Should Parliament Be Recalled?


It is clear that parliament was prorogued in order to de legitimise the proposed stating committee or the Legislative Council review of the sale to the Power Grid. This was hurried through in a manner that meant that 8 members of the various boards involved resigned and where replaced to enable it to go through.

A lot of disquiet has been expressed on this sale by people including the Leaders of the Opposition both State and Federal and impressively the Prime Minister of Australia.

The committee is to go ahead. Kristina Keneally has said that the reason parliament was prorogued was not an attempt to stifle the committee review  which she has labelled unconstitutional and illegal. She has also indicated that both she and Eric Roozendaal, the Treasurer and chief architect of the sale will appear before the committee.

The eight retired directors have all said that they will not appear before a committee which can not protect them.

It seems clear that these eight were not in favour of the sale. None of them have spoken of the events that lead to their resignation, nor indicated what if anything has constrained them from speaking. At the very least one concludes that some matters that are ‘commercial and in confidence’ are not to their liking.

If Kristina Keneally does not recall parliament then parliamentary privilege can not be assured and the eight directors will not, and can not be compelled, to give evidence. This will leave the Premier, and the 5.3 Billion Dollar Sale looking grubby. The Prime Minister has already inferred that she suspects the asset has been undervalued.

Currently Keneally is looking both  grubby (for not recalling parliament so the committee can do it’s job properly) and compromised (because she has agreed to appear before it have effectively scared off everybody else thouigh there is now a short list of those who will appear). link

I believe that there is so much uncertainty here that parliament should be recalled. If Parliament is not recalled and the committee’s work essentially thwarted in key areas of concern, we will be left to conclude that the deal is at least as grubby as it looks it must be, given the extraordinary lengths The Premier has gone to to ensure that no-one knows the details.

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