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Liberals fall to new low in effort to keep secrets and avoid scrutiny

  • Government slashes Estimates committees in unprecedented move
  • Attack on scrutiny sets dangerous precedent and highlights government secrecy
  • Disgraceful move by Liberals to keep Tasmanian taxpayers in the dark

The Hodgman Liberal Government has undertaken one of its most blatant examples of its dedication to secrecy by attacking the important Budget Estimates process.

Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly David O’Byrne said in a move led by Minister Michael Ferguson, the government today took the unprecedented step of reducing the permanent number of Opposition MPs on each Estimates Committee from two to one.

“Michael Ferguson has thrust a knife in the heart of the Estimates process,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“It’s a disgraceful act by a government which sets a dangerous precedent to limit scrutiny of their budget.

“For the past 20 years two Opposition Members have had the power to vote on Estimates Committees but the Liberals are determined that transparency will be the lowest priority during this important process.

“Estimates is critical to Tasmanians so they can have confidence in how their taxpayer dollars are being spent.

“This attack today is very, very concerning because it is has a huge impact on that confidence, a huge impact on the Estimates process and a huge impact on scrutiny and Tasmanians are right to question – what are the Liberals so determined to hide?”