Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, representing the Minister for Water, has refused to allow officials from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to provide a copy of a contentious email to a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra today.
Peter Cosier from the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists emailed his resignation from a position on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan Testing Committee on 29 April.
Coalition Murray-Darling Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham requested the email be provided to the hearing shortly after 3.30pm, at which time almost six hours of Estimates hearing covering the water portfolio remained.
It is remarkable that despite having four devices on which he could receive emails on the desk in front of him, Senator Conroy refused to obtain a copy of the email and refused to allow the MDBA to produce a copy for the hearing, but instead insisted the request be “taken on notice”.
If the Minister for Communications doesn’t receive emails on his laptop, iPad, iPhone or BlackBerry then what does he use the devices for?
Clearly the Government doesn’t want the reasons for Mr Cosier’s sudden resignation made public. What do they have to hide?
Water Minister Tony Burke should now instruct the MDBA to release all correspondence from Mr Cosier concerning his resignation immediately.
This continued secrecy does nothing to restore the crisis in confidence Basin communities have in the water reform process. It suggests Labor has learnt nothing from the outrage sparked by the release of the initial Guide Plan late last year.