November 8, 2017

Opposition commits to pursue transparency on PCH

The Liberal Opposition will continue to demand “gold standard transparency” from Premier Mark McGowan and his Government on issues around the Perth Children’s Hospital.

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan revealed today he had received an “extraordinary” letter from Health Minister Roger Cook requesting the Opposition to “temper” its comments in Parliament in relation to the Perth Children’s Hospital.

“This is a letter the likes of which I have never seen before from any Government Minister,” Dr Nahan said.

“Is the Minister for Health asking the Opposition to let him off the hook and not subject him to scrutiny?”

“The Perth Children’s Hospital is the very issue on which Mark McGowan promised gold-standard transparency while in Opposition.”

Dr Nahan said he had requested a briefing from the Minister following receipt of the letter which requested he “temper your comments on the granting of practical completion and the source of lead contamination in the potable water at PCH, as they may undermine the contractual and commercial position of the State”.

“That briefing did nothing to allay my fears that this is nothing more than an attempt to cover up the Government’s incompetence in dealing with the issue of taking practical completion of the PCH,” Dr Nahan said.

“While lead in the water system is clearly the major issue facing at PCH, the Government has confirmed a range of other unresolved issues relating to practical completion and these should rightly be scrutinised by the Opposition.

Dr Nahan said Minister Cook’s staff confirmed the letter had not been approved by the State Solicitor’s Office and was not based on legal advice.

“To ask the Opposition not to ask questions about matters and information raised in public hearings shows at best this Government has no respect for Parliament and at worst has a lot to hide,” Dr Nahan said.

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