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Trust, transparency and accountability or gimme gimme gimme?

Buoyed by their success at the 2013 election, the Abbott government has wasted no time in using their power to feather their own nest and to promote, reward and employ their backers.  Whilst all governments do this to a degree, Abbott has taken it to a whole new level of blatant nepotism and servitude to his masters at the expense of the public interest.

On the 9th of September 2013, before the count was even finalised, Julie Bishop flexed her muscles by her petty and vindictive decision to revoke the appointment of Steve Bracks as consul-general in New York.  He had been appointed in May, long before the caretaker period, and was due to start that week.

It’s not as if Ms Bishop had a better person in mind. The position remained vacant for six months until it was gifted to Nick Minchin, the man who gave Tony Abbott leadership of the Liberal Party in return for his conversion to climate change denial.

And she didn’t stop there. Despite having 18 months of his term left, Mike Rann was booted from the position of High Commissioner to the UK to make way for Alexander Downer.  This is the man who, under the guise of providing foreign aid, authorised the bugging of the cabinet offices of the East Timor parliament to further the commercial interest of Woodside Petroleum who coincidentally employed him after he left politics.

Rather than investigate this matter, which is before the International Court of Justice, George Brandis authorised raids to steal the evidence and cancelled the passport of the prime witness.

Brandis also hit the ground running to look after his mates. So appalled was he by the conviction of Andrew Bolt, he immediately set about changing the laws to protect the rights of bigots.  To champion the cause, he made the inexplicable decision to sack the Human Rights Commissioner for the Disabled, Graeme Innes, and appoint the IPA’s Tim Wilson (without advertising, application, interview, relevant qualifications or experience), to fight for the repeal of Section 18c of the racial discrimination laws,

After a huge backlash from the public, Brandis was directed to drop his crusade, and there sits Tim Wilson, drawing a salary of $400,000 including perks, with nothing to do.

Mr Wilson’s appointment followed Senator Brandis’ announcement that he had chosen former Howard government minister David Kemp – the son of IPA founder Charles Kemp – to chair the advisory council of Old Parliament House.  This position had been given to Barrie Cassidy but Brandis forced him to resign.  Along with Kemp, two others were appointed: Heather Henderson, the only daughter of Liberal Party founder Sir Robert Menzies; and Sir David Smith, whose place in history was assured on November 11, 1975, on the steps of Old Parliament House, when as official secretary to governor-general Sir John Kerr he was required to read out the proclamation sacking the Whitlam government.

Brandis, as Minister for the Arts, also appointed Gerard Henderson as chairman of the judging panel for the nonfiction and history category of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, Australia’s richest book prize.

Tony Abbott only took a few hours to begin his Night of the Long Knives. The swearing-in ceremony had barely finished when the Prime Minister’s office issued a press release, announcing three departmental secretaries had had their contracts terminated and the Treasury Secretary would stand down next year.

The head of Infrastructure Australia also quit or was sacked for his criticism of the government’s interference with the independence of his organisation.  The head of the NBN, along with the entire board, were also replaced.

All funding for the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples was withdrawn.  Countless charities and advisory groups have been defunded.

Climate change and renewable energy bodies have been under constant attack with many disbanded and the rest hanging on temporarily by the grace of the Senate.

To replace all these experienced experts, we have seen an astonishing array of people appointed to high-paying positions as advisers, reviewers, commissioners, consultants, board members, envoys –

Maurice Newman, head of Tony Abbott’s 12-member Business Advisory Council, aged 76, a former head of the stock exchange and the ABC and a founder of another of the right-wing think tanks, the Centre for Independent Studies. Climate sceptic.

Dick Warburton, 72, the former chairman of the petrochemical company Caltex, among other corporate affiliations. Appointed  to review Australia’s 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target (RET).  Climate sceptic.  Also appointed was Brian Fisher.  Climate modelling done by his firm has been presented to the review panel by the oil and gas sector, as part of its campaign against the RET.

Tony Shepherd, former head of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), aged 69. Appointed to head the Commission of Audit.  Climate sceptic.  Former Liberal senator Amanda Vanstone and Liberal staffer and Chicago-school economist Peter Boxall were on the commission’s panel. Peter Crone, director of policy at the BCA, was head of the secretariat.

David Murray, 65, the former CEO of the Commonwealth Bank, appointed head of the government’s Financial System Inquiry. Climate sceptic.

Henry Ergas, 62, regulatory economist and columnist for the Australian. Appointed to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s “expert panel” to assess the costs and benefits of Turnbull’s “copper magic” NBN-lite.  Climate sceptic who recently made a video with Christopher Monckton.

Kevin Donnelly, the IPA-aligned former chief-of-staff to Kevin Andrews and champion of corporal punishment. Appointed to review the National Curriculum.  He then appointed Barry Spurr, author of racist sexist ranting emails, to advise on the literature curriculum.

Warren Mundine, son-in-law of Gerard Henderson. Appointed to advise on Indigenous affairs.  Has set up a nice new office, 10km away from his department.

Jim Molan, retired general and author of the tow-back policy. Appointed as Special Envoy to fix the asylum seeker problem and to advise on the defence white paper, a position he quit after three weeks citing differences with the Defence Minister.

Janet Albrechtsen, columnist for the Australian, and Neil Brown, former deputy Liberal Party leader. Appointed to the panel overseeing appointments to the boards of the ABC and SBS.

It seems the pool of “experts” nowadays is confined to the IPA, the Australian, the Business Council, and the Howard government, and climate change scepticism is an essential criterion.

Aside from jobs for the boys (and a couple of girls who think feminism is a dirty word), we have also seen the blatant promotion of the coal industry with fast-tracking of approvals. We have seen the repeal of gambling reform laws.  We have seen the delay and watering down of food and alcohol labelling laws.  We are seeing an attack on the minimum wage and penalty rates.  All of these measures are against the best interests of the people and purely designed to reward business donors.

Our Prime Minister personally introduces James Packer to international government and business leaders around the world to promote his quest to build more casinos. This is despite the fact that his company, Crown, has been implicated in bribery to a Chinese official.

In a recent report, the OECD was scathing of Australia’s record, pointing out that Australia “has only one case that has led to foreign bribery prosecutions, out of 28 foreign bribery referrals received by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) … this is of serious concern”.

One of the 28 cases referred to the AFP related to two properties in Chinese Macau part owned by James Packer’s company, Crown.

A former Macau official is currently serving a 289-year sentence for accepting bribes of up to $100 million, with various suspect projects named, including the casinos.

The OECD report notes Australian police did not launch a domestic investigation into any possibility of Crown’s involvement.

In another scandal, former Leighton Holdings construction boss Wal King has denied all knowledge of a $42 million bribe Leighton is accused of having paid in Iraq. Leighton Holdings continue to be awarded lucrative government contracts.

Another of the 28 cases referred to by the OECD relates to payments made by BHP Billiton in China. They note that, unlike Australia, the US has launched two investigations into BHP Billiton

The OECD’s lead examiners expressed concern that the “AFP may have closed foreign bribery cases before thoroughly investigating the allegations”.

The only foreign bribery investigation that has resulted in prosecutions in Australia is the highly publicised case involving the Reserve Bank subsidiaries Securency and Note Printing Australia over which, interestingly, Dick Warburton has been investigated as a former director of Note Printing Australia.

One must wonder about a police force that can spend hundreds of thousands investigating and prosecuting Peter Slipper over $900 worth of cab charges, that can mobilise over 800 police to conduct raids leading to the arrest of one teenager who got a phone call from a bad person and the confiscation of a plastic sword, but who refuse to investigate widespread corruption in industry.

And every day it gets just a little bit worse.

A Sydney restaurant owned by Tourism Minister Andrew Robb and his family is being promoted by a government-funded $40 million, 18-month Tourism Australia campaign that targets 17 key global markets to sell the Australian “foodie” experience to the world.

The Robb family restaurant, Boathouse Palm Beach, is showcased on Tourism Australia’s “Restaurant Australia” website, which was launched in May, as the “ultimate day trip destination” just an hour from Sydney and the “perfect place for a relaxed family outing”.

Perhaps Tony Abbott’s daughters earned their job at the UN and $60,000 scholarship.  Perhaps the contract to BMW had nothing to do with them giving an Abbott girl a gig.  We will never know.

This is only a sample of how the ruling class are using our nation as their personal plaything, of how they openly flaunt convention and even the law, of how they silence dissent and promote their agenda, of how they bestow rewards.

Until this abuse of power is curtailed, politicians will rightly be reviled as the least trustworthy people in the country.

45 comments

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  1. Lee

    This government is rotten to the core and to the great shame of the electorate the majority of us accept it as normal behaviour.

  2. Terry2

    Andrew Robb was asked today at Question Time about his family restaurant getting free publicity in the Tourism Australia advertising promotion. In a performance of confected outrage which seems to indicate that he has some latent talent for amateur dramatics, he accused the Labor Party of muckraking and avoided answering the question altogether…………Madam Speaker was quick to move on to a more traditional Dorothy Dixer which confirmed to all and sundry that, since the removal of the carbon tax our electricity bills had shrunk by between 9% and 10%.*

    * For the record, I should note here that, unlike the rest of Australia, my electricity bill has not gone down, in fact several of the tariffs have increased…..funny that.

  3. Wayne Turner

    AKA These Libs are “Inbred Fascists”.

    http://www.rense.com/general37/fascism.htm
    They match all the points in the above link.

    On this issue:-
    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

  4. Lee

    “I should note here that, unlike the rest of Australia, my electricity bill has not gone down, in fact several of the tariffs have increased…..funny that.”

    My electricity tariffs have increased too, thus wiping out any predicted saving due to the removal of the carbon tax. Every person I know who says they are paying less, have saved less than $1 on their last bill – considerably less than the average savings predicted by the supplier.

  5. M-R

    And who is going to curtail it ?

  6. Kaye Lee

    A Federal ICAC hopefully

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    Same for my bill.

  8. M-R

    Oremus, Kaye …

  9. stephentardrew

    Bloody hell…. what the…..Oh never mind I think I will cry myself to sleep.

  10. John Fraser

    <

    As far as abuses of power go it should be noted that any time someone comes up against Abbott or his family in a Court case, the end result is usually a loss, and in one case (to date) jail … Pauline Hanson.

    An astounding legal defence record.

    And then there are the (numerous) times that Abbott should have been charged …. along the lines of Peter Slipper.

    Unless of course we put it all down to divine intervention.

  11. Matthew Oborne

    A few of deals have been announced publicly of the type that would have been secret in the past, it seems corruption that outs itself is not considered corruption by this pack of thieves. The war on welfare continues unabated as they line their pockets. Most media are doing exactly what the government wants and keeping what would have been scandals in the past kept out of the public arena.

  12. Kaye Lee

    If the press are nice, they get a ride on Tony’s plane and dinner at Kirribilli House.

    “THE Abbott Government will seek a truce with media outlets and taxpayers so it can buy or lease larger VIP jets to fly politicians, officials and journalists overseas on the same aircraft. The $600 million lease on the current RAAF fleet of two Boeing 737 business jets and three smaller Challenger 604 aircraft will expire next year and the government will seek agreement from media companies to limit criticism of any decision to opt for bigger planes. Any negative publicity would be limited to plush add ons such as gold taps or marble sinks.

    The Boeing 737 BBJ aircraft are operated by 34 Squadron at Fairbairn in Canberra and are used by the Prime Minister and the Governor-General for official overseas trips, but they are too small to carry a full complement of press gallery journalists and crews.

    The Boeing 777 and Airbus A-330 each cost about $250 million and both can carry in excess of 200 passengers in VIP configuration.”

    http://www.news.com.au/national/prime-minister-tony-abbott-seeks-media-deal-over-vip-jets/story-fncynjr2-1226793311718

    Invited to dinner and drinks at Kirribilli House is a roll-call of Mr Abbott’s strongest supporters, among them Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Janet Albrechtson, Miranda Devine, Dennis Shanahan, Paul Kelly, Chris Kenny and Tom Switzer. Fairfax Media columnists Paul Sheehan and Gerard Henderson were also invited to the knees-up, which was orchestrated by Mr Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/guess-whos-coming-to-dinner-abbotts-round-table-20131025-2w76k.html#ixzz3GwjTiHQ4

  13. Keitha Granville

    Can you do me a favour Kaye ? As a comparison see if you can find any similar “jobs for the boys” when K Rudd took office after the Howard years. I would be willing to bet there may not be many but it would show those who think the sun shines at the moment that this governmentt is truly corrupt. My husband and I , stephentardrew, will also cry ourselves to sleep. He just read this article and said”oh bloody hell, another thing to make me even angrier”. We must follow our great leader’s instruction – MAINTAIN THE RAGE.

  14. Michael from Regional Australia

    Based on Abbott’s first 13 months, we can see how institutional corruption in a nation proceeds so easily, and how it can become both endemic and yet somehow opaque, over some years. A case in point is that Australian governments over the past 45 years have become ‘ clients’ of Murdoch’s powerful media empire in this country. Such is the pervasiveness of the Murdoch publications’ ideology, that many ordinary Australians are now unable to distinguish this highly filtered worldview from their own.

    Merely nominating ‘ old mates and associates ‘ without a bona fide selection process (eg. Tim Wilson’s appointment), is the beginnings down the path of a symbiotic fusion between government and business elites, …. and corruption.

    Abbott is demonstrating that he is a strong advocate of this process. He also demonstrates that for him, power is an end in itself and that he is in the Prime Ministership for all he can get, and that he has little commitment to the wellbeing of the Australian people beyond appeasing the wealthy enclaves he so aspires to impress and rub shoulders with.

    As Prime Minister, he is a national disgrace.

  15. Terry2

    The final speaker in our parliament today , before it broke up for the weekend, was the Assistant Minister for Defence (NB: not the Minister for Defence). He wanted to tell an empty House that the submarines that many thought would be built in South Australia would, in fact, not be built in Australia at all, but may just may be bought off the shelf elsewhere (possibly Japan but nothing concrete yet).

    The misunderstanding by most of the Australian population, in particular South Australians, evidently was that the LNP had said before the election that the submarines would be “centred” on or in South Australia – term not explained – and the only people who said they would be “built” in South Australia were a dissolute, wayward and spendthrift Labor party.

    I was driving at the time and almost had an accident – historical fact had just been changed and was now on the record, in Hansard. The election promise by the real Minister for Defence, Johnston and the Liberal Party, had been erased from the record and all future references would be to today’s statement.

    It got me thinking about Orwell’s 1984 character, Winston Smith who I recall worked at the Ministry for Truth and diligently altered published fact and history at the behest of his government : if he were in Australia today, he would head up a large department and would be flat out like a lizard drinking !

    Stranger than fiction and twice as scary.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Perhaps someone should screenshot this before it disappears like so many of Tony’s past speeches have.

    “DAVID JOHNSTON – The Coalition today is committed to building 12 new submarines here in Adelaide, we will get that task done, and it is a really important task, not just for the Navy but for the nation. And we are going to see the project through, and put it very close after force protection, as our number priority if we win the next Federal Election. Over to you Steve.

    MARSHALL – Can I just say I am very grateful for Senator Johnston coming to South Australia and confirming the Coalition’s policy, to build 12 submarines here in South Australia. It’s fantastic news for South Australia, it’s fantastic news for the people who work in the defence sector in South Australia, there has been a big cloud having over their heads for an extended period of time, the Government announced this in 2009 and as Senator Johnston said has done very little since then, we still have no clarity about the time frame, the cost for the project from the Government whatsoever, but what we have got today is a real focus from the Opposition, this a major priority for us as the Federal level and we are just so delighted here in South Australia that Senator Johnston has been able to come along and confirm that for us today.”

    http://www.senatorjohnston.com.au/Media/OtherMedia/tabid/71/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/326/Doorstop–Future-submarine-project.aspx

  17. marg1

    Sometimes I do wonder why I read these posts – it makes my heart ache and I grieve for our country. I don’t know how these parasites can look themselves in the eye, they are so evil. Do we have any hope that things can change?

  18. Kaye Lee

    Keitha,

    Re Kevin Rudd…

    In office he sought to strike a bipartisan note, appointing liberals to key positions and ambassadorships. Labor under Kevin Rudd maintained the appointment of Amanda Vanstone for example, and later on appointed a former leader, Brendan Nelson and Tim Fischer, both to diplomatic appointments.

    LEIGH SALES: Let’s start with the appointments this week of Kim Beazley and Brendan Nelson as envoys to Washington and Brussels respectively. The Sydney Morning Herald had an interesting table this morning showing that since his election, Kevin Rudd has appointed 10 conservatives to key positions and only two Labor figures.

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2690663.htm

  19. Kaye Lee

    marg,

    Our only hope is to make the call for a federal ICAC so loud that Labor joins the Greens in demanding it.

  20. Wayne Turner

    Sadly Kaye under GUTLESS (Sadly the ONLY GUTS he showed was screwing over the Labor party for the leadership.) Scared of the MSM BORING Bill Labor will NEVER agree to a federal ICAC.Labor picked the wrong person over the wishes of the MAJORITY of paid up members.SHORTEN IS USELESS.

  21. Joe Banks

    One of your very best, Kaye. If only it could be letter-boxed to every household in the country. These days, I can’t find words to describe this vile government.

  22. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    Senator Johnston is more likely to disappear from the Defence Ministerial post before the Link.

    An underperformer to challenge Hockey.

  23. Kerri

    Thanks Kaye for the reference to KRudd’s appointments. It matched my memory.
    Julie Bishop is being hailed as a demigod by desperate conservatives trying to find someone worth supporting in the LNP. We must not allow the public to forget her work with asbestos, her clawing at Penny Wong and of course her nyah nyah ne nyah nyah at Stev Bracks when she gained office.
    The woman is… undescribable online.
    The nepotism and croneyism is a daily affront, but so many are simply switching off. The youth of today need to be seriously engaged as it is their future that this lot are selling off, ripping up and pocketing.

  24. Kaye Lee

    “Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s national curriculum review has probably been holed well below the waterline, with revelations at Senate estimates yesterday that the Coalition-linked figures chosen to lead the review had not been vetted by education experts. Moreover, the ongoing Barry Spurr business is the latest scandal in a process that has been doomed from the start.

    Criticised at the outset by respected members of the education community as premature and as a political stunt, the process attracted yet more criticism for its appointment of two opinionated Liberal supporters as reviewers. Then, in July last year, we had the embarrassing spectacle of Pyne having to disown the corporal punishment views of co-reviewer Kevin Donnelly. Now we have Pyne’s public renunciation of Sydney University’s Barry Spurr, a specialist consultant who leads the list of 15 review auxiliaries.

    Adding to the perception of Coalition bias, that same list suffers from an over-representation of the private school system (only one government school individual), has no indigenous representative, and no multicultural representative (standard for federal, state and territory reviews). The list also includes three academics, two of whom (Greg Melleuish and Alex Robson) have close links with the Institute of Public Affairs, and a third (Tony Makin) whose paper attacking the Rudd/Swann handling of the GFC was launched by Mathias Cormann in September 2014. And, of course, there’s the problematic Barry Spurr.

    First, Pyne announced that there would be a review of the national curriculum because he thought it contained leftist bias, a manifestly absurd idea. Next he appointed a controversially partisan inquiry team. Then came the Pyne-approved subject specialists, many of them chosen for published or an otherwise known predisposition to the Pyne/Donnelly/Wiltshire point of view but none apparently checked for excruciatingly inappropriate views before they were signed on. In the review itself we get a document that eschews evidence-based analysis, has a strong religious bias and plumps largely for the conclusions that Pyne thought of first (leftist bias undetected though). Ludicrously, the review then argues for two differing conclusions. Unsurprisingly, the document is met with a mixture of apathy and derision.”

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/10/23/pynes-curriculum-review-should-have-learnt-from-history/

  25. bkpyett

    Important that these facts are known.

  26. stephentardrew

    Kaye your’e killing me with your rushing facts tearing at the very fabric of mind and heart in a scatter bombing of relentless graft, corruption, nepotism and outright stupidity. The walls are closing in and I think my mind is going to: This is a recording – You have now been put on hold for an indefinite period Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………………………………

  27. Conrad

    Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
    My hands were clenched in fists of rage

  28. corvus boreus

    ICAC.
    Applied vigorously over the whole house, with impartiality and universality of standard.
    Examine the legality, decency and sobriety of the conduct of our elected officials, their appointees, and those who surround and influence them.
    Scrutinise the validity of their claims and declarations of entitlements and expenses, and gifts given and favours promised(including by extension), particularly by those seeking to gain legislative preference. How does the public benefit from Tony promoting his book?
    Check the legitimacy of the qualifications of their appointments, political staff and special commissions, and the influence of unelected appointees upon policy and implementation. Ensure positions and commissions are not dispensed for the reward of croneys, and to provide ideologically pre-determined concusions. Is Kevin Donnelly the most qualified and impartial authority on education?
    Audit the legality of how funds are raised, and the transparency with which contracts are rewarded. No more ministers for sale.
    Cast a net over the activities of the surrounding corporate courtiers, the lobbyists and the so-called think-tanks. Should the IPA(for example), which seeks to undermine central tenets of democracy for the benefit of their members and donors, have charity status?
    Shine a spotlight on possible collusion between politicians and commercial media interests. Bigoted media whores do not warrant special legislatory alterations, nor taxpayer funded luxury travel.
    Clean and sterilise the political environment so the mention of democratic electoral representation does not elicit comments of cynical disgust in the population. To think you are entitled to public monies in order to attend celebrity weddings to ensure favourable reportage is beyond indecent.
    ICAC.
    The term has bobbed to the surface of public discourse, and the shifty shits that pick our pockets to line their own dens cannot push it back out of sight.
    ICAC is a line in the sand to define where you stand.
    ICAC asks; are you honest?
    P.s. Kudos to Kaye Lee for the catalogue of crony appointments.

  29. June M Bullivant OAM

    Both Federal and State governments think the same, there Is no thought about the people they were elected to serve, NSW has so much legislation waiting to bring in if they win the March election and it is not good news for the community. The Federals are still waiting to bring the poor, sick and disadvantaged to their knees, they have enough money to go to war but no money to look after the vulnerable.

  30. Ross

    Re the increase in electricity bills.
    The increase is the cost of mailing out a letter informing you of the slight decrease due to the axing of the carbon tax.
    The next increase will be the cost of mailing out a letter informing you of a slight decrease in supply charges due to the gold plating of the poles and wires changing to silver plating.
    Hope that clears up the confusion.

    Ross

  31. stephentardrew

    Great post Corvus. With you one hundred percent and like you are truly thankful to Kaye for her unrelenting effort.

    If the greens support a federal ICAC it may be time for progressives to unite under the Green label (especially Scott Ludlum) regardless of political affiliation simply to repair a broken democracy. There is substantial power if progressives leave alone political biases for a strong and necessary democratic outcome. ICAC should be our cry and we must do everything possible to encourage such.

  32. ashtob

    At the time I was reading the Slipper/Ashby emails, I had friends writing long arduous applications for their state teaching jobs – not high status, not for promotion, but to change location or even retain their existing position. A recurring question for me was how Ashby was able to walk in to a highly-paid job for which he had no qualifications – not even good English skills. I wonder how many jobs are awarded without full applications or checks.

    Thanks for the excellent comprehensive article. I knew most of it, but seeing it all put together like that is very interesting and it should be widely publicised.

  33. townsvilleblog

    When Abbott said last September “Australia is once again open for business” two things, firstly Australia was never closed for business, and secondly what he should have said is “Australia is now up for sale to our donors” bugger “the people.”

  34. Florence nee Fedup

    If one takes into consideration Senate Estimates Hearing this week most are appointed without any scrutiny. One department interviews 80 or more people., Minister appointed their own person. Story repeated more than once during the week.

  35. Florence nee Fedup

    Keitha Granville. If my recollections is correct. Rudd left most Department heads in place. A mistake IMHO.

    Rudd made appointments from both sides of the political fence. Many I also did not agree with.

    Politicisation of the PS began under Howard, I believe. For the good of democracy, this trend needs to be reversed.

  36. corvus boreus

    townsvilleblog,
    “Australia is open for business.
    One stop shopping for environmental approvals.
    Red and green tape slashed.”
    The sales pitch of a shonk.

  37. trevor

    vale Gough, a towering vision matched by innovation in Government until the Labor rats, Liarbrals and their backers incl Black ops USA, decided that the Australian Constitution was vague enough to claim justification for the destruction of Parliamentary protocols, processes and procedures which brings us todays Abbott rabble and rank opportunism masquerading as a Government whilst gouging Public funds of Entitlements and stiffing the worker at every turn as Abbott’s mates and donors are awarded the stolen spoils of a hard won fairgo and equality of Australia.

    Thanks Kaye Lee for your dogged determination to keep the facts before the eyes.

    In support of a Federal ICAC, does anyone out there see a place for mounting arguements and a campaign for Citizen Referenda. I imagine that arguements could well be made that polititians would find hard to refute in Democratic OZland and a clever campaign run in concert to get ICAC for Federal Parliament at the same time.. With a two pronged campaign we may succeed with one or the other. Federal ICAC or Citizen Referenda??
    Yours for an entertaining day..

    A quote attributed to Frank Zappa sums it up pretty well i thought.. ” Politics is the entertainment arm of the Military Industrial Estate”

  38. Kaye Lee

    I forgot to include one of my favourites….

    Former Member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, has been appointed as a board member of the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC).

    Ms Mirabella was appointed to the board by the Minister for Industry, Mathias Cormann, for a three year term alongside senior executives Peter Iancov and Paul Rizzo.

    Mr Cormann said Ms Mirabella’s legal background and experience working with the manufacturing industry would make a valuable contribution to the board.

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/jobs-for-the-girls-no-sinking-feelings-about-sophie-mirabella-20131221-2zrwg.html

    Good job Sophie.

    BTW can anyone tell me why we need submarines?

  39. Terry2

    Kaye Lee,This is the Hansard extract that introduces newspeak to support the lie that the coalition ever promised to build these submersibles in Adelaide – becomes all the more complicated with Sophie in the board of ASC as she knows damn well that David Johnston (also known as David Who) did make that commitment on behalf of his leader who has now gone to water.

    “The coalition promised at the last election that the new submarine project will be centred on Adelaide. Any more specific commitment than that would have been grossly irresponsible in defence strategy terms. We need to ensure that the best capability is purchased, not simply have an industry policy propping up one region of Australia. I think that whatever decision is made there will be plenty of contracts and jobs for South Australia. This can be done without jeopardising the overriding priority of good defence policy.

    I note that the Leader of the Opposition did the exact opposite in his recent speech on the topic. His speech, promising amongst other things that, under Labor, the submarines would be built in Adelaide without first doing the proper due diligence harked back to the protectionist, xenophobic unionism that we all thought had been relegated to the past—obviously, not.”

    But , of course, ultimately it is all Labor’s fault, isn’t it ?

    Oh what a tangled web we weave……………………!

  40. Pudd'nhead

    Is there any truth to the rumour that Messrs Bolt,Jones,Hadley and the devine Devine are to form a procustian society? As disciples to their idol Procustes Abbott himself they need no additional training to assist them in the art of cutting or extending their summations to fit Abbott’s bed of lies?

  41. Matters Not

    This man needs to go

    Wrong! I hope he stays and continues to write many, many more articles. I want him on the Drum, 7.30 Report and the like.

    Indeed, I hope the ABC gives him his own ‘daily’ show. He should be invited to address the G20 and have that speech broadcast across the world.

    The fact that he’s effing nuts should not be held against him. He’s in good company with the likes of the Bolta, Warburton, Jones ….

  42. Kaye Lee

    Newman scored another appointment last year, when Tony Abbott made him the head of his Business Advisory Council, a 12-person group that meets with the government three times a year. The announcement was intended as a sign of Abbott’s pro-market stance. But it raised eyebrows within the Liberal Party, where, as one senator told me, “Maurice is not seen as a contemporary business leader.” Some sections of business were similarly perplexed. “Maurice’s career is good but not stellar,” one retired senior banker says. “It goes to show what a person of relatively ordinary talent can achieve through application over a long period of time.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/people/maurice-newman-the-milliondollar-smiler-20140630-3b2qs.html#ixzz3HP39mDhr

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