Remember Jamie Briggs, the Minister sacked from his position for “inappropriate behaviour” towards a female colleague and then summarily ousted in the election, losing the safe Liberal seat of Mayo with a swing against him of 17.5%?
He has just been appointed to the board of a government enterprise, the Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited. MIC was established to develop a freight terminal in Sydney’s southwest.
And then there is Andrew Nikolic (above) who also lost his seat with a 10.1% swing against him.
In September last year he had this to say about environmental activism
“…as we know, the intent of this legal activism is not to help but to hinder … These are groups, by the way, that often receive considerable taxpayer-funded charitable status and taxpayer funding. Think about that for a moment – taxpayer funds being used to make Australia a much riskier place to invest. It just beggars belief. Groups involved include Greenpeace, the New South Wales and Queensland Environmental Defenders Offices, Lock the Gate, Beyond Zero Emissions, GetUp and a range of other organisations, including the Australia Institute … It is little wonder that, in the correspondence that I have received on this issue, many people use words like ‘disgusting’, ‘sabotage,’ ‘treason’ and ‘un-Australian’ to describe what it is going on.”
Nikolic has said that the threat of terrorism makes civil liberties “redundant” and objections to new counter-terrorism powers amount to “impractical nonsense”.
Nikolic has no legal experience whatsoever so who better to appoint to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as a “senior member” with a total remuneration package of between $304,790 and $362,070, with a base salary of at least $222,500 who will now judge appeals on immigration and welfare decisions.
Nikolic is also in receipt of a very generous army pension, not that he’s a double-dipper or anything.
The president of the AAT must be a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, but the tribunal’s other members, who review government administrative decisions, may be judges of the Federal Court or Family Court of Australia, lawyers of at least five years’ standing, or persons with “relevant knowledge or skills”.
How Nikolic qualifies as a “senior member” only George Brandis could explain.
And in case you were concerned for Sophie Mirabella who selflessly quit her sinecure at Australian Submarine Corporation to run for public office, worry no more. Sophie has been employed by Gina Rinehart to be “GM of government and media relations”. Because we all know how well Sophie gets on with people.
Speaking of which, I wonder how our failed ex-Treasurer now Ambassador to the US is getting on with the President-elect (presuming he now has his number).
Politics is one of the few careers where spectacular failure is no impediment to promotion.
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