Governance experts fear Australia is sliding down the “slippery slope” of corruption, calling on the federal government to overhaul its planned integrity commission in the wake of an auditor-general report into a program funnelling hundreds of millions of dollars into Coalition-held seats.
Source: Car park program shows Australia must adopt Commonwealth Integrity Commission ASAP: governance experts
No shortage of fodder When asked about recent scandals that might warrant the establishment of a federal anti-corruption commission, Rowlings was not short for words. “Just in the past year, we have had some classic cases that should attract formal attention for possible corruption,” he said. Along with the sports rorts grants, he pointed to Angus Taylor’s grassland issue, the alleged use of federal electorate offices for branch stacking – possibly by both major parties – and ASIC’s failure to take action against corporations. Rowlings also pointed to a few more discrepancies that involve the architect behind the Coalition’s proposed CIC. There was Porter’s stacking of the Administrative Affairs Tribunal with favourable judicial officers right before the last election, which “he thought the Coalition was going to lose”, and then there’s the attorney general’s decision to approve the prosecution of Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery, after his predecessor George Brandis refused to do so. “The list can go on and on,” Rowlings concluded.
Source: Dude, where’s our federal anti-corruption body? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
This was and still is Phase 1 one of the Morrison Government Plan
Just when you thought it couldn’t, political integrity has dropped another notch. I thought we reached the low point in our rorting degradation last year when Gladys Berejiklian was metaphorically caught with her fingers in the paper shredder over $252 million worth of politicised council grants. The NSW Premier effectively said: ‘Yeah, it’s crook, you might not like it, but that’s the way it is, so too bad’. But on Sunday federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham went further when confronted with the Morrison government’s $660 million #carparkrorts. According to the leader of the government in the Senate, it’s all our fault, “it’s what electorates expect”. At least Ms Berejiklian was capable of admitting to the pork barrelling.
Source: Government rorts drop political integrity down another notch
Barnaby’s back! To those of us who have witnessed leaders’ heads roll within the Coalition faster than their accusing fingers can point to “Labor, Labor Labor!”, it seems beyond farcical.
Source: Barnaby Joyce’s 14 greatest achievements
In my previous post I mentioned that I would post a list of Coalition misdemeanours over their term in office. There are many, which to most of us would come as no surprise as to the depths of the Coalition’s dirty dealings and the realisation of how rotten these two parties are.
Source: Coalition misdemeanours: the list is long – » The Australian Independent Media Network
After claiming “official” discussions with Pfizer had only started in December, Health Minister Greg Hunt has finally confirmed that the government met with Pfizer last July to discuss purchasing the Pfizer vaccine. Sources say Australia was given options for as many doses as needed to be delivered in January this year, yet government officials turned down the offer Callum Foote reports.
Source: Government’s “appalling” error, rejects offer of 40 million Pfizer doses in July 2020 – Michael West
In his address to the Australian Business Economists on Tuesday 18 May, Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy said (page 1): “Australia’s economic recovery from the pandemic has been… ahead of any major advanced economy as at the end of 2020.” In fact, Australia is badly lagging many advanced nations on the critical indicators, as analyses of comparable economies have proven. Independent Australia asked Dr Kennedy: ‘Do you accept that South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Denmark, Israel, Norway and New Zealand are major advanced economies comparable with Australia and all had stronger or similar annual GDP growth and lower jobless rates at the end of 2020?’ His office replied: ‘The Secretary’s ABE speech was rigorously checked beforehand and is based on the latest available data and Treasury’s most recent forecasts.’ Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery lags behind comparable nations Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery lags behind comparable nations It is not just Scott Morrison and his ministers disseminating dubious data. The head of at least one federal department is making factually questionable assertions of a political nature, writes Alan Austin. Ken
Already, Kennedy’s incorrect assertions are being used for tawdry party political purposes. It also now appears Treasury is the source of many of the Treasurer’s false assertions. This really should stop.
Source: Incorrect ‘facts’ now emanate from Scott Morrison’s federal departments
Why the LNP can’t be trusted. Their politicians are little more than ‘guns for hire’ opportunists and careerists taking advantage of what seems the best path for them to gain advantage for themselves at any one time. Men without any real conviction or plan the least able to be trusted to give the public service rather than service them. The concept of a ‘common good” shrunk.
Former finance minister Mathias Cormann has called on the world’s richest nations to develop an “ambitious and effective” plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in his first speech as head of the OECD.
Source: Mathias Cormann calls for ‘ambitious’ plan to reach net-zero emissions
New documents show the government negotiated the controversial $80m Watergate deal directly with the Cayman Islands company founded by Energy Minister Angus Taylor. The Department failed to notify the Senate. Jommy Tee investigates the email trail between the Department, then overseen by Barnaby Joyce, and secretive Switzerland director and Taylor associate Connor Maloney.
Source: Senate misled: Watergate deal negotiated directly with Swiss-based Cayman Islands director – Michael West
Today we discovered that no-one knows how many aged care workers have been vaccinated.It seems that we do not know how many aged care workers had been vaccinated, as there seems to be no-one keeping track of who has received the vaccine, and who hasn’t. According to the Department of Health, work is now “underway” to survey aged care workers at the nation’s facilities (read: literally counting heads).
Source: There’s no record of vaccinated aged care workers – » The Australian Independent Media Network
The Morrison government has come under attack over “failed” quarantine arrangements and the sluggish pace of the national vaccine rollout as Victoria enters a seven-day “circuit breaker” lockdown. There is mounting concern the latest virus wave could have become “uncontrollable” with almost 30 cases in the Melbourne-based cluster. The acting Victorian premier, James Merlino, on Thursday pointed to vaccine delays and “aged care facilities where not one person has been vaccinated” as practical problems in managing the response. Both are the responsibility of the federal government. His Labor colleagues in Canberra declared the situation could have been avoided.
Source: Morrison government under fire over Covid vaccine delays as Victoria enters lockdown | Australian politics | The Guardian
The ABC reported this week the Senate inquiry found “government agencies should have to prove ‘real and serious’ harm caused by the publication of classified intelligence and information before a criminal investigation can be launched”. Donate today and support non-profit news. The Senate inquiry’s report said: Without such a requirement, the provisions would be susceptible to overuse, misuse or even abuse. In particular, the absence of an express harm requirement can lead to circumstances where a journalist is prosecuted for a very minor or trivial ‘dealing’ with classified information. When giving evidence to the inquiry, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) was asked to provide any examples of when a publication had demonstrably harmed Australian national security. ASIO could not produce a single example.
Source: It’s time for the government to walk the talk on media freedom in Australia
In one of the most uninspiring and regressive budgets ever, the Morrison Government, among other backward moves, has continued its eye-watering bolstering of the fossil fuel industry, throwing good public money after bad policy. There is little doubt that if this Coalition Government had been in power when it was discovered that the Earth was a sphere, it would have held on to the flat Earth theory, fervently ridiculing all evidence to the contrary. This is because, in all likelihood, it would already have invested in exorbitantly priced tours to find the ends of the planet and then provided tax breaks for the shonky tour operators.
Source: The Coalition, where all revolving doors lead to outdated fossil fuels
The Federal Government has never been so corrupt, writes Richard Gillies. THE LIST OF corrupt decisions that the Liberal-National Coalition has made is 124 items long and growing. In all but a few cases, there have been no consequences for offending members of the Government.
Source: Corruption thrives in Federal Government as media turns a blind eye
The federal government has appointed a former News Corp executive who once proposed a back-office merger of Australia’s two public broadcasters as a new member of the ABC board. Former News Corp and Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh, who led the government’s 2018 ABC and SBS efficiency review, former Seven executive and Australia Post board member Mario D’Orazio, and Fiona Balfour, a former chief information officer at Qantas and Telstra, will join the board. The five-year appointments are effective immediately and put an end to a lengthy process that was scrutinised by the ABC for its delays.
Source: ABC board joined by Peter Tonagh, Fiona Balfour and Mario D’Orazio
The Liberal Party has escaped accountability for its corruption for too long and the Australian public should speak up now, writes Grant Turner.
Source: Morrison’s corrupt LNP would crumble under a royal commission
The federal government continues to squander $13 billion of taxpayers’ money in an unlawful mess that was supposed to fix this country’s greatest environmental catastrophe – the destruction of the Murray Darling Basin. It is a tale of political interference, scientific censorship and deception, pressure from lobbyists and bureaucratic cowardice. Richard Beasley SC reports.
Source: “Scientifically Indefensible”: how a $13 billion political fix is killing the Murray Darling Basin – Michael West
Creating the framework for monopolisation in a predator State(ODT)
Ultimately, a long term plan for sustainable economic growth and broader prosperity for the Australian public is required. Not a continued push for the Coalition to fulfil its ideological wish list as the economy continues to sink beneath the icy waves.
via Australia’s ‘Titanic’ economy is sinking
Our QED database includes dozens of examples of dubious travel claims made by politicians. But what is more concerning than the apparent inappropriate use of public funds is the MPs’ lack of accountability and their arrogant treatment of the fourth estate – the journalists holding power to account. Elizabeth Minter reports.
via QED travel rorts: it’s not just the misuse of money. We have a right to answers. – Michael West
Morrison Government kowtows to the Murdoch global Dynasty (ODT)
Opposition communications ministers have called out the Morrison government’s continued hypocrisy in its funding of its broadcast interests – granting $10 million of public to Fox Sports, weeks after revelations of continued cutting millions of dollars in funding to the ABC.
“The ABC has suffered from repeated budget cuts under the Coalition Government, some $783 million since 2014, and is now cutting jobs and news services to stay afloat. If there is money to go around for broadcasting, it should go to the ABC and SBS.
“The PM needs to reverse the funding cuts to the ABC. He can easily find the first $10 million by taking it back from Murdoch and putting it where it will be the most benefit to broadcasting and promoting women’s sport and where fans can actually watch it without forking out more money,” Hanson-Young said.
via Shadow ministers slam priorities in Fox Sports “handout” – » The Australian Independent Media Network
LNP has plans to offer superfund management totally to Private Equity firms despite the fact Trade Unions have provided their members with the best outcomes and lowest fees. (ODT)
via SEC Regulators: Private Equity Is on a Crime Spree
“Does the minister agree that, whatever debate there may be concerning the principle of ministerial responsibility, the practice has almost invariably been that a minister resigns when his or her continued presence is causing damage and embarrassment to that government?” John Howard
via Bridget, please turn the lights out as you leave & return the key to the ministerial loo !: – » The Australian Independent Media Network