Media Release - Tim Wilson's damage to Economics Committee confirmed

The reputation of the Committee system of the House of Representatives has been damaged by this desperate Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government.

Today the Speaker of the House of Representatives confirmed that the Chair of the House Economics Committee, Tim Wilson, has damaged the reputation of that Committee with his behaviour as Committee Chair.

Speaker: “I appreciate the concerns that may have been raised by the actions of the Member for Goldstein and the actions could be seen to have caused damage to the Committee’s reputation and the reputation of the House committee system more generally.”

The Speaker further confirmed that Tim Wilson has failed to meet the conventions usually observed by Committee Chairs.

Speaker: “I believe his actions have not always conformed with what I see as the conventions usually observed by Chairs of House committees and the practice of House committees. The particular matters I would mention include:

  • having a private website ‘authorised by’, and with the badging of, the Chair of the Committee, which appeared to solicit submissions and attendees at public hearings from just one perspective; and
  • apparently arranging for a public hearing of the Committee to coincide with the meeting of a group with an active interest in the Committee’s inquiry, including with the possible intention to engage in protest activity at the hearing.”

Tim Wilson’s abuse of the House Economics Committee is yet another blunder by the Liberals in their scare campaign against changes to franking credit refunds to people who don't pay income tax.

Tim Wilson has been called out for having a private website authorised by, and with the badging of, the Chair of the Committee.

The website, partly funded by Geoff Wilson (a relative of Tim Wilson), solicited submissions and attendees at public hearings from only those opposed to Labor’s reforms.

At one stage, people were also required to sign a Wilson Asset Management petition as a condition of registering to attend a public hearing of the House Economics Committee inquiry.

A publicly available recording of a Wilson Asset Management investor teleconference also suggests that Tim Wilson arranged with Geoff Wilson for a public hearing of the Committee to coincide with a shareholder meeting of Wilson Asset Management.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has also confirmed "preliminary inquiries" into Tim Wilson about potential breaches of the Privacy Act.

It’s outrageous that apparently the personal details of people have been passed on to Wilson Asset Management without their consent.

And it comes on the back of a Liberal Party MP handing out Liberal Party membership forms at a Committee hearing.

Speaker: “…the handing out of party political material or the display of signs by individual Members at hearings of Parliamentary committees should not be tolerated by Chairs.”

Mr Wilson’s actions have only undermined the standing of the House Economics Committee.

It's clear that Tim Wilson must resign as the Chair of the House of Economics Committee.

If he won't resign, the Prime Minister must sack him.


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