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Labour lays contempt proceedings against Solid Energy

SOE Spokesperson
Labour lays contempt proceedings against Solid Energy

Labour will lay contempt proceedings against Solid Energy following their appearance at the Commerce Select Committee on Thursday 7 March.

Clayton Cosgrove said: “I was astounded to see Solid Energy’s strategy and corporate affairs manager Bill Luff singing like a canary to media yesterday and today. Mr Luff’s openness and transparency was in stark contrast to his appearance, along with his colleagues, at the select committee last Thursday.

“The executive team repeatedly stated that they couldn’t answer questions because the events happened before their time, they didn’t know and they didn’t have the information.

“Yet just 48 hours before former chair John Palmer and former chief executive Dr Don Elder are due to appear before the committee, Mr Luff provided detailed information to the media. Where were those answers last Thursday?

“In my view this, combined with the conflicting accounts about whether Dr Elder made himself available for the committee last week, leads me to believe the committee has been misled and Parliament treated with contempt.

“On that basis I am asking the Speaker to investigate Solid Energy for contempt and deliberately misleading the select committee.

“Taxpayers deserve to know why an export award winning company is now a basket case and why they should pick up the $389 million tab.

“SOEs have a requirement to report to Parliament and answer questions put to them from select committees. The company has breached that requirement.

“Last week Solid Energy admitted they were being advised by lobbyists on ‘committee protocol’. Taxpayers should ask for their money back, because the key protocol is to provide answers and information to select committees and by default the general public,” says Clayton Cosgrove.

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