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Move to sack Planning Minister

Move to sack Planning Minister

Wednesday 08 January 2014

Move to sack Planning Minister

After weeks of speculation the Chief Minister has moved to sack his under-fire Environment Minister Rob Duhamel for misleading his colleagues and breaking his department’s own code of conduct.

Senator Ian Gorst lodged a motion of dismissal this morning, and will attempt to push him out of office at the next States sitting. He needs a majority vote from States Members to sack any of his Council of Ministers team.

Deputy Duhamel – the longest-serving States Deputy – holds the ministerial brief for Planning policy and the environment. He took on the job three years ago when then-Senator Freddie Cohen quit to focus on the international portfolio, but has never been an easy fit with the Council of Ministers under Ian Gorst.

Colleagues including the Treasury Minister and Housing Minister are understood to have been increasingly frustrated by delays coming from the Environment department, and Deputy Duhamel has started voting against proposals that his colleagues bring to the House.

In the proposition lodged today, Senator Gorst wrote: "We can no longer work with a Minister who has failed to be honest, straightforward and open with fellow Ministers or with this Assembly."

The 39-page document highlights four incidents – the Co-op application at Charing Cross, the JEC substation application in town, the review of the Island Plan and disposal of asbestos – where Senator Gorst says his Environment Minister displayed a lack of judgement and transparency.

The vote of no confidence is not the first that Deputy Duhamel has faced – he was kicked off a Scrutiny panel a few years ago over similar conflicts with colleagues.

Since Ministerial government began in 2005, no Council of Ministers has finished a three-year term with the same members that started it.

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