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Pressure on Treasurer to release TasWater legal advice

  • Why won’t the Treasurer release his legal advice regarding the TasWater takeover?
  • Situation compared to the power station cover up
  • TasWater chair questions legality of the takeover

The Treasurer’s refusal to release the legal advice he has received regarding the takeover of TasWater is not helping his cause.

Shadow Minister for Local Government Madeleine Ogilvie said Minister Gutwein is treating Tasmanians poorly.

“The Treasurer is asking Tasmanians to believe every word he says without providing the evidence to back it up,” Ms Ogilvie said.

“TasWater released its legal advice, why won’t the Treasurer release his? Then we could have a debate informed with some facts.

“In fact, if Minister Gutwein would also release his proposed bill for consultation, that would be very helpful. Then we could all see quite clearly what he is proposing.

“There’s a cloud over the legality of Peter Gutwein’s aggressive takeover of TasWater. It would be a very simple thing for the Minister to treat Tasmanians with respect and clarify his understanding of the legal basis of the proposed compulsory acquisition.”

TasWater chairman Miles Hampton said in today’s Advocate “The question is actually very simple, can the government legislate to override the application of the Federal Corporations Act? The advice that TasWater has received is that it cannot.”

 “Does the Treasurer believe Miles Hampton is wrong?,” Ms Ogilvie said.

“If he does, he must release the legal advice to prove it.

“As TasWater Chief Owners Representative David Downie said, the Treasurer has form.”

Mr Downie said “It is time for the Government to release its legal advice. To introduce legislation without sharing with the parliament and the community its own legal advice is disturbingly similar the Government’s continuing refusal to provide documents being sought by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee in relation to the Tamar Valley power generation plant,”

“The same secrecy that’s dogged the Treasurer over the sale of the power station is on display again,” Ms Ogilvie said.

 “It’s time for the Treasurer to back up his claims with evidence.”