I Have Too Much Power

Posted Thursday February 21, 2008 by John Gunders in |

Further evidence that when you change the government, you change the country.

According to Crikey yesterday (behind the pay-wall, unfortunately), Immigration Minister Chris Evans in a Senate Estimates Committee confessed that he was uncomfortable with the amount of power that he could exercise over individual immigration cases:

“I have formed the view that I have too much power … in terms of the power given to the minister to make decisions about individual cases,” Evans said. “I’m uncomfortable with that, not just because of concern about playing God, but also because of the lack of transparency and accountability for those decisions.”

Evans has apparently ordered a review of his own position. Crikey mentioned the cases of Robert Jovicic, and of course, Dr Mohamed Haneef, two examples of ministerial intervention into specific cases.

Of course, it remains to be seen what Evans’ review of the role of the Minister will bring, and whether, when it comes to crunch-time, he will be able to bring himself to limit his own powers.

But it is a refreshing change from the days of centralisation and big government.

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