For release: Friday, 23rd March, 2012.
The Labor-Green initiated inquiry into Liberal Leader Zed Seselja’s staffing should be widened to include all ACT Assembly offices, the Australian Christian Lobby said today.
Acknowledging that there had been an audit in 2009, ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the findings of this in relation to which MLAs and staff were involved should no longer be kept secret but made public.
“What appears to be happening here is an Anna Bligh-style smear campaign against Mr Seselja for political reasons in an election year. With today's revelations the community needs to be confident of the situation throughout the Assembly," he said.
“The McLeod inquiry should be widened to include all MLA offices before and after 2009.
“The public have a right to know which of the current sitting members were found to be in breach as a result of the 2009 Auditor General’s report.
“It is inappropriate for mud to be slung at Mr Seselja when past breaches by ministers and backbenchers have not been made public.
“It is also disturbing that money was still to be repaid as a result of findings in the 2009 audit. Why is this so?
“Clearly there is still a problem with compliance in the ACT Legislative Assembly that goes well beyond the terms of reference Mr McLeod is working under.
“The public is sick of the misuse of corruption watchdogs being used for partisan reasons. If Labor and the Greens were truly concerned about compliance, the McLeod report would be investigating all offices because clearly there are outstanding issues from the 2009 AG report, not least of which is its secrecy,” he said.