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O'Donohue - Labor Minister’s conflict of interest

Monday, 12 October 2020

Monday 12 October 2020

Labor Minister’s conflict of interest

Ingrid Stitt was sworn in as a member of the Executive two weeks ago as the Minister for Workplace Safety and Early Childhood. But she remains a member of the Parliament Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, the main function of which is to scrutinise the Executive.

PAEC currently has an important Inquiry, the Victorian Government’s Response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a clear conflict of interest for her to be both a minister and a member of PAEC examining those same actions.

I wrote to PAEC last Thursday requesting it recall Minister Neville and Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp to clarify Mr Crisp’s backflip, now asserting that he didn’t brief Lisa Neville on 27 and 28 March (see attached).

Premier Daniel Andrews today confirmed that Ms Stitt remains a member of PAEC, despite having joined his ministry two weeks ago.

Questions for Ms Stitt to answer, since becoming Minister:

Has she received any briefing materials from the PAEC secretariat?

Has she attended any PAEC meetings?

If so, has she voted on any resolutions?

Why hasn’t she resigned from PAEC already?

Or is her vote needed to stop further scrutiny and witness hearings, including recalling Mr Crisp and Minister Neville?

This shocking conflict of interest is just another reason why Victorians have lost confidence in the Andrews Labor Government.