Tasmanian Times

Economy

National Commission against Corruption call. What Christine said. Marriage equality backed

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Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne will address the Tasmanian Greens annual conference today, and announce that the Australian Greens will push again for legislation to set up a National Commission Against Corruption.

Senator Milne will address the Tasmanian Greens conference at 12 noon today at Forth Primary School, and will be available to answer questions from the press afterwards.

“Following the further revelations about the RBA scandal, the Greens urge the Parliament to pass legislation for a National Commission Against Corruption.” Senator Milne said today.

“The widening of the RBA scandal reminds us of the systemic failure to be able to address corruption.

“We need to be able to address corruption through a national oversight body. States already have such a body, we need one that encompasses all the agencies.

“Whilst we need a National Commission against Corruption, it does not remove the need for the judicial inquiry into the RBA.”

Use the TT NEWS Dropdown (top Nav Bar) for news/comment on the RBA scandal

• Senator Milne addressed the Tasmanian Greens State Conference today. The transcript of the Q&A with journalists is below.

For the audio of her speech, please follow this link: http://greensmps.org.au/content/audio/tasmanian-greens-state-conference

Christine Milne
Australian Greens Leader

Doorstop
Saturday 25 August 2012

Subjects: National Commission against Corruption, Tasmanian Greens State Conference, Tarkine, supertrawler, environmental protection, Tony Abbott, Tasmanian Liberals State Conference

JOURNALIST: The anti-corruption watchdog you’re pushing for, how much power would you like to see such a body have?

CHRISTINE MILNE: All the concerns earlier this year about Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper could have been dealt with if we had had an integrity commissioner at the federal level overseeing not just parliamentary entitlements, but in a broader context an anti-corruption commissioner looks over the public service as well. We’ve been campaigning for this for years, we’ve got legislation in the Parliament to do it, and now there’s very clear indication of the Reserve Bank and the connections with its subsidiary show that we need not just a judicial inquiry into that one event, but actually we need to put in place a systemic framework that protects the public interest.

JOURNALIST: What makes you think you can win support for this idea?

CHRISTINE MILNE: It’s very difficult to see how the Prime Minister or the leader of the Opposition can say Australia doesn’t need an anti-corruption body when you look at what’s happened with the Reserve Bank and its subsidiary, Securency.

We’ve got a global treaty against corruption and yet here we have millions of dollars being paid in bribes, contrary to that whole idea of anti-corruption and anti-bribery.

So we need this, we need it to help parliamentarians in terms of overseeing their entitlements; we also need it to oversee government agencies. We don’t have that. We have it for the federal police but we don’t have it for the federal public service or the federal parliament. We need it.

JOURNALIST: Could it send people to jail?

CHRISTINE MILNE: What it could do is refer people to the appropriate authorities. So what it would actually have the power to do is call for papers and people to give evidence and so on and then a decision would be made as to what further action needs to be taken in terms of referrals.

So on the one hand you’ve got the ombudsman looking at maladministration if you like, this would be looking at fraud and corruption, and then people would be referred in the appropriate way.

JOURNALIST: You said in there corruption is costing developing countries billions of dollars, have you an Australian example?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Corruption and bribery is costing developing countries trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars. We’ve just seen it in relation to loopholes in Papua New Guinea, and what’s happening there with the forestry industry in particular. We’ve seen it in Africa with mining companies and with gas licences and the like. We are now going to see it no doubt as we look at the reduced emissions from deforestation and so on, you’re going to find the same thing. We need to crack down on it, and Australia has to stop turning a blind eye to facilitation fees. I think the AWB scandal and now the Reserve Bank scandal clearly says to Australians, there is no difference between a facilitation fee and a bribe, the only difference is the quantum of cash that changes hands. We need to get integrity back into the system, and that’s why we need a national anti-corruption body and an integrity commissioner.

JOURNALIST: This is the first time you’ve addressed the state conference as leader, bit of a different feeling up there?

CHRISTINE MILNE: I’m really excited about how the Tasmanian Greens are going, we’ve got a whole lot of young people joining the party, there’s a huge amount of commitment, and really keen to see the Party grow and continue to elect more people in Tasmania, and over time we are making a massive difference.

JOURNALIST: Will there be talk inside about the way the campaign should be run in the lead up to the next election?

CHRISTINE MILNE: In the next 12 months you’re going to see the lead up to the federal election and then the state election not long after. There will be a big campaign from the old parties to try and say majority government is everything, just vote for a majority. That’s like saying take us back to our comfort zones, don’t try to actually address the problems that we need to address. All the dynamism that comes from Government at the federal level, whether it’s been in the clean energy package in dealing with global warming, to here in Tasmania, the dynamism coming out of having Greens in the Ministry, all being driven by the Greens. No ideas coming from the old parties.

JOURNALIST: What happens after the speeches at the State Conference?

CHRISTINE MILNE: The State Conference will be looking at a number of campaigns. One of those campaigns will be looking at the Tarkine. We have been campaigning for a very long time to have the Tarkine National Park. We are making clear signals to the Federal Minister that we do not want to see death by a thousand cuts for the Tarkine particularly when it comes to mining. We’re very disappointed with Minister Burke having already given approval. What we want him to do is to see the Tarkine as a whole. There is an opportunity coming out of the inter-governmental agreement on forests to protect the forests in the Tarkine, but we actually need to protect the integrity of it, as devil habitat, because it’s got fantastic heritage, particularly indigenous heritage.

JOURNALIST: Is it the members’ choice to not allow the media in before and after the speeches?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Yes, the members of the party are always asked whether they would be happy to have the media in the conference or not, and frequently they say no, they want to be able to address things in a relaxed way because they don’t feel that they can do that with the media there. We elected representatives are used to it. Membership of political parties makes it people feel a bit nervous if the media are around.

JOURNALIST: Are you happy with that?

CHRISTINE MILNE: I’d like to see conferences open, I think it would be a good idea, but I respect the views of members.

JOURNALIST: Was a vote taken before the speech was given?

CHRISTINE MILNE: There’s always a vote on media access at conferences both state and federal

JOURNALIST: Today’s conference, there’s also one up the road in Launceston, Tony Abbott gave a speech there, no major announcements, what he didn’t rule out was supporting a per capita, distributing the GST on a per capita basis, he’s saying that he’s waiting for the review to come out, is that a cop out?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Tony Abbott is copping out all over the place at the moment. Even if the review on the GST funding was out, there’s no guarantee he’d actually read it before he decided that the whole problem was associated with the carbon price.

The fact of the matter is he’s losing credibility by the minute. He needed to come to Tasmania and tell Tasmanians that he would not see an appropriate thing to distribute the GST money on a per capita basis. That’s the answer Tasmanians want and he’s ducking that question.

No doubt he will also duck the question on the supertrawler. He has the Liberals in Tasmania saying they don’t want it, and the Liberals in Canberra totally supporting it. There was Eric Abetz and Senator Colbeck this week totally supporting the supertrawler. So where does Tony Abbott stand on this? He wants to get rid of environmental protections, not actually look at proper assessment of what is appropriate in terms of local depletion.

JOURNALIST: Are you surprised that he’s stepping back from it and basically letting The state Liberals have to deal with the issue (inaudible).

CHRISTINE MILNE: All around Australia people are concerned about what is going to happen with GST funding. The States of course are particularly vulnerable to any decisions that are made, and Tasmania perhaps more so than any other. Tony Abbott’s threat to Tasmania that he’s going to distribute GST income on a per capita basis is a straight attack on the Tasmanian budget and the ability of the Tasmanian government to deliver services. He needed to come to Tasmania today and be truthful with people, tell them straight what it is he intends to do. He hasn’t done that, and as he leaves people are going to have a great big question mark on his back, because he says that you can’t actually take what he says as fact, he has to write it down. Now we know that he doesn’t read reports that are put in front of him, what we are increasingly seeing he is the master of a fear campaigns, of the one liner, but when it comes to the detail, people ought to be very concerned.

JOURNALIST: From reading what’s gone on there, he did say that he’s putting together a working group of Tasmanian Liberal senators to find out ways to grow the economy. Is he a bit late for the game there?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Tony Abbott is very late to the game on anything about economic policy. His whole strategy was try to achieve an early federal election by trying to get rid of addressing global warming, and the whole carbon pricing regime. He has failed. That’s why I said from the first of July, every day after that is a day closer to Tony Abbott not leading the Liberals into the next election. They have to change their policies, they’ve got a $70 billion black hole, where are they going to get the money to pay the polluters – which is their policy, rather than having the polluters pay. So every day his credibility is going out the window. Every day is a challenge to him to put some detail behind his policy framework.

JOURNALIST does it concern you that the federal liberal party debating on penalties for people who protest (inaudible) stopping work?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Well, Tony Abbott has said that he’s going to get rid of virtually all Commonwealth powers in relation to environmental protection and devolve them to states. In the next breath they’re there supporting much larger penalties for people who protest, and we’ve already seen through Campbell Newman and through what’s happening in New South Wales, the shooting in national parks, in Victoria trying to push for alpine grazing, in Western Australia a failure to look at the impact on whales in the Kimberley and the Browse gas development, look at that and see Tony Abbott. Whenever you see a state premier tearing away environmental protection, you see Tony Abbott. So it is a very big problem.

JOURNALIST: Can Government up penalties for people who are protesting?

CHRISTINE MILNE: The extra ordinary thing about the Liberal party, they’re so bereft of ideas, they’re recycling an idea that Ray Groom had in the early ‘90s. He thought it would be a great idea if he made these really draconian forest laws and Labor couldn’t wait to support him in doing it. The only problem was that they then had to repeal them, because they infringed national laws because they made the policies so ridiculous here that the loggers in the other States complained that they were being disadvantaged by how badly Tasmania had behaved. So all they’re doing is recycling an idea that failed last time and it’ll fail this time.

• GREENS STATE CONFERENCE GIVES UNANIMOUS ENDORSMENT TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY
And Calls for Liberal Conscience Vote

Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader
Saturday, 25 August 2012


The Tasmanian Greens State Conference today endorsed a motion put by Greens Leader Nick McKim, reaffirming its support for state-based marriage equality, and calling for Liberal Leader Will Hodgman to grant a conscience vote to his members.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said that the Conference’s unanimous endorsement for state-based Marriage Equality legislation again demonstrated the pivotal role played by the Greens to tackle discrimination on this issue.

“It is with great pride that I saw my Green Party colleagues support unanimously our call for state-based marriage equality laws,” Mr McKim said.

“This unanimous endorsement continues the proud tradition of the Greens who campaigned long and hard to secure in the late 1990s the overturning of Tasmania’s shameful anti- homosexual laws.”

“Tasmania is poised to lead the nation on this significant social policy, and we also threw out the challenge to Will Hodgman to allow a conscience vote for his state liberal MPs.”

“If Mr Hodgman is correct that there are no Liberal MPs who support marriage equality, why is he so determined to refuse a conscience vote?”

“I think it’s far more likely that some Liberal MPs support marriage equality but are being muzzled by a Leader who is looking more dictatorial on this issue every day.”

“Mr Hodgman has a choice. He can rise to the challenge and allow some of his colleagues to do the right thing, or he can fail the leadership test and force his MPs to remain on the wrong side of history.”


Text of Motion passed unanimously by the Tasmanian Greens Annual State Conference, 25-26 August 2012:

That the Conference support state-based Marriage Equality legislation and calls on Liberal MPs to be granted a conscience vote on the issue.

Moved by: Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader

• TASMANIAN GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS GROUP

Media Release
Saturday August 25th 2012

GREENS’S COMMITMENT TO STATE MARRIAGE EQUALITY WELCOMED LIBERALS SLATED FOR PUTTING PREJUDICE BEFORE JOBS

Tasmanian gay rights advocates have welcomed unanimous support for state marriage equality laws at the Greens’ State Conference today and slated the Liberal Party for continuing to oppose “a job-generating reform”.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“The Tasmanian Greens were the first Party to introduce state same-sex marriage laws in 2005 and we welcome their continued strong support for reform.”

“But today’s Liberal Party State Conference continued to maintain the Party’s bewildering position, declaring support for growing the Tasmanian economy but opposing a reform that will inject $100 million into that economy from same-sex couples marrying in Tasmania.”

“The Liberals’ economic credentials are tarnished as long as they let outdated prejudice get in the way of jobs for Tasmanians.”

The Greens’ Conference called on Liberal Leader, Will Hodgman, to allow a conscience vote on state marriage equality laws, something he has ruled out.

“How can the Liberal Party say it stands for individual freedom when it won’t even let its own members have a free vote on a key social policy issue”, Mr Croome said.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. A.K

    August 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    #28
    Thanks, sadly unless we change the system so we have the say and can choose the way the law is worded, nothing will change, only get worse. The problem is the elite try to use semantics to confuse people and make out they are superior, but they are very dumb in the experience and knowledge of real life, egocentric and as we see with many politicians, senior bureaucrats and heads of business/ When you study the definition of psychopathic they are borderline, never listen to any thing but their ideological programming and blind denial of the facts.

  2. Suzi Burge

    August 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Well said A.K. I certainly can’t afford legal representation after losing everything I own through what has happened to me…
    I guess that is how all these Government and Local Government departments get away with everything – they know the average person has no hope of getting this into court…… Is generally unable to represent themselves….. so in my experience usually take the pittance offered to them in ex-gratia offers etc. and walk away…….
    I – like everyone else thought the Integrity Commission was going to be our answer to Justice….. sadly that didn’t happen.

  3. A.K.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

    #26
    The legal profession is behind all this corruption, they propose legislation, write it, decipher it, act as prosecutors, defence council, judges and most senior politicians.

    The only way to stop this is to get rid of the discriminatory legal system, have laws which are in plain English and don’t require interpretation of the insane legalese the legal profession hide behind to control and rip the people off.

    Currently there is not real justice except for those with lots of money to feed the greed of the legal profession.

    The first step would be to get rid of the party system and introduce a referendum style government where the people have direct say in law and political direction. No one can survive or get rid of corruption using such primitive elitist systems from the 18th century and designed to protect the ideological elite.

  4. Suzi Burge

    August 29, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Gareth – I am with you – unless we all stand up and be counted and all group together – sadly I don’t believe we will win this fight against corruption….
    Lets all work together – get our stories out there and find others that will give us their stories of horror…… and maybe – just maybe we may find a legal eagle that is prepared to work with us for good – not evil…..
    Lets not rely on the media – In Tasmania they don’t appear to want to “rock the boat”.
    Sad but true……

  5. Gareth Stebbins

    August 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    #24, Suzi, that will be perfect, particularly where such information has already been published, e.g. on Tasmanians Times. I recall that Laurie Levy did an excellent write-up of your experiences with Launceston City Council and obviously Tas Times’ legal team were comfortable there were no legal risks of being sued for defamation for publishing that.

    If we can get a few more legal minds to view the material for any risks of defamation, we might even be able to be more adventurous regarding what can be published on the upcoming FOTIC website. Sadly there certainly are plenty of stories to disclose regarding experiences of government corruption by Tasmanians.

    And it is only by working together and comparing notes, that the public service oppressors in Tasmanian society lose their advantage of isolate/divide-and-conquer with patterns of corrupt behaviour obviously becoming widely known.

    Election time, be it local, state or federal, is when they are particularly vulnerable and from experience, they become correspondingly desperate and vicious in pulling whatever government levers they can to manipulate the system e.g. in relation to Tas Pol and the timing of their police prosecutions, see:

    Bass candidate’s son on drugs charges – Local … – The Examiner
    http://www.examiner.com.au/news/local/news/crime…/1909161.aspx10 Aug 2010 – THE son of Bass Liberal candidate Steve Titmus has been ordered to … Christopher Titmus, who now lives on Hobart’s eastern shore, failed to … [story now taken down from Examiner website].

    Not to suggest Steve Titmus is any saint however the choice of prosecution date relative to Mr Titmus standing as a candidate for the federal seat of Bass, seems to have been done to suit Labor’s interests. His son Christopher had been charged just over twelve months prior to the 20 August 2010 federal election.

  6. Suzi Burge

    August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Gareth – I for one look forward to seeing a website set up – perhaps you could take it one step further and allow disgruntled complainants their chance to have their say!
    I would be interested to hear what others have been through and their stories of horror and hardship!

  7. Gareth Stebbins

    August 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    #22, Have to agree with you that the Integrity Commission seems to have achieved absolutely nothing and nobody appears to have had their complaint investigated.

    From what we’ve been able to gather, and also taking into consideration Barbara Etter’s obligation to not disclose information she was privy to in the role of CEO (i.e. she can’t assist us by mentioning exceptions to the above that she might happen to know about), it really is pretty sad. Maybe just a couple of Tas police-gone-awry incidents have been investigated for public relations whitewash purposes.

    Watch more of what Chief Commissioner Murray Kellam had to say about his Commission at an outreach seminar in Lton back in May 2011:
    Clip 1 youtu.be/sUSt_DHK-e0
    Clip 2 youtu.be/l7VBVFTU8z0
    Clip 3 youtu.be/abHtjzqY1-E
    Clip 4 youtu.be/-Iz8o-NhFn8
    Clip 5 youtu.be/z1Uk4a4SxQk

    FOTIC has received no response at all back from ABC Four Corners when we have submitted all the material we have regarding this sad elephant within Tasmania’s state government.

    If anyone knows of anything legitimate that has been investigated, or wants to provide material for our confidential review, please contact FOTIC via fotic2010@gmail.com

    We will be shortly setting up a website listing all of the media coverage regarding the Tas Integrity Commission, lest any Tasmanians forget come polling day.

  8. Moriarty

    August 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Question for anyone from FOTIC – or anyone who knows: Do we still have an Integrity Commission? Did we ever have one? What, if anything at all, has that ‘shopfront’ (#10) achieved?

    Their website doesn’t provide any suggestion that they’ve actually done anything. Nor does their annual report. Nor does a search of previous TT articles. How much is this costing?

  9. Simon Warriner

    August 26, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Gareth, I was here in 2007, I was referring to NZ freemasonry, and I would have pointed out the rather too sweeping nature of your comment and invited you to refine it.

    You are right, we need some new blood in parliament, with a willingness to ask the unwelcome questions and let the sun shine in on the dank, dark and mouldy corners of our kleptocracy.

  10. Barbara Etter

    August 26, 2012 at 9:41 am

    A national anti corruption commission is long overdue as is proper support for Whistleblowers at the Commonwealth level. Neil Smith is correct in his comments. A national body, unless otherwise empowered, could only look at Commonwelath politicians, public servants and the like. Tasmania would still need its own effective Integrity Commission.

  11. Gareth Stebbins

    August 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    #17, As Senator Milne says in the transcript,

    “CHRISTINE MILNE: What it could do is refer people to the appropriate authorities. So what it would actually have the power to do is call for papers and people to give evidence and so on and then a decision would be made as to what further action needs to be taken in terms of referrals.”

    So the only powers it would need to decide whether referral is necessary are the power to call for papers and power to require state pollies/state public servants give evidence. As you might be aware, the AFP can do this anyway where federal legislation empowers it to. Not sure if that is by virtue of the Constitution. Giving false evidence has scary consequences for anyone caught out doing so (almost always jail time), even if they’ve committed no particular other crime.

    Ideally the National Anti-Corruption Commission would be tasked with investigating the Tasmanian Integrity Commission, e.g. allegations that details from TIC-received complaints have been leaked inappropriately. Can’t really trust Tas Pol to investigate such allegations. But the outcome of a National Anti-Corruption Commission investigation might make it an open-and-shut court matter for the Tas DPP to prosecute or otherwise embarrassing if the Tas DPP chooses not to. The biggest objection we’re seeing at present is the Tas Integrity Commission simply refusing to investigate anything due to claims of lacking the necessary powers to compel answers. Tas Labor and Tas Liberals say this shortcoming does not need addressing before the 2013 3-yearly review of the Tas Integrity Commission.

  12. Russell

    August 25, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Re #17
    The Australian Constitution can and has been changed via Referendum, and I’m confident this one would get up quite easily.

  13. Neil Smith

    August 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t think a national ICAC would have jurisdiction over State pollies or State public service affairs. Because the Australian Constitution does not expressly give the Commonwealth this power.

    So we need a national body AND a proper one for Tasmania.

  14. Gareth Stebbins

    August 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    #13: Barbara Etter has legal actions against the Tasmanian government underway. That means she has to be careful about commenting on the subject matter that is currently before the Tasmanian Supreme Court. Maybe once those legal actions are over, presuming there is no out-of-court settlement, we’ll hear more from Barbara Etter in relation to what she did see.

    However in general, the subject matter in complaints made to the Tasmanian Integrity Commission is confidential under pain of fines potentially around $650k, and for good reason too as people who made complaints are at risk of reprisal if the public service official they complained about are in fact violent thugs for example. Similarly if those officials are not violent thugs or demonstrated to be such in a court law — preferably not Tasmanian — then they might sue for defamation and understandably so too if their public reputation has suffered through no fault of theirs.

    Perhaps if Barbara Etter had the written permission of those who lodged the complaints to the Integrity Commission, she might be able to more freely discuss things in public.

    I think we should be optimistic about the future. The more true independents we get elected to state and federal parliament, the stronger the likelihood of reform in the area of anti-corruption crackdown and those perpetrators who have so far gotten away with crimes against Tasmanians, brought to justice in a way that the majority of Tasmanians would consider appropriate, i.e. for some perpetrators, subject terms of imprisonment, legal costs and fines commensurate with any fraud they have so far gotten away with.

    Just a further note too in relation to #4, from what I understand, Simon Warriner there is referring to the New Zealand Freemasonry. Simon was not here in 2007 when the Tamar pulp mill scandal was at full-stench. The freemason I was referring to in #9 who has done some marvellous work pursuing the injustice of Rural Resource zoning, was with the Victorian Chapter of Freemason.

    Of course in Tasmania, in such a small pond of largely illiterate folk, that is ultra vulnerable to control by whoever can influence our state media, state police and the state’s courts, I’d say many seeking to gain advantage by way of who they know rather than what they know, have gotten in whatever filthy fraternity they can. Freemasonry would be one such. Labor’s stranglehold on control in the state lower house for the last thirteen years has not helped at all. At the moment of course they have to accommodate the wishes of the Greens Party unless it is something that the Tasmanian Liberal Party will back Labor on, e.g. forestry or the pulp mill. The Lib/Lab stranglehold must be broken at some stage if we are to have a good cleanout of corruption in this state. Hopefully Simon Warriner’s Indipol, now under the stewardship of Hobart-based Greg James, will address this by improving the chances of more independents being elected to state and federal parliament.

    The views expressed above are my own and not necessarily those of the membership of “Friends” of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission (FOTIC – fotic2010@gmail.com) of which I am a member.

  15. A.K.

    August 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    #12
    Simple window dressing to fool the gullible, they refuse to look at anything of real relevance. Like the billions lost, wasted and given away by political parties in their failed purchases over the years, every other failed program, corporate assistance in subsidies, handouts and bail outs. Then we have the peoples money being used to prop up political parties, paying them to run for office, advertising, jobs for the boys and girls, committees, investigation, reviews, expenses, travel and overseas spending spree’s. Or the huge subsidies state and federal payments given to the corporation who they sold our assets to, so these corporations can continue making huge profits from the people in providing the expensive services and get hands out at the same time from the people.

    Let’s not forget the constitutional corruption where it states the people representatives are to be elected by direct vote, not using the corrupt and extremely controlled preferential voting, where they sell their preferences to each other to gain votes, now if that’s not corrupt and a manipulation of the system, what is..

    It also seems lying and deception are fully acceptable within the politician system, when ordinary people and businesses making lying claims as politicians and parties do, they would be before the courts, how come the law doesn’t cover politicians, bureaucrats or corporate heads. They can lie, cheat, deceive, waste the people money and even deny the facts, yet they seem immune as those who would try them, are of the same brand and system.

    The reserve bank is a great example of real corruption, yet the board and management will get away with lying and deceiving the people who pay them, us. They will be protected, as they are of the ruling ideological party system. In a non corrupt society, they have been arrested and placed on trial by now. Then we have the wheat board another corrupt organisation who has fleeced the farmers and got away with it because the government has done nothing but swept it under the carpet. The list goes on and on, not much of a good job. Unless your in love with window dressing and not reality.

  16. TGC

    August 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    The Greens- “useless political clones”?- as
    mentioned in another context.

  17. Suzi Burge

    August 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I think we had someone qualified to oversea the Integrity Commission here in Tasmania – Mrs. Barbara Etter. Only I don’t think she was allowed to do the job that she was entrusted to do? I may be wrong, but that is how I see it….. Having spoken to the woman – I saw a caring woman who certainly wanted to fight for Justice in Tasmania…. How much wrong did she see? I guess we will never know….
    Most of us will never see the Justice that we deserve…… and that is so, so sad……

  18. Russell

    August 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Re #10
    I beg to disagree. Plenty has come as a result of the various state ICACs and Royal Commissions to date. It’s a matter of getting them up and running.

    But, to re-iterate, not the shop-fronts like the Tasmanian ‘Integrity’ Commission and all its falsehoods and shortcomings.

  19. Ian Rist

    August 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    One of the first to address would have to be the ten year fox-less fox farce.

    When you sort that out then look at the other golden goose…the wasting of over twenty million dollars of taxpayers money chasing the last ? five rabbits on Macquarie Island.

    Talk about jobs for the boys and girls (and mates too).

  20. A.K.

    August 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    What a load of rubbish, another expensive toothless tiger run by bureaucrats, elitists and lawyers, chosen by incumbent parliaments. How can you class something as independent when it’s set up by lawyers, certified and implemented by the people to be investigated, who also choose the people from their own ilk to run it and do the investigating.

    Current and past events in regard to corruption within politics and government, shows nothing will change. The first thing to be investigated should be political donations. Nothing of worth will happen, even the greens know they have as much to lose as anyone with their vested interests, but will naturally deny it. Denial is the number one law for politics, along with fantasy land declarations and avoidance of reality.

  21. Gareth Stebbins

    August 25, 2012 at 12:38 am

    #4: Simon, am not implying all freemasons are corrupt. But with all the judges, senior police officers, lawyers, media moguls, bureaucrats and Liberal politicians in that fraternity, anyone with a corrupt agenda can really shake society around if the whole orchestra plays together to the tune of some Grand Architect conductor ( <-- just want to hope that man hasn't been compromised). The secrecy is inbuilt in the organisation. I know of one freemason who has done great work lobbying to have the shortcomings of Tassie's Rural Resource planning zoning addressed and their view of freemasonry appears to match yours. I was hoping that with your contacts within the fraternity that you might be able to crosscheck the extent to which they were the driving force behind the Tamar Valley pulp mill project. If you had been the editor of TT, would my comment at #1 have been significantly censored?

  22. john Hayward

    August 25, 2012 at 12:28 am

    It’s something to die for, but neither the Gillard Labs nor Abbott Libs would ever permit such a dangerous baby be born without all teeth and sensory organs first being removed. Something like a belated twin to the stillborn TIC.

    Both leaders have recently demonstrated their critical reliance on a free market in political humbug.

    All the same, the proposal joins WikiLeaks as an embarrassment to the major political consortia.

    If, as Carmen Lawrence suggests, the big parties are effectively corporations, they may soon be able to outlaw criticism of themselves in a Liberal-run Tasmania.

    John Hayward

  23. moo

    August 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    God knows Tasmania needs a National Commission Against Corruption because no Tasmanian Government is ever going to implement a body that can stop the institutionalised corruption, nepotism and routine conflict of interest that passes for governence in the Apple Isle

  24. Simon Warriner

    August 24, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Gareth, I grew up mentored by my fathers mates, most of whom were freemasons. A more community minded, honourable group of men I doubt I will meet. They certainly had no time for the dishonesty required to be corrupt. If you are going to defame them then please provide the evidence you claim to have.

    Your sweeping denigration belongs in the same rubbish bin as “all those born under the star sign aries are bullies”, “all politicians are liars” and many other sweeping generalisations.

    Frankly I am surprised it made it past the editors eagle eye.

  25. Justa Bloke

    August 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Corruption makes the world go round. If we eradicated all graft, bribery and other dodgy practices from public life very little would get done. Getting rid of corruption in Australia would put us at a huge disadvantage vis-a-vis the rest of the world.

  26. Russell

    August 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I believe every politician who doesn’t support the establishment of an independant National Commission Against Corruption implicates themselves with corruption by taking such a stance.

    However, it can’t be one of the likes we have here in Tasmania, laughingly known as the Tasmanian Integrity Commission, where corruption or the protection of corruption seems to be embedded in its structure.

  27. Gareth Stebbins

    August 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Brilliant initiative from the Greens. Who’d need a Tasmanian Integrity Commission (and additionally no need for the FOTIC group, “Friends” of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission !!! ) if such a national body was set up. Hopefully the various independent members of the federal parliament will also back this idea. What do Wilkie, Oakeshott, Windsor and Xenophon think of the idea?

    Sadly we all know Libs and Labs wont want their collective dirty linen exposed. So it aint going to happen unless Libs and Labs get no choice about the matter. Can voters be convinced to make such a national anti-corruption body the top priority. So much in Tasmania would change resulting in vastly boosted morale where things at present have been in the doldrums and for some even looking like things could potentially deteriorate into vigilante activism as occurred in Northern Ireland in the fight against the “Pommie imperialist bastards” there.

    Tassie’s corruption no doubt is also related to various English institutions like Freemasonry (John Howard was among Australia’s highest ranking freemasons) which some well-informed analysts also attribute as being behind the real primemover behind the Tamar pulp mill fiasco.

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