Posted on: 04 November 2022
Seven secret Cabinet documents that could reveal the decision-making and approval process behind Labor’s $133 million of grant payments – promised to key seats before the March election – are being kept hidden by the Malinauskas Labor Government.
During an explosive Economic and Finance Committee, Auditor General Andrew Richardson confirmed the Malinauskas Labor Government has rejected his request to access the documents.
When asked if he’s still pursuing the documents, Mr Richardson told the Committee “yes”.
When asked if he had referred any matters uncovered during the audit to investigative authorities, Mr Richardson said: “I’m not entirely sure whether that’s a question I am able to answer”.
Mr Richardson said he was “unable to confirm” if South Australian taxpayers could be confident of a transparent process in deciding the grants because “we don’t know what the process was.”
“We asked for any records that there were on the making of those grants. That was confirmed that the grants were decided outside of the public sector,” he said.
“Once you go outside of that (public sector) system then transparency about how decisions are made changes completely.”
It was also confirmed Labor has not publicly published the recipients of its funding pool.
Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said Peter Malinauskas appears to be playing the role of a “dodgy car salesman”.
“The suspicious behaviour of the Malinauskas Labor Government to keep these documents secret smells fishy,” he said.
“Peter Malinauskas and his Labor Government are facing a transparency and credibility crisis because they can’t be up front with South Australians about who has received grants and how they were selected.
“The Auditor General still wants Labor’s secret documents and there’s no reason why Peter Malinauskas can’t hand them over today. What is he trying to hide?”