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BER inquiry debated Monday

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MEDIA RELEASE BER Inquiry debated Monday

Tomorrow the Federal Parliament will debate and possibly vote upon whether to support the Coalition’s Bill to create a Judicial Inquiry into the school hall program.

“The creation of a fully independent Judicial Inquiry is critical as it will be the only investigation into the school hall program with the power to subpoena documents and summons witnesses,” Christopher Pyne, Shadow Minister for Education said today.

“It will also be the only inquiry with the primary task of discovering whether the Government obtained value for money,” Mr Pyne said.

“There have been reams of evidence and testimony in the media and to various other inquiries suggesting widespread rorts, price gouging, collusion, state skimming and waste,” he said.

“To date the Government hasn’t provided any good reason why they are opposed to a Judicial Inquiry. It is incumbent on the Government to ensure taxpayers receive full disclosure of how their funds are spent, but despite promising to publish all costing data during the election campaign, they have made no move to do so now.

“Surely if the Prime Minister has nothing to hide in her handling of the roll out of this program, then she has nothing to fear from a Judicial Inquiry.

For this Bill to succeed in the House of Representatives, it will need the support of the cross bench Members, Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor, Bob Katter, Andrew Wilkie, Tony Crook and Adam Bandt.

“All of these Members have previously expressed the need for greater accountability and transparency in Government, and I have been discussing this matter with them in the hope that they will support this Bill,” Mr Pyne said.

October 24, 2010 

MEDIA CONTACT: Adam Howard 0400 414 833