Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today that the retirement of Auditor-General Ken MacPherson in two months (February 2007) time should see the end of the escalating dispute with the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Rann Government has decided not to proceed with legislation to extend Mr MacPherson’s time by five years because it knows the Bill would be defeated in the Legislative Council.
The government has told the Liberal Party it knows it does not have the numbers to pass the Bill and it has been taken off the list of urgent bills which have to be passed by the close of business today.
Mr Lucas said the Liberal, Greens, Australian Democrats, and Family First members have all told the Rann Government they would not support its attempt to extend the Auditor-General’s term by five years.
“The Rann Government’s controversial move to try and extend the Auditor-General’s term was an unnecessarily provocative move which did nothing to help resolve the tension between the Auditor-General and the DPP,” Mr Lucas said.
The appointment of a new Auditor-General will offer the prospect of a solution to the dispute which saw the extraordinary situation of the Auditor-General trying to suppress knowledge of his legal moves with an injunction in the Supreme Court this week.