Following the revelations about a personal relationship developing between Minister Sarah Courtney and her Departmental Secretary Dr John Whittington, the Premier has announced a minor cabinet reshuffle in order to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest.
The inquiry by Mr Damian Bugg QC found that while Ms Courtney breached the Ministerial Code of Conduct in not disclosing the relationship earlier, the breach was only “minor”.
As a result there are the following changes (changes in bold):
- Guy Barnett is now the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs;
- Elise Archer is now the Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Minister for Corrections, Minister for the Environment, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Racing;
- Sarah Courtney is now Minister for Resources and Minister for Building and Construction.
All other Ministries remain unchanged.
The inquiry undertaken by the Head of the State Service has determined that Dr Whittington did not breach the State Service Code of Conduct and he will resume his position as Secretary of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.