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Liberal Minister in breach of caretaker convention.



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BOB MCMULLAN MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS

2 September 2004

LIBERAL MINISTER IN BREACH OF CARETAKER CONVENTION

Liberal Party Minister Robert Hill and Liberal candidates Gary Nairn and Senator Humphries have been caught up in a blatant breach of the rules about proper use of taxpayers’ resources during an election campaign.

On Tuesday 1 September the Minister for Defence Senator Hill announced a shortlist of tenders for the construction of the Joint Defence Headquarters building in Bungendore. Bungendore is in the marginal electorate of Eden-Monaro. Senator Hill was accompanied by the Member for Eden Monaro, Mr Garry Nairn and Senator Gary Humphries (Liberal, ACT).

This was a political occasion intended to assist in the re-election of Mr Nairn and Senator Humphries.

This morning the Defence Department has posted Senator Hill’s media release and a transcript of the ensuing doorstop interview on the Department’s website.

Copies of the media release and transcript, downloaded from the website at 11.30 am on 2 September are attached, and may be found at

http://www.defence.gov.au/media/index.cfm.

This is a blatant breach of Caretaker Conventions and demands stern action be taken against those who have chosen to publicise this election material and assist Liberal Party candidates.

The costs associated with this exercise should not be met by Australia’s taxpayers and in my view should be refunded by the Liberal Party candidates.

This breach is a further sign of a Government that has become tired and has been in power too long.

In simple terms it cannot even manage to enforce straightforward and longstanding conventions about appropriate political behaviour during the election period.

Contact: Steve Blume 6277 4803 or 0438 271 749