Media Release: Premier’s Department mislead parliament in bungled attempt to prevent evidence of shredding grants scandal document

The Premier’s Department actively sought to mislead the Parliament in a bungled attempt to prevent evidence of shredding key documents in relation to the $252 million grants scandal. 

Emails in the days leading up to the hearing last Friday reveal that the Department of Premier and Cabinet told the inquiry on at least two occasions that the witness Ms Lau would not be able to provide further detail beyond what was already on the record. This assertion was plainly false.  

The inquiry heard last Friday from the senior policy advisor who detailed a policy of shredding briefing documents relating to the pork-barrelling grants scheme with the Premier’s marks and notes on them, and then deleting the electronic files. 

Misleading Parliament and seeking to misdirect and inquiry of the Public Accountability Committee are serious matters for which the Premier, her office and Department must be held to account. 

Greens MP David Shoebridge said: 

“The Premier, her office and Department need to be held to account for their bungled efforts to mislead and misdirect the parliament.

“Ms Lau was still employed in the Premier’s office at the time this email was sent and even the most basic check would have shown that her evidence was important and that she drafted and then destroyed advices that went to the Premier.

“Again and again this Government has resorted to subterfuge and coverup to obscure the Premier’s role in this $252 million scandal.

“It’s time for the Premier to stop hiding behind staff and a wall of bureaucratic protection and front up to the inquiry to explain her role.

“This kind of behaviour sinks public confidence in politics and, especially in NSW, continues a shameful tradition of doing whatever it takes to stay in power,” Mr Shoebridge said.

 

 

 

Relevant documents 

Email of Friday 16 October re Ms Lau

Email of Monday 19 October re Ms Lau and Ms Cruickshank