2 Minute Statements: Auditor-General

 In Economy & Jobs, Senate Speeches

Senator RENNICK (Queensland) (13:32, 4 August 2021): The great Roman writer Juvenal asked: who will judge the judges? Today the question needs to be asked: who will audit the Auditor-General? Why do I ask that question? It’s because the Auditor-General is refusing to hand over minutes of a meeting between his staff and the staff in the infrastructure department about the purchase of Leppington Triangle. Why does that matter? It’s because audits are all about transparency and the Auditor-General himself needs to practise what he preaches. He has been very critical of government record keeping, but when I asked in a question on notice in estimates for their records of the correspondence they refused to hand it over and said: ‘The audit office does not release specific items of audit evidence that were not included in the audit report as the public interest benefit in providing the audit evidence is outweighed by the potential for public interest harm.’ What a load of tosh. Public interest harm? Give me a break.

Why is the Audit Office engaging in a gross cover-up? Is it to try and hide their incompetence in the grossly misleading report on the Leppington Triangle, where they: made a fundamental error of fact in placing the triangle outside the airport zone; failed to take into contact the benefits outlined in a report showing that the airport would contribute $32 billion to GDP by 2060 and create 70,000 jobs; ignored AASB 13, which says non-financial assets must be valued at the highest and best use by market participants, regardless of intent; and ignored case law that has repeatedly ruled that land must be purchased for its highest and best use? The Auditor-General has misled the people of Australia by using incorrect zoning and averaging the lowest valuation rather than using the highest valuation in order to smear the government and stop the construction of nation-building infrastructure.

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