21 Mar 2013

Labour seeks top-level look at Solid Energy

8:04 pm on 21 March 2013

The Labour Party will ask the Auditor-General to investigate the financial circumstances surrounding Solid Energy.

The state-owned coal company is in debt to the tune of $390 million and on Thursday National Party MPs blocked a commerce select committee inquiry into the situation.

Labour's state-owned enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says although his party offered terms of reference dating back to 1998 when Labour was in office, National Party MPs on the committee would not agree to an inquiry. He describes the National MPs on the select committee as "toadies" who have adhered to the wishes of their superiors in stopping the inquiry. He says

Government MPs have denied the accusation, saying they seriously considered holding an inquiry but decided the select committee has already heard enough.

Mr Cosgrove says more than 400 Solid Energy miners will be left wondering why Parliament isn't doing its job and he says he will now seek a top-level investigation into the company.