Brandis cover-up on Bell Group

Evidence heard today at a Senate inquiry proves that Senator Brandis himself has attempted to prevent the truth coming to light in the sordid Bell Group affair.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

BRANDIS COVER-UP ON BELL GROUP

 

Evidence heard today at a Senate inquiry proves that Senator Brandis himself has attempted to prevent the truth coming to light in the sordid Bell Group affair.

 

It appears there is a concerted campaign to cover up the Attorney-General’s meddling in a High Court case to protect a dirty deal done with his West Australian Liberal mates, which would have dudded the Commonwealth taxpayer of hundreds of millions of dollars if successful.

 

Officials from the Attorney-General’s Department told the committee today that Senator Brandis had claimed public interest immunity to stop an answer being given on whether his office had ordered the Australian Taxation Office not to intervene in the High Court case.

 

That is despite the Department earlier being able to rule out that the Attorney-General himself had given the order, and thus is totally inconsistent.

 

The Attorney-General’s attempts to prevent the truth coming to light on this matter have nothing to do with protecting the public interest, and everything to do with protecting his own job.

 

This is becoming farcical. Officials from the Department are now claiming public interest immunity on questions such as whether they attended a meeting. This is an abuse by Senator Brandis of the Senate committee process and shows contempt of its role in holding governments to account.

 

We are talking about a sum of hundreds of millions of dollars, due to the taxpayer, which Senator Brandis had tried to give away in a dirty deal with his West Australian Liberal mates. This is a matter which should not be kept hidden.

 

Labor will not give up until the full facts of the matter, and Senator Brandis’s involvement, is revealed.

 

FRIDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2017