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Again with PMC, in the financial estimates, the green senator Janet Rice wants to know if the secretary of the department, Phil Gaetjens, stated any conflicts of interest before presenting its report on possible violations of ministerial rules with sporting grants.

PMC official Stephanie Foster he replies: “No, he didn’t. Not “.

Rice persists.

The secretary did not declare any conflict before investigating, despite Gaetjens previously By Scott Morrison Chief of Staff? Rice wonders.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann opposes the question.

He notes that about half of the current heads of the Commonwealth departments have spent time as employees in ministerial offices, some Labor, others liberal.

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As for environmental estimates, the committee felt that a staff member from the department has been seconded to work for the Mineral Council, and the department “pursues” a similar detachment with the WWF environmental group.

Larissa Waters, the leader of the Green Senate, released a statement describing the deal with the Mineral Council as “highly improper”.

He says he “hands over the environmental protection game book” to a group of mining lobbies who are pushing for conservation laws to be weakened.

There is some dispute over the nature of the agreement with the Mineral Council. Dean Knudsen, deputy secretary of the environmental protection group, described it as a detachment, following Waters’ interrogation.

The Mineral Council claims that this is incorrect: that the employee was hired on a fixed-term contract after taking unpaid leave from the government role.

Guardian Australia has determined that discussions with WWF about his potential detachment began after he learned of the appointment of the Mineral Council.

Both the work of the Minerals Council and the potential appointment of the WWF imply helping organizations to respond to a review of national environmental laws, the law on the protection of the environment and biodiversity, managed by a businessman Graeme Samuel.

In a statement, Waters states:


It is perverse that some of our environmental regulator could write comments on the revision of environmental laws for large coal, large gas and large oil which already undermine our democracy with their huge donations.

The Council’s special provision on minerals is likely to disadvantage the superior interest in protecting our water, our environment and our communities.

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Heads of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development say they can’t remember if they got in touch with the then minister Bridget McKenzie on a controversial $ 150 million sports fund announced in the 2019-2020 budget.

Under interrogation by the Labor Senator Murray Wattsenior department bureaucrats refused to disclose whether they were involved in political activities for the $ 150 million women’s facilities and the water security program.

Dr Rachel Bacon, of the department, said he should have checked his records as he could not remember if discussions had taken place between the department and the minister’s office with a view to the budget.

“I don’t remember, I should check,” said Bacon.

“We have to go back and look at last year’s records … I can’t remember the shape these records took.”

Minister of Social Services Anne Ruston he said it would be “unusual” if this had not happened.

But department secretary Simon Atkinson He said that if the discussions informed the budget decision, this information could not be disclosed, as “it could potentially reveal the deliberations held in the cabinet”.

The FFWSS fund was announced by the Coalition less than two months before the election and was fully awarded during the election campaign, despite the government indicating that details of the program will be disclosed in late 2019.

Bacon said he expected the department to advise the government on guidelines for the after-budget program.

However, the administration of the program was transferred to the Department of Health on August 21st, before these guidelines were developed.

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