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Labor's crocodile tears over Reith's new job.

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Senator Andrew Murray Australian Democrats Accountability Spokesperson

17 April, 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/241

Labor’s Crocodile tears over Reith’s new job

Australian Democrats’ Accountability spokesperson, Senator Andrew Murray, said today Labor’s criticism of the appointment of former Minister Peter Reith to a plum job in London, might have the right sentiment but represented crocodile tears on their part.

“Twenty times so far the Democrat senators have moved amendments to various bills to have appointments by Government determined on merit,” Senator Murray said.

“Twenty times so far Labor has joined with the Coalition to reject these Democrat initiatives.

“Until such time as the Labor Party accepts that it is obliged to end the disgraceful practice of ‘jobs for the boys’ their commentary on appointments like Mr Reith’s represent ‘crocodile tears’,” concluded Senator Murray.

The amendment the Democrats have moved to legislation follows:

Procedures for merit selection

(1) The Minister must by writing determine a code of practice for selecting (position) that sets out general principles on which the selection is to be made, including but not limited to: (a) merit; and

(b) independent scrutiny of an appointment; and

(c) probity; and

(d) openness and transparency.

(2) After determining a code of practice under subsection (1), the Minister must publish the code in the Gazette.

(3) Not later than every fifth anniversary after a code of practice has been determined, the Minister must review the code.

(4) In reviewing a code of practice, the Minister must invite the public to comment on the code.

(5) A code of practice determined under subsection (1) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Media contact: Grace Tan at (08) 9481 1455 or 0417 174 302