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Premier's department 'remiss' on terror laws .

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A PARLIAMENTARY committee has been highly critical of a department overseen by Premier Ted Baillieu for failing to adequately protect against a terrorism attack.

The committee, led by Baillieu government backbencher Phillip Davis, said the failure of the Department of Premier and Cabinet meant it had not properly supported Premier Baillieu and potentially exposed him to significant public criticism.

 

It added that, despite similar findings in an Auditor-General report almost three years ago, the department continued to dispute its obligations.

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In 2003 the Bracks government introduced anti-terrorism legislation, followed by further guidelines in 2007 that followed the railway bombings in Madrid and London.

 

In his January 2009 report the Auditor-General found that the DPC had failed to adequately monitor governance and accountability arrangements that ultimately help protect services such as transport, fuel and water.

 

But in the latest report, the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee found the department was still failing to oversee adequately the anti-terrorism measures and remained convinced that it was not its responsibility.

 

''The committee was disappointed with the position taken by the [DPC],'' it said.

 

''The department have [sic] been remiss in adequately supporting the Premier … potentially [leaving] the Premier, as head of government, exposed to high level public criticism.

 

''The DPC must be accountable and must desist from continuing to avoid its obligations and responsibilities.''

 

The DPC would not comment yesterday.

 

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Guest Sunday, 09 August 2020