A STOUSH between Western Australia’s top public servant and the head of a powerful parliamentary committee is headed for the Supreme Court.
It comes after legislative council president Kate Doust accused Department of Premier and Cabinet director general Darren Foster of breaching parliamentary privilege when he handed documents to the Corruption and Crime Commission for an investigation.
The Procedure and Privileges Committee claims Mr Foster defied their order to provide them with the emails first so they could vet the documents, including from whistleblowers and constituents.
The committee had warned Mr Foster he risked being charged with contempt if he instead handed the documents to the CCC.
But the department, State Solicitor’s Office, CCC and Premier Mark McGowan have backed Mr Foster.
Mr McGowan reiterated his support on Wednesday.
“I would have thought it’s blatantly obvious to everyone the government should comply and work with the CCC in corruption inquiries,” he told reporters.
“Obviously, the upper house committee has a different view of the law and taking it to the Supreme Court is designed to try to get clarity.”
Mr McGowan was grilled on the matter during Question Time and reminded the parliament that the genesis of the CCC investigation centred on potential improper conduct by three former Liberal MPs.
“I personally think the government should comply with orders of the CCC and that we should work to deal with any potential corruption that might be present, in particular some former MPs that you might be familiar with,” he said.