Peter Gutwein’s extraordinary outburst on morning radio demonstrates his arrogant and out of touch view on transparency and accountability.
Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said the Premier’s anger at being called to account on the use of public funds was astonishing.
“Peter Gutwein has declared war on the Tasmanian media for asking questions about the probity of the $26 million Small Business Hardship scheme.
“Disclosure of the outcome of publicly-funded grant programs should be a routine matter.
“Peter Gutwein has turned this into a public controversy by digging his heels in, in the face of mounting calls for the government to make public the outcomes of scheme.
“Whenever he has the choice between being open and transparent, or being secretive, he opts for secrecy. It’s in his DNA and it’s the culture he’s fostered for his government.
“Nobody doubts that businesses have needed and deserved support. And there is no shame in receiving a hardship grant at this difficult time.
“Other tiers of government have openly reported on similar programs and the Premier’s actions have now dragged this important program into unnecessary controversy, exacerbating the challenges for businesses.
“Labor will continue to push through the Public Accounts Committee for the full release of information on grants awarded.”