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Lose an election? Not to worry. Have we got a job for you!

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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  1. Matters Not

    Brandis’ appointments to sinecures now approach the magical 100. The headline should read:

    George approaches his maiden ‘ton’ .

    What an achievement for someone who justifies ‘bigotry’. So very, very proper behaviour from the First Law Officer in the Nation.

    While it’s a scandal, Labor is emasculated because some of their number are in on the rort as well. Perhaps the Greens will make some noise? The LNP treat the citizens as complete mugs. And because we ‘cop’ it – we are!

  2. king1394

    When lucrative jobs just fall into their laps when needed, it makes it hard for the privileged Liberal politician to understand unemployment and the struggle of ordinary people who are constantly knocked back on jobs they are well qualified to do, due to lack of specific experience, or even being over-qualified

  3. Ella

    Kaye Lee, wish you would run for parliament… we need people like you.

    Is it any wonder that the Government is getting nowhere when the likes of Mr. Nikolic are given such positions….

    The Tasmanian people rejected him and the rest of the three amigos , and rightly so !

    So now the Federal Government appoints those who are NOT seen by the people as worthy of holding office !! ???

    A Government with no sense , makes nonsensical decisions .

  4. Matters Not

    Remember also their salary is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to actual costs. Presumably, Nikolic and Briggs will have to ‘travel’ and will do so in style. Nothing less than Business Class. Then there’s the accommodation expenses (something overlooking the water please), probably a daily allowance when away from home, plus land transport costs. Probably need an office, secretarial assistance, phones, computers and other associated costs which I can’t think of at the moment – but I am sure they have.

  5. helvityni

    Agree, Ella, Kaye would make a good politician, maybe an Independent…

    Oz is crying out for honest, fair and caring people in politics.

  6. Andreas Bimba

    I’d vote for Kaye as well.

    The ALP are also good at this. Martin Ferguson was well rewarded for allowing Chevron and others to run off with the nations natural resources and allowing them to use predominantly imported infrastructure and paying negligible royalties and tax to such an extent that any self respecting banana republic would be too embarrassed to admit. The Canadian Newfoundland government and the Norwegian government show it is possible to maximise the local benefit from natural resources developments while Australia’s duopoly shows we can be more corrupt and inept than any third world dictator.

    Didn’t I see Simon Crean defending the cruel treatment of our beef cattle in Indonesia a while back? A quick Google reveals he’s the chairman of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council. Compared to Kaye’s examples this is however a quite benign appointment.

  7. Ella


    How right you are ! Australia is crying out for truly independent people to stand for office …. but not like the current lot with maybe one or two exceptions.

  8. lawrencewinder

    If labor win the next election and want to be seen as serious then the Night of the Long Knives should look like a picnic compared to the removal of these corrupt appointments.

  9. MichaelW

    Makes one wonder why the coalition don’t want a federal ICAC.

  10. Roswell

    MichaelW, there would only be two reasons for that. Either they are of the impression that all conservative politicians are squeaky clean, making a federal ICAC a waste of time and money, or they fear an ICAC will cut through them like the one in NSW. I’m banking on the latter.

    I’m also guessing that the main reason behind Shorten’s long awaited call for a federal ICAC is that he knows too well that the government would oppose it. It makes him look good though.

    But, and I emphasise the but, if he ever becomes PM will he still call for one? Given his opposition to it in the past, and given my assumption that he only wants one now (for political points), I doubt he would.

  11. corvus boreus

    This week Eddie Obeid, a corrupt former state politician, was sentenced to a jail term for illegalities uncovered by the NSW ICAC.
    For years this ‘power-broker’ of the NSW Labor right faction shamelessly plundered the public purse, perverted policy to benefit himself and his family/cronies, and deliberately undermined stability within his own party.
    Special thanks go to another former ‘power-broker’, Graeme Richardson (‘Richo’ from SKY), whose dodgy pre-selection machinations engineered and enabled Obied’s elevation.

    Bill Shorten has (somewhat unsurprisingly) responded to the renewed calls for a similar federal body for anti-corruption oversight by vapidly vacillating that he is open to the the idea “if Malcolm Turnbull is interested to work with me on that”.

  12. John Lord

    Senator Lee sounds good.

  13. Carol Taylor

    I have always wondered why Shorten previously opposed a Federal ICAC and the only reason I can come up with is that he thought that there might be a possibility that it would somehow be stacked against Labor. Obviously he now believes that given Turnbull’s backdown on almost everything, that backing it won’t hurt one little bit.

  14. thebustopher

    They look after their own, plain and simple. Tony Abbott had a man-crush on Nikolic all the way. It didn’t even faze him that Nikolic gave him that onion and made Abbott look like a drongo. (Do even drongoes eat raw onions?)

  15. Michael Taylor

    “if Malcolm Turnbull is interested to work with me on that”.

    I’d hate to think what the Terms of Reference might be.

  16. corvus boreus

    Carol Taylor,
    Attention to detail when analyzing political language is very important.
    Shorten made a theoretical partial commitment to backing such a notion on the provision that Turnbull was also willing.
    What if the PM is unwilling?

  17. MichaelW

    I don’t think Kaye would make a good politician, she is articulate honest and tells the truth. Wouldn’t fit in among our present bunch of incompetent, self serving, waffling lying bunch of buffoons.

  18. Roswell

    “Wouldn’t fit in among our present bunch of incompetent, self serving, waffling lying bunch of buffoons.”

    She’d learn to fit in eventually. I little adjustment here. A little adjustment there. ?

  19. Steve Laing

    I believe that following the “insult” that the people gave Turnbull at the election, his attitude has transformed to thinly veiled contempt, both for the electorate and the political process. The degree of cronyism being exhibited with absolutely no shame is breathtaking.

  20. Kaye Lee

    One of the reasons I lost interest in the church was because of the ridiculous focus on ceremony and worship and the extravagant waste of money.

    One of the reasons I am not interested in entering politics is because of the ridiculous focus on ceremony and worship and the extravagant waste of money.

    Thank you for the vote of confidence but I think I am more a behind the scenes person. I like to achieve things. I like to learn. Having to sit there and listen to George Christensen or Peter Dutton (or most of them really) would be such a waste of time. And I truly couldn’t cope with Cory Bernardi. The man’s an uber-confident fool.

  21. Marilyn

    This Moorebank Intermodal Company is the main motivation for Badgerys Creek Airport. Despite the government lies around this airport proposal it cannot meet international safety standards for bird and bat strike. Located at the back of a closed basin it will cause air pollution in western Sydney (already at the upper limits) to rise above World Health Standards. The health budget will rise accordingly as reported by Environmental Justice Organisation-

    “Each year, in the Greater Sydney region alone, air pollution causes:

    520 premature deaths
    6300 cumulative years of life lost
    1180 hospital admissions
    an estimated $6.4 billion in health costs.

    And it’s expected to get worse. ”

    Aircraft contaminants will impact on the World Heritage Blue Mountains because ozone and VOCs damage crops and vegetation and fine particles affect flora and fauns as well as humans. Contaminants can spread up to 16kms from the airport and the Blue Mountains are only 7kms from the airport. Accordingly our World Heritage listing is at risk. Lose our listing and we lose our tourist industry. Contrary to the governments marketing for the airport there is nothing else in western Sydney to bring tourists.

    The China and South East Asia FTA is behind the resurrection of an airport in a location that had been proven unsuitable in the 1997 EIS. So we are tagged as Nimbies when we tell the truth about the negative impacts and the danger to the Blue Mountains. The Daily Telegraph has run a series of articles against our Western Sydney MPs, Ed Husic, Susan Templeman, Senator Doug Cameron and Emma Hussar for,( wonder of wonders) actually doing their job and speaking up for the people in their electorates and headlines blazed with unflattering photos labelling them The Wreckers of The West, I know who the real wreckers are and it is not these four. They are heroes!

    An essential part of airport planning is the flight paths. With no paths delineated this airport is like a house without a roof. No wonder SAC are reluctant! Would you buy it?

    The whole of the process behind this airport and the appointments made to various Business Alliances and Corporations are just screaming for investigation. Lucy and the Greater Sydney Commission is one such, as are David Borger and Christopher Brown. Take a look at the three city plan for the far west.It is plain that we are considered as the second class citizens who don’t merit any of the noise mitigation measures enjoyed by the east. we are also the grist for the Transurban plan to ring Sydney with toll roads. People in western Sydney are so desperate for jobs that many have swallowed the lies. Yet the figures DO NOT stack up!

    Many of us are so fed up with the corrupt bi-partisan support for this proposal that we want not only a Federal ICAC but we want Constitutional change. The Party system is no longer working for the people. Bring on the revolution!

  22. David1

    As other wise contributors have responded earlier to Kaye Lee, Labor will not be heard on this. Once again wedged firmly into a corner and when Brandis is given his inevitable posting to London, to wallow in the life of the pompous rotund pseudo Lord of the Manor, which he so earnestly desires he will have thumbed his nose yet again at his political enemies, of which there are many.

  23. Keitha Granville

    It makes no difference which party is in, they ALL do it. It’s almost as bad as the USA where Trump has appointed a raft of his mates and right wing nut jobs to positions in the highest responsibilities of the most powerful (still) nation on earth. Are we trying to match that?

    It’s a DISGRACE. Our failed local member in Tas also, Eric Hutchinson , has also been appointed to a posh job. WTF. Were these jobs ot advertised among university graduates, or others with some expertise, knowledge and training ? Clearly not, else these mugs wouldn’t have passed muster.

    This has GOT to stop. Write to your local member today of whatever persuasion andtell them you are sick of it !!!!

  24. passum2013

    Oh another wrong doer getting a rosary job we had a Liberal that supposedly was kicked out for having porn on his computer than ran for council election and got in

  25. Zathras

    I remember being very surprised by Kevin Rudd appointing various ex-Liberal members to Government positions after his electoral victory.

    He must have thought being magnanimous would set a new standard for future governments but of course, that was never going to happen.

    While the ALP has made some dodgy appointments in the past it’s usually the Libs that have a big post-victory clean-out and replace positions with “jobs for the boys” and stack boards with sympathisers, supporters, sponsors and acolytes.

    They are simply laying the ground-work for their own rat-run when their own time comes around.

    As the late George Carlin once said – “It’s a big club – and you ain’t in it”.

  26. wam

    Wow endorsed by the lord, kaye???? You pair have the blight of openness of belief and none of the qualifications needed to get past the strangers bar.

    Politics is one of the few careers where spectacular failure is no impediment to promotion.

    If the rabbot lives 32 years after retiring he will reach the payout of … Remember that telstra bloke??? ah can’t think ahah Sol.

  27. lawrencesroberts

    I take it that The Parliamentary Labor Party are still in The Bar?

  28. John Brame

    You would have my vote Kaye. This hand me down jobs for the boys is disgusting. They are nothing but leaners and bludgers.

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    When The Greens/Labor ALLiance Democratic (GLAD) Socialist Government wins in a landslide victory over these ugly, decrepit LNP Degenerates, GLAD will wipe out their miserable, undeserved appointments.

    There will be parties far and wide throughout Australia celebrating the defeat of the LNP disgusting disease and …

    … it will be the beginning of a new, cleansing, lasting anti-neoliberalism era.

  30. Ella

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith,
    what a beautiful dream, may you Xmas wish be granted.

  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Ella,

    it need not just be a dream. I’m serious.

    Although I accept it sounds utopian, the higher we reach, the more we achieve.

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