The West Australian’s Federal Political Editor Andrew Probyn is facing demands from a parliamentary committee to reveal the confidential source of one of his stories.
The letter, from the Standing Committee on Regional Australia, was given to Probyn today and follows a front page exclusive report published in Monday’s edition of The West Australian.
The story revealed the committee’s report into fly-in, fly-out work practices would recommend scrutiny of the way resource companies use fringe benefits tax exemptions to move staff into mining areas.
It also revealed the report would liken FIFO practices to cancer in the way they hurt rural and remote communities.
The report, released today, contains the recommendation revealed by Probyn in his report.
But his report has drawn the ire of the committee, chaired by NSW independent Tony Windsor.
In a letter from public servant Glenn Worthington, the committee expressed its concern at Probyn’s exclusive report.
“As noted by the Chair, the details in the article seemed to indicate that there had been an unauthorised disclosure of the internal proceedings of the Committee,” he wrote.
“The Committee has asked me to write to you to seek you to reveal your source of information regarding the Committee’s confidential report.
“The Committee may resolve to pursue the matter further following your response by inviting you to appear before it to answer questions on this matter.
“Once the Committee has completed its investigation, it will determine whether to report back to the House recommending that further action be taken.”
Probyn has been given until March 8 to reveal his source to the committee.