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20 Questions for the Liberal Member for Lyons

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 2 March 2023

Tags: Integrity, Democracy

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Liberals Member for Lyons, Mark Shelton MP, has a range of important questions to answer about his involvement in arranging $400,000 of taxpayer funding for his pet project, the Bracknell Hall rebuild. 

Mr Shelton, a member of the Hall Committee, has a direct private interest in the Bracknell Hall project. Given that interest, he should have avoided any involvement in arranging funding for this project. 

Instead, Mr Shelton met with the Meander Valley Council's General Manager to discuss state government funding, accepted a funding request from the Council, and advocated to then-Premier Peter Gutwein for $400 000 funding to be provided. 

At each of these points in time the Member of Lyons could have stepped aside from being involved, but he didn't. Not only was this conflict of interest not avoided, all this occurred without appropriate steps being taken to disclose or manage it too. 

Mr Shelton needs to answer some important questions in the public interest. 

The questions Mr Shelton should answer include: 

  1. Why didn't he act to avoid this conflict of interest?
  2. Why didn’t he declare a conflict of interest through the appropriate mechanism, the Parliamentary Register of Interests?
  3. Does he have a personal or business relationship with anyone the Bracknell Hall funds were disbursed to, or any contractor or subcontractor involved in the project?
  4. Did anyone in government tell him that surplus funds from the Local Community Facilities Fund were available?
  5. If so, who?
  6. Did he have privileged access to official information which he then used to advance his personal interest?
  7. Prior to his meeting with the Meander Valley Council's General Manager in early July 2021, did he have any conversation with any Council representative about the scope or budget of the Bracknell Hall project?
  8. How did the meeting with the Council's General Manager come about, and who requested the meeting - him or the Council? 
  9. At his meeting with the General Manager did he encourage the Council to submit a funding request?
  10. If so did he make any indication about the prospects of such a request receiving funding?
  11. What else was discussed at the meeting?
  12. Did he have any contact with the General Manager or any other Council representative about the Bracknell Hall project funding request between 15 July 2021 and when Council was advised they would receive funding?
  13. On what date did he first advocate for this project to be funded with then-Premier Peter Gutwein?
  14. Was this approach in person, by phone, by email, or by some other means?
  15. Who else in Government did he lobby following the Meander Valley Council meeting?
  16. When was he advised that this funding request had been successful?
  17. Who advised him?
  18. Did he contact the Council to advise the funding request had been successful, and if so on what date, and in what form (e.g. email, phone, in person)?
  19. In hindsight would he have done anything differently?
  20. Given the evidence of his misconduct over the use of public funds to advance his personal interests, what actions is he now going to take?

These questions - and many others - are clearly in the public interest, and Mr Shelton should do the right thing and provide some answers.