The Opposition has condemned the flat refusal by Labor’s Agriculture Minister to respond to genuine questions around her Parliamentary Secretary, Darren West stacking oats at an unused CBH Group site.
Shadow Agriculture Minister Colin de Grussa used Question Time in the Legislative Council to ask the Minister if she was aware of reports Mr West had been offloading grain at the open bulkhead.
“The Minister said she had no intention of answering the question, which was unacceptable given genuine questions around the use of this facility by a private grower,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The appropriate response, if indeed the Minister was aware, would have been to explain the situation and prove there was nothing untoward if an agreement had been made between Mr West and the co-operative.
“Instead, the Minister opted to flat out refuse to answer the question.
“This issue was raised by farmers who were genuinely concerned about why a politician was apparently receiving special treatment while many other growers were struggling to find storage for a record crop.
“The Minister was shady in her response, when a simple answer could have resolved the matter.”
Mr de Grussa said the issue is not whether an arrangement was in place, but that the Labor Government refused to be open and honest around what had occurred.
“Labor has a track record of refusing to be transparent, but it is disappointing to see more incidents rising to the surface.
“West Australians deserve a Government that will be upfront and provide proper explanations for what appear to be shady dealings.”