Secret document to be released

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk makes unprecedented move to hand Cabinet documents over to Health Minister Lawrence Springborg.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk makes unprecedented move to hand Cabinet documents over to Health Minister Lawrence Springborg. Rae Wilson/ APN Newsdesk

SECRET Labor Cabinet documents about Queensland's bungled health payroll system will be released in an "unprecedented move in Queensland history".

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had grappled with Cabinet confidentiality, knowing Cabinet documents must remain secret for 20 years under Queensland public record laws.

But she said she believed the documents should be released "in the interests of openness and transparency".

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg demanded the Opposition release the confidential documents by July 31 in a motion in State Parliament earlier this month.

Ms Palaszczuk has written to Mr Springborg, inviting him to view the two-year-old legal advice, the Cabinet Budget Review Committee decision and the Cabinet minutes relating to the IBM contract.

She said he could view those documents with the Cabinet Secretary and the Crown Solicitor who provided that legal advice but he could not disclose what he saw to any other party.

"I regard the protection of cabinet conventions as fundamental to our system of government," she said in her letter to Mr Springborg.

"However, because of the confusion created by public speculation, fuelled by continuous reference to the documents, I have decided it is in the public interest to make the legal advice available to yourself.

"My decision has been made having regard to the special circumstances of this case, and does not set a precedent for any further requests of this nature."

Ms Palaszczuk told media on Monday that she hoped Mr Springborg, upon viewing the documents, would decide quickly whether he would seek up-to-date legal advice on whether he should take legal action to recoup taxpayer money to fix the failed health payroll system.

But she said the Crown Solicitor who provided that advice two years ago was the same one advising the government today.

"Today, the ball is firmly in Lawrence Springborg's court," she said.

"This decision has not been taken lightly by me, as I believe I have a huge responsibility relating to the protection of those documents.

"I was not on the CBRC, I'm not privy to the discussion that took place, nor was I party to the decisions made on the CBRC."

"The time for the blame game is to end. If the minister wants to get his own fresh legal advice, he is entitled to do so and that is what he should do."

The Queensland Government has never sued IBM.

Topics:  australian labor party queensland health

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Region faces wild wind

DESTROYED: Half of the roof of the Moranbah home was ripped off from the 104km/h wind.

Moranbah residents say weather is worse than the cyclone.

Heroic rescue saves life

CLOSE CALL: Leslie Cruthers and Buddha at the spot the playful pup fell into the Nogoa River.

Kayakers rush to save dog walker clinging to riverbank.

National super star at age 13

Competing in Rotorua, New Zealand earlier this year.

Dingo local takes on international motocross competition.

Local Partners