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Barnett’s Duck and Cover

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Tags: Native Ducks, Environment, Native Wildlife

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

The Minister for Primary Industries, Guy Barnett, was all weasel words in Parliament this morning when questioned by the Greens about whether he was involved in the decision to open this year’s duck hunting season or not. 

All Minister Barnett would say was that he hadn’t seen the draft Ministerial Minute written for him by his departmental experts, and accidentally released to the Greens under Right to Information.

The Minister would not say whether he was aware of the advice from experts within his own department recommending the duck hunting on Crown Lands be cancelled. Instead he ducked for cover, saying he had never seen the Ministerial Minute that had been drafted for his eyes and signature. 

Was the advice hidden from the Minister’s eyes by his ministerial minders, or by the Department Secretary, so the Minister could plead plausible deniability? 

Did the Minister or his advisers have off-the-record conversations and decide the duck shooting season should go ahead, and be approved by the Secretary to avoid the Minister’s open rejection of the expert advice?

Minister Barnett is asking Tasmanians to believe written departmental advice provided to him to aid his decision was never seen and, instead, his Secretary unilaterally made a decision contrary to expert staff advice - all without his knowledge.  

Minister Barnett’s feeble attempt to duck scrutiny won’t work, he’s not fooling anyone.