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Liberals Need to Come Clean on Conflicts of Interest

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Tags: Transparency, Conflict of Interest, Governance, Sport and Recreation, Pork-Barrelling

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

Premier Rockliff’s failure, so far, to disclose the conflicts of interest of Liberal party candidates seeking taxpayer funds through an election sports grant program won’t pass the pub test. 

After revelations last week that Madeleine Ogilvie MP secured $150,000 of public money for her daughter’s rowing club, the Liberals tried to defend this clear conflict of interest by saying Ms Ogilvie had told the Liberal party about the conflict.  

Given the history of pork barrelling, why should we just believe they are being open and transparent about the way public funds were splashed about at election time, and to whom. 

With $15 million of taxpayer money paid out through this pork-barrel scheme, Tasmanians deserve to know what other conflicts of interest the Liberals at Party headquarters decided to ignore. Despite direct questioning from the Greens, the Premier did not share this basic information in Parliament today.

Refusal to provide a list of conflict of interest disclosures begs the obvious question - what do the Liberals have to hide? Just how many more questionable Madeleine Ogilvie-like conflicts are there? 

The Greens feel for those organisations and clubs who missed out, simply because they didn’t have the Liberal connections.  It’s not a level playing field for them.

It’s now clear this entire grant scheme is rotten to the core, but Tasmanians would never have known just how deep the rot ran unless the Greens had obtained internal Liberal party documents. That’s not how government transparency is supposed to work. 

The new Premier promised his leadership would mean a new era of transparency.  We’re still waiting.