Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas today called on the Weatherill Government to clarify whether matters relating to the ‘Cartridgegate’ scandal were referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The call follows what appears to be contradictory evidence from DPP Stephen Pallaras and Police Commissioner Mal Hyde about widespread abuse relating to the purchases of printer cartridges and other products.
DPP Stephen Pallaras told 5AA today:
“Where we’re at at the moment is I think at the moment, it has not reached my office as far as I’m aware and I think the investigation is still underway…”
However, Police Commissioner Mal Hyde told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee last month:
Hon Rob Lucas MLC: The second part of the question was that a number of departments were advised that issues in relation to ‘cartridgegate’ have been referred to SAPOL for investigation for possible offences being committed. Are you in a position to advise the committee of the status of SAPOL’s inquiries there?
Commisioner Hyde: There have been inquires conducted by the Anti-Corruption Branch, and there have been a number of matters referred to the DPP for advice as to whether or not prosecutions ought to proceed.
(Budget and Finance Committee, 6 February 2012)
“There is a clear conflict between these statements and the Weatherill Government needs to immediately clarify whether these issues have been referred to the DPP,” Mr Lucas said.
Mr Lucas said today’s revelations again raised suspicions the Weatherill Government was not being transparent in its response to the ‘Cartridgegate’ scandal.
“The Weatherill Government has clearly been trying to limit the political fallout from the ‘Cartridgegate’ scandal, as demonstrated by its continual refusal to refer the matter to the Auditor-General for a full, independent inquiry,” Mr Lucas said.