MEDIA RELEASE: Prof Mike Daube Must Resign; Urgent Investigation Into Healthway Required

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) has called for the resignation of Professor Mike Daube from the Board of the taxpayer-funded Healthway, following revelations that he has misled the government and the WA public, and for the West Australian Government to launch a full investigation into Healthway’s administration and finances to ensure its sponsorship dollars are not being misused.

Investigations by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance have also determined that Healthway has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to Professor Daube’s activist groups raising serious questions about due process and potential conflicts of interest.

Healthway was internationally ridiculed last week for using its sponsorship powers to prevent West Australian Opera from producing Bizet’s classic Carmen. At the time, Professor Daube denied claims of Healthway’s influence. The West Australian newspaper reported on leaked minutes from the April Healthway Board specifically naming Professor Mike Daube as being the key figure responsible for promoting this policy. Similarly, Saturday's Australian newspaper reported that Healthway previously pressured a theatre group demanding script changes to remove a smoking scene in a local production at the Blue Room (heroin injection was okay). WA Premier Colin Barnett has since intervened to reinstate Carmen, and is reviewing Healthway’s functions while the WA Division of the Liberal Party last week unanimously demanded a complete overhaul of Healthway’s operations, and for the Government to pass legislation preventing Directors being appointed by “vested interest groups”.

“Following these explosive revelations, Professor Daube’s position on the Board of Healthway is completely untenable” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.

“It is completely unacceptable for a board member of a taxpayer funded government agency to deliberately mislead both the public and the government. Not only did Professor Daube railroad Healthway into not taking options to prevent this debacle proposed by its Arts Advisory Committee, he later lied about it. Professor Daube has been caught red-handed, and must face the consequences of his deceit.

“Furthermore, investigations by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance have determined that Professor Daube’s various activist groups have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funding from Healthway, at a time when Professor Daube was on the Healthway Board. If we can’t trust Professor Daube on Carmen, how can we trust him on anything?

“There is a clear perception of conflict of interest, and, given today’s revelations, a full investigation must be launched into the operations of Healthway and its distribution of taxpayer funds to determine whether any improper or undue influence was at work.”

“It is vital that the distribution of taxpayer funds be honest, open, and transparent. Today’s revelations have demonstrated that Healthway has operated completely contrary to the most fundamental principles of good government. At a time the West Australian Government is calling for tax hikes, taxpayers’ should be assured that their funds are being spent appropriately. A full investigation and audit of Healthway’s administration and finances is needed”

 

Media Contact: Tim Andrews, Executive Director, Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. Mobile: 0434 064 934 , Email: tandrews@taxpayers.org.au

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