Premier Mike Rann’s supposed new policy to release Cabinet Documents after 10 years had been exposed as a political stunt and a farce.
“In August 2009, Mr Rann announced with much fanfare his new policy of releasing Cabinet Documents after only 10 years,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“From October the 1st it means that all of the documents from 1999 going backwards from there can all be available to the public or the media…All of the documents relating to the State Bank, relating to the ETSA privatisation by the Liberals or the water privatisation, all of these will be available for public scrutiny.”
(Mike Rann, 12 August 2009)
“However in the first test case of the supposed new policy, the Rann Government has refused access to four documents relating to the former Labor Government’s privatisation or sale of SA Gas Company (SAGASCO),” he said.
“Mr Rann, of course, was a key member of the then Labor Government which took the decision to privatise SAGASCO.
“It appears that it will be possible under this policy to release Cabinet Documents relating to Liberal privatisation decisions, but not possible if it relates to Labor privatisation decisions.”
Mr Lucas said the farcical nature of this supposed new policy was best demonstrated by the reason given by Mr Rann’s own Department for the refusal:
“These documents were specifically prepared for submission to Cabinet. I have determined to exempt these documents under Clause 1 (1) (a).”
“However, Clause 1 (1) (a) is the Cabinet exemption clause, thus highlighting Mr Rann’s political hypocrisy,” Mr Lucas said.
“Put simply, the Rann Government has refused release simply because they are Cabinet Documents and not for any other claimed reason. This directly contradicts Mr Rann’s promise that his new policy applied to all Cabinet documents more than 10 years old.
“If over the coming weeks the Rann Government starts releasing documents relating to privatisation decisions of the former Liberal Government, there should be public outrage at the political bias implicit in the Rann Government’s supposed new policy.
“Sadly, this policy seems all too typical of Mr Rann and his Labor Government – all spin and no substance.
“Mr Rann should now be forced to explain and justify publicly the political hypocrisy underpinning his supposed new policy.”