Delay of estimates hearings following prohibition notice alarming


Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee has labelled the current situation at the Legislative Assembly where a prohibition notice has been issued, effectively delaying committee and estimates hearings as extraordinary and concerning.

Ms Lee said the fact that the notice from WorkSafe was instigated following a complaint from a government minister is alarming and speaks to the dysfunction of the Labor-Greens government that has fostered a culture of secrecy.

“This situation is unprecedented and has a significant impact on the important business of estimates hearings and the ability of members to scrutinise and hold the executive accountable,” Ms Lee said.

“In Australia we are well served by a democratic system that firmly protects the separation of powers and when you see this kind of thing happening, it raises alarm bells.

“The fact that the speaker is seeking legal advice about potential supreme court action confirms how serious this matter is.

“The fact that this all happened on the same day we have debated a motion of no confidence in the Chief Minister because a very senior cabinet minister has announced the Greens will not support items of the budget is astounding.

“You do not see this kind of dysfunction in any other jurisdiction and this government cannot stand by its assertion that it is a stable, cohesive government.”

Ms Lee said the estimates hearings are an important two week period where the opposition and the non-executive members have the opportunity to scrutinise the budget and ask important questions of the relevant ministers and the officials.

“The Assembly business of scrutiny and accountability has clearly been impeded and that is of grave concern,” Ms Lee concluded.