‘I do not think it is wise for anybody in this place to expose the fact that a delegation is about to go on international travel when their kids and wives will be left at home. Lynn MacLaren should be ashamed’ Liberal MLC Phil Edman
LIBERAL MLC Phil Edman has told Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren she “should be ashamed” for seeking details about his overseas trip in April, taken at public expense.
Mr Edman was amongst five MLCs who used their imprest accounts to travel to Tokyo to view waste-to-energy facilities.
“All the delegates I mentioned have wives who they left at home alone in order to attend this tour, and in some cases they have young children,” Mr Edman thundered at Ms MacLaren when she sought details.
“I do not think it is wise for anybody in this place to expose the fact that a delegation is about to go on international travel when their kids and wives will be left at home. Lynn MacLaren should be ashamed.
“That is the reason none of us wanted to talk to the media about our trip and why none of us were prepared to expose that in this house.”
Ms MacLaren says she’s disappointed her attempt to promote transparency had led to personal attacks.
“These members have to file imprest statements so we should know soon,” she says. “This was not an official government visit, it was members travelling together.”
The MLCs’ “unofficial” trip included mayors and council delegates whose expenses were paid for by their councils. It coincided with a delegation led by Phoenix Energy Australia, which plans to build a new incinerator in Kwinana, funded by local councils.
Labor MLC Kate Doust told parliament she was shocked by the level of anger displayed by Mr Edman and Peter Katsambanis, another of the group of five.
“Perhaps these individuals doth protest too much, and I wonder why,” Ms Doust mused, adding anyone had the right to ask who was footing the bill for Members’ travel.
She accused the Liberal MLCs of employing intimidation and bullying to get Ms MacLaren to back off and urged them to “grow a thicker skin”.
In a statement to parliament on May 8, Mr Katsambanis accused Ms MacLaren of spinning “half-baked conspiracy theories” and called on her to apologise.
Mr Edman told parliament, “it was not rocket science to have waste-to-energy plants in WA”.
He said there were plants so clean in Tokyo “the Japanese asked us take our shoes off; that was at one of their rubbish tips”.
by CARMELO AMALFI