You are here

Gutwein Mired in Jaensch Stench

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Saturday, 26 September 2020

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

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

This week in Parliament a Minister of the Crown knowingly and wilfully misled the House. He lied to Parliament and he lied to the people of Tasmania.

Yesterday, we received a letter from Premier Gutwein trying to blame the Greens for the situation in which his government has found itself. *

Instead of asking a lying Minister to resign, the Premier has sought to deflect and blame the Greens. Peter Gutwein needs to take responsibility for the fact his Minister was knowingly untruthful to Parliament, and therefore to the Tasmanian people.

The Premier’s letter says much more about him and the culture of his government than it does the Greens. Of course it was in the public interest for us to ask questions about government plans, prior to the pandemic, to weaken protections for tenants to enable their eviction without genuine or just reason.

We are upholding our responsibility as Members of Parliament to act in the public interest, and on behalf of all Tasmanians who live in rental homes. We are entirely compliant with the Parliamentary Code of Conduct.

If Minister Jaensch had told the truth when we first asked about the government decision, the Cabinet decision would never have seen the light of day.

If the Premier is looking for someone to apologise for Cabinet decisions being made public, he should look to Minister Jaensch. The blame rests with the Minister. We have responded to the Premier’s letter today in those terms. **

Minister Jaensch has breached the Code of Conduct for Ministers, the Parliamentary Code of Conduct and Westminster principles of accountability.

Roger Jaensch is unfit to be a Minister of the Crown. Instead of trying to blame the Greens for raising a matter in the public interest on behalf of thousands of Tasmanian tenants, the Premier needs to take responsibility and sack him.



* Letter from Premier to Greens Leader, ** Ms O’Connor’s response