Minister ‘taking out the trash’ with Gold Corp analysis announcement

Opposition Leader Shane Love has slammed Minister Bill Johnston for announcing a review into only the ownership of Perth Mint, labelling it a distraction from deeper issues at Gold Corporation.

Mr Love said the Minister for Mines and Petroleum’s announcement of an independent options analysis for Gold Corp and Perth Mint fell well short of the Opposition’s call for a Royal Commission.

“This limited review will allow the Minister and Premier to yet again attempt to avoid responsibility and face the proper scrutiny which would occur in a Royal Commission,” Mr Love said.

“Rather than establishing a vehicle to thoroughly investigate the raft of concerns around Perth Mint, the Minister chose to focus this review on the ownership structure of the State-owned entity.

“It is not the ownership of Gold Corp which is at the root of their issues, it is the mismanagement and the failure of the Premier and his scapegoat Minister to do anything about it.

“Clearly, the Minister is conducting a sales process by stealth with the sole goal of trying to sell Gold Corp and Perth Mint off, in an attempt to wash his hands of the problem.

“The Premier and his Minister must be held accountable for the failings at Gold Corp and be made to take responsibility for the potential financial risk West Australian taxpayers could be exposed to.”

Mr Love said it was telling that the Minister made the announcement today, with the Premier overseas and the world’s attention on the Total Solar Eclipse in Exmouth.

“It is a well-known political tactic known as ‘taking out the trash’ and is just another ploy by the McGowan Labor Government to avoid scrutiny on this issue,” Mr Love said.

“The Minister has spent the last 18 months dodging questions from the media and the Opposition, while the Premier has described the troubling revelations as a ‘storm in a teacup’.

“The McGowan Government may underestimate the size of this issue and the importance to West Australians, but we know there are significant issues which must be addressed and publicly.

Mr Love said a sham review into only one aspect of the organisation was a distraction from the McGowan Labor Government’s refusal to accept the serious nature of problems at Perth Mint.

“West Australians deserve the ‘gold standard transparency’ they were promised by the Premier, there is no more space for sneaky and dishonest behaviour to continue.”