Berry refuses to express confidence in head of her own Directorate


During question time today, the Minister for Education and Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry has refused to express confidence in the head of her Directorate, Katy Haire, who has launched legal proceedings in the Supreme Court against the ACT Integrity Commissioner seeking to have the investigation into the Campbell Primary School Modernisation Project shut down.

Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee asked the Minister if she still had confidence in the head of her directorate which she refused to answer, despite more than one opportunity to do so.

Ms Berry also confirmed during question time that she was unable to discuss the matter with other participants such as Ms Haire, or anyone else, because they are both under investigation.

Ms Lee said it is implausible for a Minister to continue in her role given that she and the head of her directorate are under investigation of such serious matters.

“If the Minister refuses to express confidence in the head of her directorate, and they are unable to have discussions of matters of this importance, then the Minister is in no place to run the education system in the ACT,” Ms Lee said.

“In any other jurisdiction, a Minister that is under investigation by the Integrity Commission would stand down from their position until the investigation is complete.

“Ms Berry also made the extraordinary comment that before fronting the media she was provided with advice by the Chief Minister’s media team that the ACT Government was not aware of the legal proceedings, despite the Chief Minister confirming that he was aware of the proceedings since September 2023.

“It is clear the Chief Minister does not and cannot trust his deputy, who is Acting Chief Minister on a regular basis.

“The Chief Minister must now show leadership and ask the Education Minister to step down whilst the investigation is active,” Ms Lee concluded.