Local government reform needs scrutiny

Tasmanian Labor

Today’s announcement from Minister for Local Government and Planning Roger Jaensch is yet another example of his government doing all it can to avoid scrutiny.

Shadow Minister for Local Government and Planning Anita Dow said it was unreasonable for the Minister to expect parliament to commit to implementing the recommendations of the expert panel without first seeing them.

“Today Minister Jaensch has turned his back on the parliamentary working group on the reform of the local government sector,” Ms Dow said.

“Labor was committed to working with government and non-government members to develop the Terms of Reference and the composition of the independent expert panel.

“However, we were not prepared to commit to all of PESRAC recommendation 48, specifically the part that called on parliament to commit “to implementing the recommendations without material modification.”

“Labor did not think it was fair or right to commit to the recommendations of the panel before they were determined.”

Ms Dow said it was clear the government did not want to face scrutiny regarding the recommendations of the panel.

“Minister Jaensch’s announcement today is all about politics. It is shameless spin from the Minister to say non-government members were stalling this process by playing politics, when in fact we were doing our job, while they do everything they can to avoid scrutiny.

“Labor believed an independent representative from the Legislative Council should have been involved in this working group but the Government was reluctant to include the Council.

“Today’s announcement by the Minister calls into question the sincerity of the government’s commitment to working together on local government reform.

“The government were expecting us to sign a blank cheque, while we were willing to work together in good faith to develop the process terms for the reform, and today the minister gave up altogether and walked away.”

Anita Dow MP

Shadow Minister for Local Government and Planning

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