Serious questions remain for Barr and Berry regarding Education Boss' court case against Integrity Commission


Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee has slammed the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Education for deceiving Canberrans when claiming she had “no knowledge of the matter and the government has no knowledge of the matter” when asked about the head of her Directorate’s legal proceedings against the Integrity Commissioner on Tuesday.

Since making those comments, the Attorney-General has confirmed he knew about the court proceedings and advised the Chief Minister back in September last year.

Ms Lee said for Ms Berry to come out and so emphatically deny all knowledge on behalf of the ACT government when that is clearly not the case is worrying.

“As the Canberra Liberals stated on Tuesday, court documents clearly show that the Attorney-General was made aware of the court proceedings in at least September last year and it is now apparent that he alerted the Chief Minister,” Ms Lee said.

“Given that we now know the ACT government is paying the legal costs associated with the court proceedings, it would appear that the ACT government must have been aware before September 2023.

“Something appears very wrong with this Labor-Greens government when two senior members are aware of a serious court case between the head of the Education Directorate and the Integrity Commissioner but fail to alert the relevant Minister.

“The Chief Minister must come out and tell the public why Canberra taxpayers are footing the legal costs of these proceedings, and by agreeing to cover the fees, that he endorses a court action seeking to shut down a serious corruption investigation?

“The Chief Minister must also decide whether he continues to have confidence in Ms Berry. The Attorney-General says he cannot disclose something as important as this to her because she is actively participating in the Integrity Commission investigation.

"What else has the Chief Minister and the Attorney-General kept from Ms Berry? How does the Chief Minister have any faith in his Deputy who at times is Acting Chief Minister if he must keep something as serious as this from her?” Ms Lee concluded.