. If you are concerned that this process has not been fully fleshed out or fully finalised, why did the minister, yesterday, not say, “I have confidence in the CEO”? Why did he deny confidence in the CEO? Why did he deny confidence in the board and the chair of the board, if he does not think that there is an ability now to make some formative judgement? Clearly, there is.
This is a serious issue that is before the Assembly. The question is: has the minister done everything he can? Has he been effective? Has he been effective, in line with the code of conduct, in preventing this $4.9 million—$4.999 million—contract from arising? Clearly, he has not. If he had been effective, if he had done his job with the due diligence required of a minister, we would not be in the situation in which we find ourselves now.
I commend Ms Lee for what she is doing today. She will do it despite the slurs, the innuendo, the political attacks, the biased political attacks from Mr Barr and Mr Rattenbury, which are to be expected. We will pursue these matters regardless. I commend Ms Lee for her motion today.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.55): I wondered whether Ms Lee would shake off the shackles of the most conservative Liberal Party in the nation and if she would break away from the Liberal leaders of the past. The clear answer is no. Like her predecessors, Ms Lee is devoid of mainstream ideas. To hide from her conservatism, she is resorting to the same stunts used by Zed Seselja, Alistair Coe and, indeed, Mr Hanson.