November 20, 2017

Government shows lack of commitment to full accountability

The McGowan Labor Government today showed a total lack of commitment to transparency and accountability by failing to require a full and comprehensive inquiry by the Procedures and Privileges Committee into the Member for Darling Range, Barry Urban.

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the Government had referred Mr Urban to the Committee to investigate only breaches of privilege in relation to statements made by him to the Legislative Assembly.

“What is required from the Procedures and Privileges Committee is a wholesale inquiry into Mr Urban’s bona fides and the Premier’s handling of the matter,” Dr Nahan said.

“He has been wearing medals he is not entitled to, he has made claims about his service and qualifications – which he failed to substantiate in Parliament today – and the people of Darling Range elected him to represent them on the basis of these claims.

“The people of Darling Range deserve a full inquiry into the member they elected.”

Dr Nahan said that following the Government’s decision to vote down an Opposition amendment to include whether Mr Urban is a fit and proper person to serve as a member of Parliament, the Opposition had written to the Speaker requesting the Committee conduct a further inquiry into whether Mr Urban is a fit and proper person to serve in Parliament.

“Mr Urban has made representations, both inside and outside Parliament, as to his career and qualifications, and questions still remain about those representations,” Dr Nahan said.

“Mr Urban’s explanation to Parliament today was completely inadequate and the Labor Party were fully complicit in what amounted to a cop out by both Mr Urban and Premier Mark McGowan.

“The Premier would undoubtedly have been aware of the inadequate content of Mr Urban’s statement to Parliament well before he made it.

“It is clear the Labor Party scripted and choreographed today’s appearance in Parliament by Mr Urban and any claims to the contrary cannot be believed.

“Labor and Premier McGowan are managing Mr Urban to minimise political damage rather than to maximise transparency, accountability and to seriously interrogate Mr Urban’s fitness for office.”

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