The Greens’ Meredith Hunter is taking up a point we’ve been making here for the last few days:
The ACT Greens leader Meredith Hunter has called for ACT Labor to explain how it has not breached caretaker conventions by releasing policy documents during the pre-election period that have been prepared by the public service.
Since caretaker period commenced on Friday 14th September there have been at least two significant policy announcements.
The Caretaker Convention states at section 3 that:
“it is desirable that decisions be announced before the start of the caretaker period.” and “If circumstances require the Government to make a major policy decision during the caretaker period that would potentially commit an incoming government, this should be done in consultation with the relevant opposition and cross bench spokesperson.”
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No such consultation has taken place.
“The ALP has some questions to answer such as why have they waited until one month out from the election to release these public service reports”, Ms Hunter said.
We eagerly await the answers.
UPDATE 19/09/12: Well that didn’t take long!
Policy announcements by the ACT Government are consistent with the guidelines set down for the caretaker period, Attorney General Simon Corbell, said today.
“The Government has announced a series of policy decisions which were agreed to by the Cabinet prior to the caretaker period commencing, these have included Action Plan 2 of the ACT Governments Climate Change Strategy, as well as two final master Plans for Tuggeranong and Erindale,” Mr Corbell said.
“These policy decisions were concluded by the Government during the last Cabinet meetings of the current term of Government, the caretaker provisions do not prohibit the government of the day from announcing policy decisions made prior to the date the caretaker period commences.
“While it is always the Governments preference to release policy documents and decisions of the Government prior to caretaker, in circumstances where this is not practicable due to the close proximity of the decision with the caretaker period the guidelines do not prohibit their announcement during this period.”