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What even is the point of Ministerial Standards?

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 27 Feb 2017

Today the Turnbull government confirmed that it has no process for enforcing its own document governing the behaviour and activities of ministers and former ministers – the Statement of Ministerial Standards. 

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “Earlier this month former resources Minister Ian Macfarlane reportedly boasted that he would talk to his ‘good mates in Canberra’ in order to make sure that Native Title laws that threaten the Adani coal mine are amended. 

“But the government will not reveal whether Mr Macfarlane has lobbied, advocated or had business meetings with any of his ‘good mates’.

“Mr Macfarlane’s ‘cooling off period’ is not up until March 21. If he, in his position as CEO of the Queensland Resources Council, wants to collude with his ‘good mates in Canberra’ over how to fast-track this disgraceful project, then he is meant to wait for 18 months from the date he resigned as a Minister. 

“What is the point of the Ministerial Standards if they are not followed, monitored or enforced?” Senator Rhiannon said.

Section 2.24 of the Statement of Ministerial Standards: ‘Ministers are required to undertake that, for an eighteen month period after ceasing to be a Minister, they will not lobby, advocate or have business meetings with members of the government, parliament, public service or defence force on any matters on which they have had official dealings as Minister in their last eighteen months in office.”

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