Why won’t the Premier answer basic questions about meeting BlueScope Steel representatives while his Parliamentary Secretary Gareth Ward happily discloses that he has met with the company, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson asked today.

Ms Watson asked a series of questions on notice of the Premier last month about whether he had met with BlueScope Steel representatives.  The Premier refused to answer those questions just last week.  Instead he referred Ms Watson to still yet to be published diary summaries on the Premier and Cabinet website.

The Illawarra Mercury today however has published the following comment from Mr Ward, the Premier’s Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast:

“…the Premier has met with BlueScope…”

Ms Watson said the Premier’s refusal to confirm he has met with BlueScope Steel representatives is perplexing.

“I just don’t get why this is such a state secret.

“It seems Mr Ward is more than happy to disclose meetings the Premier has had with the company.

“There are only three possible explanations for the obfuscation by the Premier:
(a) he is afraid to tell the Illawarra about his meeting and what was discussed at it;
(b) no meeting has in fact taken place; or
(c) Mr Ward is telling the media porky pies.

“Either way, now that Mr Ward has broken ranks and disclosed that the Premier has met with the company, Mr Baird has an obligation to tell us about the meeting.

“The State Government’s very relaxed attitude to the threat by BlueScope Steel to close its steel production in the Illawarra has concerned me from the very start.

“The secrecy and obfuscation by the Premier is equally very disturbing”, she said.

5 August 2015