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$5m Royal Commission unjustified - SSC

Roger Sowry
Opposition State Services Spokesman

18 April 2000

$5m Royal Commission unjustified - SSC

The Government ignored advice from top officials who warned that a Royal Commission of Inquiry into genetic engineering would be a waste of money, says Opposition State Services Spokesperson Roger Sowry.

Mr Sowry released papers from the SSC obtained under the Official Information Act in which they said a draft Cabinet Paper did not present a sound argument to support the recommendation for a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

"The SSC said the Royal Commission option is expensive, resource intensive and time consuming. This advice has been completely ignored by a Government more intent on keeping it's bedfellows happy than in making the best use of taxpayers money.

"What return is the taxpayer going to get from this $5 million inquiry? The criteria of independence, accessibility and effectiveness could have been met by a less formal and more flexible inquiry mechanism.

"Where is this Government's consistency? They downgraded the Commission of Inquiry into INCIS to a Ministerial Inquiry because of the cost but are prepared to blow $5 million on an Inquiry into genetic engineering.

"When is this Government going to start listening to the advice of experienced officials instead of throwing money into an expensive inquiry to placate the extremes in the Alliance and the Greens," Mr Sowry said.


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