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Nick McKim

Integrity Committee Report a Missed Opportunity

Nick McKim MP | Greens Justice spokesperson

The Joint Select Committee on Integrity has missed an important opportunity to adequately strengthen the investigative powers of the Integrity Commission.

The Report should have recommended that the Criminal Code Act 1924 be amended to create the crime of Misconduct in Public Office. Its failure to do this will leave Tasmania as the only jurisdiction in Australia without this offense, and means that actions which involve misconduct rather than corruption may be unable to be prosecuted.

Premier Refuses to Reveal Ex-gratia Details

Nick McKim MP | Greens Member for Franklin 

The Premier has joined Ministers Matthew Groom and Rene Hidding in refusing to reveal details of the secret ex-gratia payment relating to the South Arm Highway that was uncovered by the Greens in Budget Estimates.

When asked today in Question Time whether the Land Acquisitions Act was used, the Premier would only answer that the payments had been calculated in accordance with the ‘principles of’ the Act. That is very different to using the Act itself.

Government Running for Cover on Secret Ex-gratia Payment

Nick McKim MP | Greens Infrastructure spokesperson

Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding  has repeatedly refused to detail the size of the secret ex-gratia payment exposed by the Greens in Budget Estimates Committee hearings yesterday, who it was payed to, and why the payment was not made under the Land Acquisition Act.

The government was forced to admit making the ex-gratia payment in association with stage 2 of the South Arm Highway upgrade yesterday, after the Greens raised it with Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom.

Minister Harriss Attacks Under Parliamentary Privilege, Falls Flat on His Face

Nick McKim MP | Greens Resources spokesperson

Minister Paul Harriss has fallen flat on his face after using parliamentary privilege to attack Bob Brown and Scott Jordan.

Despite trying to blame the Greens, along with Scott and Bob, for the delays in the establishment of Venture Minerals’ Mt Lindsay mine, his departmental officer has confirmed that no injunction had ever been issued against Venture.

Serious Unanswered Questions on Secret Ex Gratia Payment

Nick McKim MP | Greens State Growth spokesperson

The government has serious questions to answer after Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom admitted that a secret ex-gratia payment had been made in relation to the compulsory acquisition of land for the South Arm Highway upgrades.

Mr Groom did not deny that the payment had been made against the advice of the Department of Treasury and Finance.

This is potentially a serious mis-use of taxpayer’s funds.

Harriss has no Plan for Forestry

Nick McKim MP | Greens Forestry spokesperson

Forests Minister Paul Harriss is unable to provide a future operating model for Forestry Tasmania, or a business case for its so-called return to financial viability.

All Mr Harriss can do is talk about his continued subsidies to Forestry Tasmania through increasing debt which is underwritten by Tasmanian taxpayers, and selling the hardwood plantations.

Mr Harriss has no plan, no timeframe and no idea.

Premier’s Claim of Transparent Government in Tatters

Nick McKIm MP | Greens Justice spokesperson

There are currently 29 appeals against Right to Information decisions awaiting decisions from the Ombudsman, with one appeal that has been with the Ombudsman for over 12 months.

The overwhelming majority of the appeals are against state government departments, which makes a mockery of Premier Will Hodgman’s claim of government transparency.

These are appalling figures, which are no fault of the Ombudsman but completely the responsibility of the government’s savage budget cuts to integrity authorities.

Democracy Still for Sale in Tasmania

Nick McKIm MP | Greens Justice spokesperson

The Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin has washed her hands of any significant reform including restoring the House of Assembly to 35, introducing state based political donations disclosure laws, and capping election expenditure.

Clearly improving Tasmania’s democracy is not on the Attorney-General’s to-do-list.

Tasmanians deserve to know who has donated how much to which political party or candidate before they vote.

Government Backs Down on Gutting Integrity Commission

NIck McKim MP | Greens Justice spokesperson

The Attorney General temporarily backed down from her policy of removing the investigative functions of the Integrity Commission by indicating that she will “do nothing” until the completion of an independent five year review which has not even commenced yet.

This is a welcome temporary reprieve for the Integrity Commission, but worringly the Liberals’ policy to gut the Integrity Commission’s investigative functions remains a threat in the medium term.

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