The appointment of Robert Champion de Crespigny and David Cappo to become members of Cabinet’s senior Executive Committee is a concrete admission of the lack of talent within the Rann Government ranks.
Liberal Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said the appointments were a resounding no-confidence vote in the quality of the Rann Government’s front bench and backbench – this time by its own leadership!
“It appears that after appointing Rory McEwen and Karlene Maywald to the Ministry and more recently Bob Such to the Speaker’s position, the government has run out of independent MPs to bring on board,” Mr Lucas said.
“These appointments simply provide concrete evidence that Labor’s party machine hasn’t been able to deliver the talent the Premier and Ministers Foley and Conlon think they need to survive.
Mr Lucas said the appointments also raised important issues of public accountability and that Mr Rann has to answer some key questions.
“The first question that has to be answered is whether this Cabinet Committee has been given the authority to make decisions on behalf of Cabinet,” Mr Lucas said.
“If this is so, then Rann must give assurances that these accountability issues have been resolved.
“In our system elected Cabinet Ministers are subject to the checks and balances of Parliament. They are subject to scrutiny and can be questioned in Parliament and held personally accountable for their decision and actions.
“However, Mr Rann’s two new appointees would not be answerable to the parliament and to the people of South Australia.
“Mr Rann must indicate whether his appointees will be bound by the important principles of Cabinet solidarity and Cabinet confidentiality. Has Mr Rann also required them to make any public declaration of their pecuniary interests as all MPs are required to do, or has he implemented an alternative declaration mechanism?
“Mr Rann should also indicate whether his appointees will be required to abide by the Ministerial Code of Conduct or some similar Code of Conduct.
“Until these concerns have been satisfactorily resolved, the Liberal Party will reserve its position on the Rann Government’s decision.