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Gutwein Government Abuses Power to Cover up Lies

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 24 September 2020

Tags: Housing, Tenant Rights, Misleading Parliament, Parliament, Code of Conduct, Ministerial Accountability

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

This morning in Question Time, we asked Human Services Minister, Roger Jaensch if a decision was made to change the law – the Residential Tenancy Act – to make it easier to evict tenants without genuine or just reason.

The Minister responded, "I am not aware of any changes proposed or undertaken regarding making it more difficult... I don't know what decision Ms O'Connor might be referring to".
Under further questioning, we tendered evidence on a Cabinet minute confirming a decision was made. Minister Jaensch did not correct the record.
It is simply implausible that the Minister was not aware of a major decision by Cabinet, which he agreed to, in his own portfolio.
In a Westminster Parliament misleading the House is a serious offence, an offence that ultimately led to the resignation of former Minister, Adam Brooks. As such, we sought leave to move a motion of no confidence in Minister Jaensch.
In a highly unorthodox move, the Government used their numbers to block debate on this motion. This move is highly irregular and irresponsible.

If the Liberals are so confident in Minister Jaensch, they should have the courage to test whether the House has confidence. 
Convention is for motions of no confidence to be allowed to be debated to ensure Parliament is able to test confidence in a Minister.
Misleading Parliament is a serious offence. Abusing power to prevent a legitimate motion of no confidence from being debated is arguably more serious, as it undermines fundamental tenants of a Westminster system of ministerial accountability.

Minister Jaensch should resign.