MEDIA RELEASE: Rennick calls on Senator Ayres to stand down as head of bushfire inquiry
LNP Senator for Queensland Gerard Rennick has called on Senator Tim Ayres to stand down as the head of the senate inquiry into the recent catastrophic bushfires – due to an obvious political bias and prejudice.
Senator Rennick said, “The purpose of a parliamentary inquiry is to investigate and report on an issue in an unbiased manner. Such inquiries usually result in a report to the Parliament. But here we have Senator Ayres as Chair of the Committee, clearly providing his political opinion following day one of the inquiry.”
“Senator Ayres has made his opinion clear that he believes the Government knew of the impending disaster and did not act, thus committing the intention of the inquiry to hold the Government responsible”, said Senator Rennick.
“Either Senator Ayres intends to give Detective Poirot a run for his money, or he has demonstrated that the inquiry is nothing but a charade.”
On 5 February 2020, the Senate referred the inquiry into lessons to be learned in relation to the preparation and planning for, response to and recovery efforts following the 2019-20 Australian bushfire season to the Senate’s Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in 2021.
“Senator Ayres is playing politics with an issue that should be free from party politics. From August 2019 to January 2020, bushfires burned more than 18 million hectares of land, cost 34 people their lives, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and wreaked havoc on Australia’s wildlife and natural environment.”
“The inquiry should follow due process and be as unbiased as possible to ensure we can futureproof our country from having the disaster repeated. It’s obvious Senator Ayres is not the right person to lead this inquiry.”
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