The Nationals WA have slammed the Labor Government over its extraordinary lack of transparency and a culture of secrecy which is starving regional communities of information on decisions which affect their day-to-day lives.
Leader Mia Davies said the Premier’s promise to provide a “gold standard” of transparency upon coming to Government was in tatters alongside his promise not to impose new taxes on West Australians.
“The difference is the Premier has apologised for breaking his tax promise. We are yet to hear Mr McGowan say sorry for running a Government which refuses to be open and transparent with the people of Western Australia,” Ms Davies said.
The Government has hidden behind a cloak of secrecy on important regional issues, including the contract to privatise camp schools and refusing access for Nationals MPs to visit Moora Residential College and Greenough Regional Prison.
“Arrogance and secrecy is the hallmark of this McGowan Government,” Ms Davies said.
Since May 2017 The Nationals have lodged 37 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests with McGowan Government Ministers and their agencies.
Of these applications for information, the McGowan Government has taken more than 100 days to provide documents on 10 occasions.
“The longest of these was 154 days – the equivalent of more than five months – for information relating to Education Minister Sue Ellery’s cruel suite of regional education cuts, including the decision to close the School of the Air and Moora Residential College,” Ms Davies said.
“This application was overdue by 109 days.
“This means our communities are being starved of information on decisions which affect their day-to-day lives.”
Of the 37 applications, only eight have been returned on time. More than 78 per cent of FOI requests by The Nationals have been overdue.
“Information which The Nationals have been deprived of includes Labor’s proposed funding reduction for Community Resource Centres and actions being taken to address workplace bullying at the Southern Ports Authority,” Ms Davies said.