Greens’ MLC Tammy Franks has challenged the Marshall Liberal Government’s move today to parachute a chairperson into the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Select Committee who, like all three of the Liberal appointments to the Committee, has no previous experience on that committee. By contrast, the Greens and Labor Committee members total over 12 years’ experience between the three of them.

Ms. Franks said:

“There is a pattern developing in this portfolio. First, we hear about the Marshall Government dropping the state Treaty negotiations, which began under Minister Maher, with the new Minister, Premier Marshall, saying he has ‘other priorities’; now we have had the Marshall Government MLCs insisting on a Chair of the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Select Committee with no prior experience on that committee. Yet this is a committee where experience counts. It seems clearer today just what those priorities are.

“As someone with eight years of experience on the committee, I had put myself forward as a chairperson as someone able to bring genuine understanding to the complex role and concerns it deals with.

“It speaks volumes that the Government would prefer someone with no prior form rather than abide a crossbencher in that role. Yet it is even more telling that not even one of the three Liberal Government nominees bring with them any previous experience on the committee, while the Labor Opposition and Greens members carry more than a decade’s knowledge and experience between us.

“We will, of course, be happy to share that experience with all three new Liberal MPs and work to advance the status of Aboriginal Affairs in this state, but we will certainly also hold this Government to account even though today they have treated this Committee, not with the respect it deserves, but simply as one of the spoils of Government,” Ms. Franks concluded.

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