Attorney-General Michael Atkinson’s Department had refused access under Freedom of Information laws to all 29 of 29 documents on the sale of the Public Trustee building and the related purchase of the Stock Exchange building.
This is yet another example of the arrogance of the Rann government and raises important questions about what the Government is trying to hide on this complex deal.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today the Rann Government has acknowledged that the deal involving Spanish publisher Javier Moll involved the Government’s purchase of Mr Moll’s Stock Exchange building and the sale of the Government-owned Public Trustee building to Mr Moll. The Government now leases the Public Trustee building from Mr Moll.
“Senior public servants have informed the Liberal Party that there are many questions unanswered about this deal which involved the Premier, Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure,” Mr Lucas said.
“Mr Rann promised greater transparency and accountability when he was first elected but it is impossible to believe him when in this case all 29 documents are refused.
“In this case, the Rann Government and its officers claim that it is not in the ‘public interest’ to release any documents and that ‘as the information contained in the documents is not finalised it may be misleading and may lead to an inaccurate representation of the events that occurred’!
“The Auditor-General is currently investigating the details of this deal and it may well be that the Statutory Authorities Review Committee will also need to investigate this as part of any public inquiry into the Office of the Public Trustee.”
For reference: Labor’s Plan for Honesty in Government (2002)
“We will lift standards of honesty, accountability and transparency in Government.”
“Secrecy can provide the cover behind which waste, wrong priorities, dishonesty and serious abuse of public office may occur.”
“A good Government does not fear scrutiny or openness.”