The Victorian government is heading for a showdown with parliament over whether ministerial staff can be compelled to give evidence before an upper house committee.
The row, sparked by a planning controversy, brings up issues that go to the very heart of our system of government and the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
The Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration in the Victorian Legislative Council has summoned three ministerial advisers to appear before it on the 29th of April, but the Attorney General Rob Hulls is instructing them not to turn up.
If the staff in question follow the Attorney General’s direction and don’t show then they run the risk of being in contempt of parliament – and could even end up in jail.…
Liberal MLC in the Victorian parliament, Opposition planning spokesman and member of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration
Dr Greg Taylor
Associate Professor at Monash University Law School