First published April 4
Welcome to Tasmania Professor Rufus Black, above, ( http://www.utas.edu.au/vc ), you are now at the helm of the good ship UTas bobbing around in a vast ocean of taxpayers’ money.
Every federal and state politician, the ABC, SBS, the Mercury, the Examiner, the Advocate, all of Newscorp and Fairfax investigative journalists, are all aware of the disgraceful misuse of taxpayers’ money.
Clearly, they are all suffering an acute case of writer’s block. Media Watch, The Project, Four Corners, 7.30 Report, 60 Minutes and many more all have full details.
Even our famous whistleblower has lost his whistle. I’m sure the following information will give you a clear idea of the power and access to taxpayers’ money, I believe you have as captain of UTas.
Unfortunately, the use of taxpayers’ money by UTas has been abused in the past. The details were published in this paper on 21/2/2018 ( http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/the-rise-and-fall-of-hobart-property-values-/ ) about the 7 million dollars over-paid for real estate during the development of M1 and M2.
In 2014 the proof of the misappropriation of funds was sent to the Integrity Commission. It’s response: ”The legislation which establishes the Integrity Commission only allows it to investigate ‘misconduct’ – which has a specific definition”. Really, how convenient. I wonder why they can investigate TasTafe and not UTas.
The proof was then sent to the Ombudsman. His response, the complainant wasn’t, “sufficiently aggrieved”. I have been a very hard working, law-abiding taxpayer of this country, along with millions of others and I can assure the Ombudsman I’m sufficiently aggrieved.
How dare UTas use taxpayers’ money to pay two multimillionaire developers such a staggering amount of money. And the flippant replies received from the IC and the Ombudsman is outrageous. If they have no power to take action against alleged corruption, what are taxpayers paying them to do? Probably to investigate the breeding habits of the foxes.
Because no action was taken, UTas - with its typical arrogance and safe in the knowledge that it is protected by the media, politicians and the law - go on another spending spree. In 2015 it pays Robert Rockefeller another 5 million dollars over market value for two properties, part of the proposed Stem site. Another 4 million dollars over-value was paid for another part of the site. On the 15/2/2018 this paper
( http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/how-much-are-they-paying-/ ) did a story about Mr Rockefeller, he owns 12 large buildings in Hobart full of state and federal government offices. What sane person would want to give this bloke more of taxpayers’ money.
Professor ... do you think Mr Rockefeller has psychic powers? Or maybe he is just lucky and owns land UTas wants for its new buildings. Something else that puzzles me, when UTas wants land it is willing to pay multimillionaires exorbitant prices but when the land is owned by ratepayers they get it for free or the price isn’t disclosed as was the case with the HCC for the student accommodation.
The LCC was told how much UTas was paying in Hobart for properties but it still went ahead and gave it 5 million dollars of ratepayers’ land.
The 2015 spending spree was reported to the Ombudsman, the response was the same. The IC changed tack and said it would forward the complaint to the office of the Auditor-General; no action was taken. He was probably out with the other two chasing foxes.
I wonder who was behind the changes to the new pedestrian overpass from the Tafe side to the university’s front door and who paid for changes? It will be an eyesore across Bathurst St, but as usual UTas gets what it wants and we - taxpayers - foot the bill. I have an idea, Professor, why don’t you give the old Theatre Royal Hotel you bought for a student hub, to the homeless?
I think the students can make do with the new Melville St hub. Now that would be a nice gesture and go towards making amends for what I see as the disgraceful misuse of taxpayers’ money.
*Mal Graham has been a resident of Tasmania for 18 years; an avid newspaper reader, and is trying to figure out why those in charge of our money feel compelled to give it to a select few ...