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Sunday, November 12, 2006

WA minister foils FOI but not Corruption and Crime Commission

The former WA Minister for Small Business, Norman Marlborough, was sacked last week for deceiving the Premier about his contacts with discredited former Premier Brian Burke, these days a lobbyist but convicted in the 1990's for rorting his travel expenses and stealing campaign donations.

Burke provided Marlborough with advice including how to handle Parliamentary questions about their relationship, as evidenced in this transcript of intercepted telephone calls released by the Crime and Corruption Commission. Smiths Beach Development at Yallingup: Telephone/Surveillance Intercept 8/11/2006.

It's nice to know the former Minister wasn't entirely ignorant of Freedom of Information: a conversation between them about the way to manage their secret phone calls includes the following.
"Marlborough (stutters): you see even on this, the house phone's picked up by the Premier's (department). So you can't. You can't f....... use it anymore.
Burke: calls from your house phone to a mobile get picked up but calls from a house phone to house phone don't.
Marlborough (stutters): the safest, the safest is, what they're not able to FOI is the electoral office. That's the safe haven. They're not allowed to FOI the electoral office"
FOI was one thing, but the Corruption and Crime Commission presented an unexpected and more formidable challenge.

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