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Delays and cover-ups highlight Albanese Government’s transparency fails

The failure to deliver on time Questions on Notice (QoNs) by Education Minister Jason Clare and his department underlines a contempt for transparency by the Albanese Government.

Since coming to government, Jason Clare has not once returned QoNs by the due date. Just two weeks out from the upcoming Budget estimates hearings, answers to hundreds of QoNs from the February hearings are yet to be received.

Shadow Minister for Education, Sarah Henderson, said the failure to lodge QoNs from Senate estimates hearings between 2022 and 2024 showed complete disregard for the important role of the parliament to scrutinise government expenditure and decision-making.

In the worst example, QoNs from the 2023-24 Budget Estimates, due on 14 July last year, were not lodged until 25 September – a staggering delay of 73 days.

“Labor went to the last election promising accountability and transparency, yet here we have another minister showing contempt for the parliament,” Senator Henderson said.

“At a time when the Albanese Government is under fire for everything from failing to deliver school reforms to driving unprecedented numbers of international students, this transparency fail is not good enough.”

Senator Henderson said Australians deserve better.

“There is no excuse, this minister has to comply with the rules of the senate.

“I also raise concerns about Jason Clare’s failure to provide a range of other documents including on the investigation into a charity delivering indigenous boarding schools, directions the minister provided to the University Accord Panel which undermines its independence, and the government’s HECS debt chaos.

“This ongoing cover-up of documents shows Labor continues to fail the transparency test.”

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