An Integrity Commission investigation has cleared the Chair of the Tourism Tasmania Board, James Cretan, of misconduct in relation to his pecuniary interests in the Mount Wellington Cable-way Company and the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village.
In an investigation report (PDF, 1.1 MB) tabled in the Tasmanian Parliament today, the Commission said Mr Cretan had no conflict of interest, given the oversight and monitoring nature of his role as Board Chair and the fact that the Board had not considered any matters relevant to MWCC. He had declared his pecuniary interest in MWCC at the earliest opportunity.
However, the Commission said concerns raised in the media in April 2017 and April-May 2018 could have been avoided if Mr Cretan had provided a more detailed disclosure, even though it was not required under the Tourism Tasmania Act.
The lack of detail led to concern in the Premier’s Office, although it was alleviated when Mr Cretan provided further information and supporting documentation.
The report stated the information eventually provided to the Minister and the Premier’s Office had the potential to mitigate the perception of integrity issues.
‘There is no identifiable reason why this information could not have been made publicly available at an earlier stage,’ the report stated.
‘The fact that Mr Cretan did not initially disclose full details of his interest and role … served to fuel speculation that something was amiss and was being hidden, when it was not the case.’
The investigation also found that another Board member with an interest in MWCC, Ian Rankine, had acted properly in disclosing his investment – also without specific details – and did not have a conflict of interest.
The report stated there was no evidence that Mr Cretan or Mr Rankine had used their Tourism Tasmania Board positions to gain financial advantage personally or for MWCC.
Mr Cretan’s role as a Tourism Tasmania Board representative to the Premier’s Visitor Economy Advisory Council was one of oversight and monitoring and did not deal with specific tourism projects or investments. He did not have a role with Wellington Park Management Trust.
The investigation considered allegations arising from four complaints regarding Mr Cretan, Mr Rankine, a third Tourism Tasmania Board member and a Tourism Tasmania employee.
As a result of investigation outcomes, the Board of the Integrity Commission has dismissed all complaints.
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