Rann Government Secrecy: ‘any day now’ means don't hold your breath
Saturday, 26 March 2005
Treasurer Kevin Foley and the Rann Government are still refusing to provide vital information relating to the ‘stashed cash’ affair, nearly two years after questions were first asked.
“For some 21 months now, Kevin Foley has refused to provide answers to a series of questions about the extent of underspending in all departments and what approvals for carryover expenditure were given by Cabinet,” Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
“When the Liberal Party last publicly raised the matter of these unanswered questions, in December, Kevin Foley said Cabinet had prepared replies on December 9 and that they would be distributed ‘any day now’ (The Advertiser, 22 December 2004).
“These matters are central to the financial scandals now embroiling the Rann Government, now known as the ‘stashed cash’ affair.
“During Estimates in June 2003, Mr Foley and all Ministers were asked:
‘For all departments and agencies reporting to the Minister, what is the estimated level of underexpenditure for 2002-03 and has Cabinet approved any carryover expenditure into 2003-04?’
“Similar questions were again put to Mr Foley in June 2004 in relation to financial year 2003-04 and he has also refused to answer those questions.
“The series of stunning revelations since October last year about the ‘stashed cash’ scandal give a possible explanation as to why Mr Foley has been desperate to prevent answers to these questions being revealed publicly.
“Leaks to the Liberal Party from within Treasury some months ago suggested that the answers to these questions had been provided to the Rann Government but that the Rann Government deemed them too embarrassing to be released.
“Kevin Foley and the Rann Government have now had an extra three months to come clean and release these answers as promised, and it’s more than high time they did so.
“This is hardly the open and accountable government that the Rann administration promised. What are Kevin Foley and Mike Rann hiding?
“If Foley and Rann continue to conceal these answers then the Liberal Party will ask the ‘stashed cash’ Select Committee of the Legislative Council to demand an open, honest response from the Rann Government.”