The Rann Government had today been accused of having a policy of ‘selective outrage’ when considering its response to different examples of public servants breaching Treasurer’s Instructions.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said that evidence given today by Land Management Corporation (LMC) executives to the Statutory Authorities Review Committee (SARC) meeting confirmed the LMC had been a ‘serial offender’ in breaching Treasurer’s Instructions for at least 18 months until 13 December 2007.
“It is important to note that breaches continued for many months after Minister Pat Conlon and the LMC were first made aware they were breaching Treasurer’s Instructions. In fact, they were only fixed finally the day after the last meeting of the SARC when Mr Conlon was strongly criticised for his lack of action,” Mr Lucas said.
However, in contrast with the Government’s actions in the ‘Stashed Cash’ affair, LMC Chief Executive Wayne Gibbings had been slapped over the wrist with a ‘wet lettuce leaf’! Mr Gibbings said Minister Conlon had written to him expressing his ‘strong displeasure’ and he couldn’t recall receiving any strong criticism from Treasurer Kevin Foley.
Mr Lucas said that during the ‘Stashed Cash’ affair, senior public servants who breached Treasurer’s Instructions were told their actions were unlawful and were subjected to sustained attacks in Parliament by Mr Rann, Mr Foley and Mr Atkinson. At least one public servant faced disciplinary action and the Government was now facing a $1 million plus legal claim in the Supreme Court by Kate Lennon.
“It should be noted that Kate Lennon had given evidence that contradicted sworn testimony by Attorney-General Michael Atkinson that he didn’t even know the Crown Solicitor’s Trust Account existed,” he said.
“The Rann Government will have to explain why some breaches of Treasurer’s Instructions are greeted with ‘selective outrage’ and others are virtually accepted.”