Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
WA minister caught in corruption scandal -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) thank you. Thank you. In Western Australia, the State

Labour Government is in

mounting crisis, with a second

minister forced to resign after

the State's corruption watchdog

accused him of acting

improperly. Environment

Minister Tony McRae is the

third minister in nine months

to go as a result of a scandal

and the second linked to

Corruption and Crime Commission

inquiries. Today, two more

State ministers fronted the

commission. One was cleared of

any wrongdoing and the other is

still being questioned. At the

start of the CCC's inquiries is

the disgraced former Premier

turned lobbyist Brian Burke who

it's been revealed continues to

wield an incredible network of political influence. Hamish

Fitzsimmons reports from Perth.

I'm very confident that I

have done absolutely nothing

wrong. Today I asked Tony McRae

to resign from State Cabinet

and he has agreed to my request.

The roar of the Corruption and

Crime Commission is echoing

through the West Australian

Parliament, and no-one is

hearing it louder than the

Premier Alan Carpenter. The

CCC has cut a swathe through

the ranks of the Labor Party

and exposed the web of

influence wielded by the former

Labor Premier now lobbyist

Brian Burke and his business

partner and former Burke

Government minister, David Jull. Influence that appeared

to extend all the way to the

CCC itself. efficient

The WA Labour Government is

in crisis. The Premier Alan

Carpenter has lost three

Cabinet ministers to scandals

within a year. The latest to

go is Environment Minister,

Tony McRae. He has made a

mistake which has cost him his position in the ministry and I

think that's a very heavy price

to pay. That significant error

surfaced after the CCC heard

allegations that Mr McRae used

his ministerial position to

discuss fundraising matters

with lobbyist David Jull. At

the same time as Mr McRae was

considering a deal brought

forward by Mr Grill's clients.

In a secretly-recorded

telephone conversation between

Mr Grill and developer David

Lombardo, the commission heard

David Jull considered Tony

McRae was good for a

favour. And Tony...

Tony McRae has repeatedly

professed his innocence, but

not his ignorance. In

hindsight, and hindsight is a

lovely thing, we all learn

lessons from it, I thought that

Grill was a different fish to

Burke. If that's WA Inc Mark

II it's miny Inc like Mini Me

in whatever that movie was.

His decision to telephone

David Jull who had a commercial

interest in the project that

Tony had before him and then

start a discussion or initiate

another part of the discussion

about fundraising was totally wrong. Only three months ago

the Premier was forced to sack

his small business minister

Norm Marlborough after he was

exposed doing Brian Burke's

bidding in Parliament. Six

months earlier, Police Minister

John D'Orazio was dumped for

not paying speeding finance.

He was later forced from the

CCC when surveillance videos

showed him meeting with a

person under

investigation. You've got to

ask the question, what major

business is going to do, is

going to come to Western

Australia and do business? The

West Australian Opposition

Leader Paul Omodei says if the

CCC fallout continues this week

the Premier should think about

whether his position is indeed

untenable. But even the

Opposition hasn't emerged

untarnished. Last week it was

highly embarrassed over

revelations former Liberal

powerbroker Noel Pearson was on

Brian Burke's -- Noel Crichton-Browne was Brian

Burke's payroll. We're seeing

the tip of the iceberg. There's no doubt that Brian

Burke and David Jull have had a

massive influence, not only

with ministers but within the public service itself. The

Opposition and the Greens have

threatened to block supply in

the Legislative Council if the

blood-letting continues, an

unprecedented move in WA's 117-year parliamentary

history. I suppose the real

impact of the CCC on the

Carpenter Government is it's

draining its blood, but with

each ministerial resignation

there's an amount of damage inflicted on the

Government. Political analyst

Greg Craven says while it

remains to be seen whether the

rot in WA will harm Kevin

Rudd's chances in the federal

election campaign, for the

moment it's Premier Alan

Carpenter who's taking all the

political hits. In West

Australian politics we seem to

be in perpetual grownhog day.

Even day is about Brian Burke.

I think the reality is that the

best thing the Government's got

going for it at the moment is

Alan Carpenter and his

determination not to

compromise. Brian Burke has

also been caught on tape

boasting that there are two

other Carpenter ministers

who've been leaking

confidential matters to him.

The Premier must face the

unnerving reality that in its final three days of hearings

the CCC might deliver him yet

another head on a plate. If

issues emerge that require me

to act in the way that I've

acted today or in the way that

I acted with Norm Marlborough,

or in the way that I acted with