Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Ports; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade

    Statement in response to CCC report

    5/07/2019 11:45 AM
     
    • The State Government accepts and welcomes findings of the CCC report into the 'Abuse of power at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development'
    • Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan seeking State Solicitor's Office's advice on potential prosecutions 

    Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan has today welcomed the findings of the Corruption and Crime Commission's (CCC) report into the 'Abuse of power at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development'.

     

    In the report, the CCC formed opinions of serious misconduct in relation to the actions of former Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) employee, Felicity Heffernan and former Potato Marketing Corporation chief executive officer, Peter Evans.

     

    The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development undertook an internal investigation into these matters in 2017 at the request of the Minister, and suspended Ms Heffernan in November 2017.

     

    Ms Heffernan later resigned during DPIRD's disciplinary investigation. No termination payment was made to Ms Heffernan.

     

    The CCC has recommended that an appropriate authority gives consideration to prosecuting Ms Heffernan for her conduct in preparing false letters and misleading internal auditors.

     

    Ms MacTiernan is seeking advice from the State Solicitor's Office on this matter, on the conduct of Mr Evans and several others and on whether there are avenues for recovery of public monies.

     

    Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

     

    "The conduct outlined in the report is completely unacceptable and I welcome the CCC's efforts in pursuing this matter.

     

    "I first became aware of suspicious circumstances in 2017 and requested DPIRD conduct an internal investigation into the matter.

     

    "I share the CCC's concern that all too often, public officers resign without consequence during disciplinary processes - which is why we were very encouraging of a CCC investigation into this matter.

     

    "We are seeking the State Solicitor's Office's advice on the next steps in potential prosecutions and in recovering public funds."

     

    Minister's office - 6552 6200