Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today that the Liberal Party would submit a Freedom of Information application this week to try and get further details on the secret Rann Government and Ashbourne settlement.
Mr. Rann, who is always available to the media when there is any good news to announce, has gone into hiding on answering questions on the Ashbourne settlement which has cost SA taxpayers at least $400,000.
Mr, Rann’s arrogance on this matter is unbelievable. Firstly the settlement was conveniently announced when Mr. Rann was overseas and then acting Premier Mr. Foley was unusually unavailable for media interviews on details of the settlement. Finally yesterday when 7 critical questions were put to Mr. Rann he arrogantly refused to even respond and referred the questions to the Minister for Industry and Trade Mr. Holloway!! Mr. Holloway then refused to answer any of the 7 questions and issued a statement which repeated parts of a government release from last week.
The Liberal Party will seek a copy of the settlement agreement and all related documents under FOI legislation. This may well help answer questions as to whether Mr. Rann has also agreed to pay some of Mr. Ashbourne’s legal costs which would increase significantly the total cost to SA taxpayers.
The fact that Mr. Rann,Mr. Foley, Mr. Holloway and various government spin doctors have all refused to answer this key question for almost a week now leads people to suspect that Mr. Rann is trying to hide something embarrassing to the government.
It is also very suspicious that Mr. Rann, Mr. Foley and Mr. Holloway have all refused to give an assurance that Attorney General Mr. Atkinson had excluded himself from all discussions about a possible settlement with Mr. Ashbourne.
The Liberal Party will also seek to establish the total legal costs to Mr. Rann and the government on the Ashbourne matter through the FOI application.