This is déjà vu all over again for the scandal-ridden PLP.
In November 2011, Minster Walter Roban was forced to resign from Paula Cox’s Cabinet. The Minister quit amidst allegations of corruption and subverting the planning process. This planning scandal engulfed the Minister, who decided to overrule a technical officer’s decision blocking PLP MP Zane Da Silva from building on environmentally protected land at Devonshire Marsh.
Minister Roban intervened to allow his PLP colleague to build warehouses on the marshland. When accused of ‘acting corruptly’ and ‘unethical behaviour’, Minister Roban swiftly resigned, admitting that his actions had “…brought about questions of the Government’s integrity and accusations of corruption.”
The PLP’s 2011 decision to allow PLP MP Zane Da Silva to build on Devonshire Marsh was swiftly reversed by new Minister, Marc Bean. The same Marc Bean who later quit the PLP, levelling his own accusations of unethical behaviour in his party’s ranks.
Yet here we are again. Over 11 years later, Minister Roban is back in the very same hot seat. Despite a strong “no” from an independent planning inspector, Minister Roban has again decided to grant PLP colleague Zane Da Silva permission to build on the reserve at Devonshire Marsh.
When this happened a decade ago, Premier Paula Cox determined that Walter Roban must resign. Why does Premier David Burt take a different view of these very same actions now?