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Archer's Captain's Call on Justice

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 5 June 2023

Tags: Justice, Democracy, Integrity, Transparency

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson

Attorney-General Elise Archer has once again failed to explain why she ignored the advice of an independent selection panel for TasCAT appointments by installing six candidates of her own choice, instead of four recommended by the panel.

Under questioning in Budget Estimates, the Attorney-General bristled at the notion of any impropriety  - but failed to offer any satisfactory explanation for her actions. Instead she claimed there was no problem with intervening to ignore the independent panel’s advice, and declared she has the sole power to decide whether candidates are “suitable or not suitable”.

But here’s the rub. Of the four recommended candidates Ms Archer refused to endorse, at least two are known to express views critical of government policies. It’s no surprise these were two of the candidates targeted by Archer.

Ever since the Attorney’s decision was revealed, it’s looked like a politically-motivated captain’s call to cut dissent. Elise Archer’s answers today reinforced that notion.

The Attorney-General says appointed candidates shouldn’t be seen to be political or this would threaten the perception of TasCAT as independent. The great irony is that by ignoring an independent panel’s recommendations and making a captain’s call, Elise Archer herself has cast a cloud over the Tribunal’s independence.

This hypocrisy from our chief law officer can only cement the ingrained suspicion the community has of this Liberal government.

Jobs for mates, stadiums for mates, free public land for mates and putting mates in high places – the Liberal grifting that’s set Tasmanian democracy drifting further out to sea.

Tasmanians needs an Attorney-General who makes balanced decisions, following the best advice, instead of cherry picking her pals to further a Liberal political world view.