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Minister Jaensch’s Contempt for Parliament


Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Tags: Legislative Council, Parliament, Major Projects, Planning

Planning Minister, Roger Jaensch’s threats to terminate the Major Projects legislation if the Upper House dares amend it are an assault on the democratic foundation of Parliament.
 
His attempt to intimidate Legislative Council members to change their vote is interfering in the exercise of their duty, and there are questions surrounding its legality.
 
Minister Jaensch said Labor’s proposed amendments to the Bill that would create an appeal rights process and ban developers who make political donations from using this law were “fatal to the Bill”, and the Government would not support them in the Bill on its return to the House of Assembly. 
 
The Minister’s ‘take it or leave it’ threat to Legislative Councillors is contemptuous. He clearly thinks we’re in a unicameral Parliament. 
 
Tasmania, however, has a house of review, whose members, like opposition members in the House of Assembly, have the job of scrutinising legislation and making any changes they think necessary – without threats or intimidation. 
 
His threats to vote against his government’s own legislation look a lot like he is trying to influence members of Parliament, a crime under section 70 of the Criminal Code. 
 
When questioned by the Greens in Parliament, Minister Jaensch refused to address the question of an amendment around political donations. This follows the Premier’s dismissal of donations law reform in Tasmania. 
 
Democracy is just a weasel word to the Liberals in Government. 
 
Minister Jaensch has displayed utter contempt for Parliament. The Greens hope his threats are treated with the disdain they deserve by MLCs, and that Labor holds firm with the amendments to the Major Projects legislation they presented in the Lower House.