Secret Politician’s Business


The resort to so-called ‘Cabinet confidentiality’ by Mr Malinauskas and the Labor Opposition concerning the report presented by former Police Commissioner Mal Hyde into carers working with vulnerable children, is as breathtaking in its arrogance as it is cruel in its effect.

While cabinet members have traditionally claimed the right to keep differing opinions expressed amongst themselves on various policy issues secret, it is usually justified on the basis that this process assists in the formulation of policy and encourages members to speak out on issues on which they hold strong and, perhaps, idiosyncratic views. It is argued that to reveal all that is said in private debate would hamper the frank exchange of positions from which a consensus may eventually emerge.

The problem for Mr Malinauskas and the Labor party is that this is not the issue here. No-one cares which politician in that failed government said what concerning the Hyde report. What we want to know is what did Mr Hyde say. What were his findings, his conclusions and his recommendations?

Where does this group of people, paid handsomely out of the public purse, acquire such extreme arrogance as to deny the public access to such a critical report, which by the way is also paid for out of the public purse?

And what of the effect that this obstinate attitude no doubt has on the children and the families of those involved? It is painful enough for those of us in the general community, with no personal ties to the children involved, to contemplate that in our midst are people working in our name who sexually abuse defenceless children. The attitude of Mr Malinauskas and the Labor Opposition heaps cruelty upon frustration upon rage.

If the question is between protecting politicians from embarrassment and protecting children from sexual and psychological abuse, how could anyone hesitate in response?

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