Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Hon Martin Aldridge MLC, has requested that answers provided by the Minister for Emergency Services be referred to the Procedure and Privileges Committee.
The matter relates to potentially inaccurate and misleading information provided in relation to the $104.5 million Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for Cyclone Seroja recovery.
Mr Aldridge said it was the first time in his Parliamentary career he had sought to refer a matter to the Procedure and Privileges Committee.
“I have not made this decision lightly, however, it is important this matter is investigated to ascertain the facts and to determine if anyone intended to mislead or provide a false answer to Parliament,” Mr Aldridge said.
“This is a matter of serious concern for families, businesses and communities impacted by Cyclone Seroja well over 18 months ago, many of whom are still waiting for assistance.
“Parliamentary Question Time is one of the few opportunities for non-government Members to seek transparency and to hold the Government to account. When an answer is provided to the Legislative Council it must not be misleading or false.”
- 25 October: Mr Aldridge asked a Question Without Notice to the Minister for Emergency Services requesting a breakdown of the $104.5 million DRFA funding expended to date.
- 26 October: The Minister provided an answer stating “over $25.42 million” had been dispersed. A table provided identified several funding streams unrelated to DRFA, including over $8 million in donations raised through the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund.
- 27 October: Mr Aldridge made a Members Statement requesting the Minister clarify and amend his answer to the Parliament.
- 17 November: Mr Aldridge asked a Question Without Notice to the Minister for Emergency Services requesting he confirm the accuracy of his previous answer from 26 October, which suggested $25.42 million of the $104.5 million DRFA had been expended. The Minister stood by his previous response.