Tasmanian Times

Economy

Kellam’s warning as Will says: ‘There’s nothing to see here …’

Tasmanian public servants are escaping prosecution for misconduct because the Tasmanian Government is complacent, according to the head of the integrity watchdog.

Murray Kellam is stepping down after five years as Tasmania’s inaugural Chief Integrity Commissioner and has taken a parting shot at the Government.

In a statement, he accuses the Government of complacency in tackling corruption ( Read Murray Kellam’s full blast, HERE ), saying its failure to create an “offence of misconduct in public office” has meant public servants who would be prosecuted in other states are getting away with misbehaviour.

He attacked the Government’s budget cuts to the watchdog and what he described as a “manifestly inadequate” legislative framework.

“There appears to be complacency in Government and in the bureaucracy that allegations of corruption of the nature that have recently resulted in prosecutions being commenced in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, after investigations by their integrity bodies, will not occur in Tasmania,” the statement said.

“It is simply naive to assume that Bass Strait forms some sort of a barrier to corruption and it is naive of the Government to, as it has, assert that other bodies such as Tasmanian Police have the capacity to detect and investigate such public sector corruption.

“I fear that such complacency and naivety will in the future prove to have given the ‘green light’ to corruption in this state.”

Mr Kellam accused the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee of failing to make a decision on a code of conduct for Members of Parliament, despite the commission having drafted one more than four years ago.

Read the full ABC story here

Cassy O’Connor: Outgoing Integrity Commission Chief Slams Cuts and Complacency Retiring Integrity Commission Chief Commissioner, the Honourable Murray Kellam AO, has exposed in raw detail the Hodgman Liberal Government’s attempts to undermine and weaken Tasmania’s Integrity Commission, potentially giving the ‘green light’ to corruption in the State. Mr Kellam, a former Supreme Court Justice in Victoria, is scathing of the Liberals’ decision to slash the Integrity Commission’s funding by 20%, accusing the Government of ignoring advice, clearly in a bid to justify the budget cuts publicly.

Lara Giddings: Integrity Commission’s blast for the Liberal Government

• John Francis in Comments: My experience of working in multiple departments of the Tasmanian Public Service since the beginning of the 80s is that corruption is often rewarded with promotion and incompetence is simply ignored. That is, of course, if you are part of the incestuous ‘in-group’. If you are not, then heaven help you.

ABC: Hobart barrister Greg Melick set to be named Tasmanian Integrity Commissioner Hobart barrister Greg Melick is expected to be named as Tasmania’s new Chief Integrity Commissioner, replacing Murray Kellam, who finishes his five-year term this month. Mr Kellam wished his successor well, but warned that he faced “major obstacles”, including budget cuts and government complacency over corruption. Tasmanian Law Society President Matthew Verney said Mr Melick, who was expected to be announced as Mr Kellam’s replacement next week, was a well-regarded legal practitioner. “He will bring to it a sharp mind and great ethics, which are obviously very important attributes to the job,” he said. “The role of the Integrity Commissioner demands someone who’s fairly robust, and strong in their approach to issues of corruption, which obviously are at the heart of what the Integrity Commission is there to deal with.” Mr Melick, who declined to be interviewed, served in the Australian Defence Force for more than 40 years and worked for Cricket Australia as a special investigator into corruption in the sport.

• John Forsyth in Comments: Mr Kellam blames the current State Government for the Commission’s failure to perform. Keep in mind the background to the creation of this white elephant during the time Lara Giddings was Attorney General. Does anyone remember the Magisterial appointment which cost Steven Kons his job? The irrefutable reality is that the Integrity Commission was set up to sell the myth that the Labor government was anxious to clean up its act. The reality was that it was never intended that it would be a proactive force in exposing corrupt behaviour. To that extent it has been a roaring success

• John Hayward in Comments: The fact that Murray spoke out about the glaring deficiencies in the TIC only when departing says something about both the organisation and himself. While it’s too early to say anything about Greg Melick in the job, he hasn’t distinguished himself from the Tassie legal culture, which is a worry.

• Ian Rist in Comments: My faith in the Tasmanian system was destroyed during the twelve odd years of the fox saga. Especially during the time of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Efficiency of the Fox program. What an absolute farce … I gave names and addresses of person involved in hoaxing, fabrication and fraud […], nothing, absolutely nothing happened, well not openly anyway. Plain commonsense dictated it was a sideshow from day one, but some politicians went along with it for all sorts of reasons – keep the “conservationists” happy, keep the farmers happy, ensure the continuing use of 1080, prop up some badly lacking departments with taxpayer-supplied largesse. The greatest tragedy was the very animals they claimed to be saving from the ravages of the non-existent fox were the very animals they were actually poisoning en masse.

• O’Brien in Comments: “Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.” (Henry Kissinger). How can any person maintain even a shred of faith in government, public institution or the law after this unapologetic exit by another ‘learned’ and ‘esteemed’ pillar of the community? We knew there was something rotten in Denmark when Ms Etter split the scene. Let’s face it folks we’ve been fleeced and fooled for a long time now, and it’s not going away any time soon. From the first day the Union Jack ran up up a sapling on these windswept antipodean shores the people have been ruled over by a gang of thugs with god, the law, and the guard on their side, and there ain’t no arguing with that logic folks regardless of the rights and wrongs. Any back of the envelope assessment of Tassie’s recent history includes managed investment scams/schemes, Forestry Tasmania, pulp mills, builders insurance scams/schemes, wood chips, train loads of tax free hardwood logs as ‘presents’ for foreign friends, Ta Ann, salmon farms, WHA profiteering proposals, free housing renovations, invisible foxes, hundreds of thousands of poisoned native animals, grants for magic beans etc. etc. The list is long and ugly and doesn’t end there, many people have become far richer from their ‘sacrifice’ ‘working’ in politics or public service with very little evidence of achieving anything of consequence. Forget wide ranging inquiries and royal commissions, we all know they would be compromised before they began and achieve nothing. A lot of money could be saved and directed to proper end by simply examining the statistical probability of so many members of the same families, close friends, ex-cops and ‘old boys’ from a leading private school being consistently selected ‘on merit’ for particular public service positions. This could be done in a couple of days by one or two people, cost effective, quick, concise and irrefutable evidence of nepotism, at the very least. While we’re at it why not ask what response was forthcoming, aside from complicit silence from politicians of all stripes and union wind bags when approached for help reporting corrupt conduct within the public service? We who cling to notions of integrity, justice and public service are getting what we deserve by our dogged insistence that there must be justice and fairness in the end. Never forget folks some of these operators are without scruple they will lie, cheat, threaten, assault, set up, verbal and fit up to keep the gravy train rolling. Jesus wept. The good guys don’t always win.

TUESDAY, August 18 …

Cassy O’Connor: Premier squibs on Public Misconduct The Premier today offered no proper justification for Tasmania being the only jurisdiction in the country not to have a crime of public misconduct on the State’s statute books. In Question Time today he made no commitment to accept the Integrity Commission’s persistent call for the Criminal Code Act 1924 to be amended to include the public misconduct provision. The Premier seems to believe Bass Strait is an effective barrier to the kinds of serious misconduct in public office that integrity bodies have exposed in mainland states.

WEDNESDAY, August 19 …

Mercury: Tasmania’s corruption laws are sufficient, says Premier Will Hodgman TASMANIAN laws are adequate to crackdown on alleged corruption among state politicians and other public sector office holders, Premier Will Hodgman says. The Tasmanian Greens want to institute the crime of “misconduct in public office” — in line with an Integrity Commission recommendation — arguing the island state is the only jurisdiction in the country not to have such a law …

THURSDAY, August 20 …

Launceston Conservative Speakers Club: Lifting the Lid on Corruption in Tasmania, Speaker – Dr Andrew Roberts

Cassy O’Connor: Criminal Code Amendment (Misconduct in Public Office) Bill Tabled Both the old parties will be given the opportunity in Parliament to bring Tasmania into line with the rest of the country and ensure the highest possible standards of ethical, lawful conduct in public office. Tabled today, the Criminal Code Amendment (Misconduct in Public Office) Bill 2015 addresses serious concerns raised repeatedly by the Integrity Commission. Tasmania is the only jurisdiction not to have this offence in its criminal code or common law. This is unacceptable and can’t be justified. The Greens’ Bill would give the Integrity Commission the teeth it needs to do its job. Tasmanians deserve to know that those who hold public office are held to the highest standard and are not immune from the law. We hope the Government and the Opposition act in the public interest and support our Amendment Bill when we bring it on for debate next month.

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62 Comments

62 Comments

  1. Geraldine Allan

    September 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    #61. Simon I agree.

    The reality of the current problem requiring solution is — how do we concerned persons that know the depth of the problem (some have direct experience) encourage citizens with required ability and guts, to stand for election as an independent?

    The alternative is for the current CEO (TIC) to do as inaugural CEO Barbara Etter did — (1) have the courage to demand fix it or else, or (2) resign from an impotent commission posing as an official shopfront for a unit with no stock on the shelves. If not, in my view staying inactive is being part of the dishonesty and cover-up.

  2. Simon Warriner

    September 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Geraldine, it is far, far beyond pointless expecting any government comprised entirely of individuals whose political actions are founded in conflicted interest to understand the need for a mechanism to root out and prosecute corrupt behaviour in its various arms.

    When the demonstrated failure to understand conflicted interest is added to the multi-generational imperative to keep past misdeeds covered up, and the obvious urge of certain individuals to warehouse knowledge of those deeds for future leverage it is abundantly clear that neither the liberal or labor parties in this state will ever give us an Integrity Commission worth the name.

    To get an Integrity Commission worth having, and to get the benefits that will flow from the prosecutions such a Commission will deliver, we will need to elect a government dominated by individuals who do not have a vested interest in making bloody sure the secrets and lies remain hidden.

    That is why I keep banging on about independent politicians. Because their independence addresses directly the real problem.

    The shortest route between two points is a straight line. Detours only add to a journey that has already been far too long. Hoping against the evidence that a new commissioner will change anything is just another detour.

  3. Geraldine Allan

    September 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    This Tas Times article headline reads :
    “Tasmanian public servants are escaping prosecution for misconduct because the Tasmanian Government is complacent, according to the head of the integrity watchdog”.

    That is true, very very true.

    Cover-up, helping fellow persons in executive government escape accountability for wrongdoing is systemic in Tasmanian governance. This continues to occur from the top level down.

    Rhetorical question — why is the current government intent on ostrichism? Denying impropriety has occured and continues to happen is treating citizens as fools. That is insulting and offensive.

    Extract from my submission to select committee re the Integrity Commission, (referred to in #57) reads:
    “… It is my fervent submission that the Review Committee recommend necessary changes occur that will hurriedly restore Tasmanians’ confidence in order that
    · I can resume my dealing with ICT with confidence I am not wasting my time; and
    · The Integrity Commission is respected and perceived as more than a “hollow expensive showpiece” and, the following words known to be more than rhetoric. …”

    I then quoted from TIC publication —
    “Its role is to improve the standard of conduct and ethics in Tasmania’s public authorities.
    It aims to strengthen the confidence of Tasmanians in State Government agencies, police, the University of Tasmania, State-owned businesses and local government.
    ” … The need for a new body clearly exists to address the identified deficiencies in the existing system of governance.””

    Yep, State Government agencies, police, the University of Tasmania, State-owned businesses and local government are included, or so it says.

  4. Geraldine Allan

    September 4, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    #58 Ian — is there not a alternative discussion thread, whereby you can post your more directly fox-related comments?

    My fear is that the Editor may yet again close this discussion, due to off-topic comments.

    Let’s stay with the ICT issue. Its ability and enthusiasm or otherwise, to accept and investigate valid corruption and wrongdoing complaints is extremely relevant to numerous citizens. Any jeopardising of this discussion would be a shame, since there is (in my view) much valid discussion here.

    For this record, I have had no discussions with Garry Stannus about the posts.

  5. Ian Rist

    September 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Re # 57 Some people just never give up and need to be constantly corrected…no matter what their ideology is they really need to move outside the mould of their political beliefs.
    “By the way, #51 and #52 in my opinion, contained a type of innuendo (e.g. “the treasurer admitted his girlfriend worked for…”) that many thoughtful people would be uncomfortable with. In fact, #52 misrepresented both the then Treasurer’s actual words and also the context of his statement.”

    To correct this claim I refer to the Tasmanian Parliament official Hansard 15th March 2011 Part -2 pages 37 -84.

    PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE – REPORT ON FOX ERADICATION PROGRAM

    [3.22 p.m.]

    Mr AIRD (Derwent – Motion) – Madam President, I move –
    That the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Public Accounts report on the inquiry into the efficiency and effectiveness of the Fox Eradication Program in Tasmania be considered and noted.

    In moving this motion it is important at the outset to acknowledge that my partner works for the Fox Eradication Program. However, I would also like it to be recognised that this issue is one that I have long supported, in fact it was as Treasurer in 2006 that I signed off on the significant 10-year commitment by the State Government to an expanded fox eradication program. The Government funded the program believing, as I believe now, that spending money on this issue while we still have a chance to solve it, to rid Tasmania of his devastating predator makes far more economic sense than waiting until foxes are established and then spending tens of millions of dollars each year, every year trying to merely control the problem.

    So I would refer to your opinion as similar quality to the “fox” that allegedly crossed Illawarra Road on the 15th May 2001 and was “seen” by part time PWS employee Chris Spencer at a distance of 15 metres according to your friend the X-biologist of DPIPWE.
    Yet in his own diary report notes Chris Spencer (the actual person) that made the sighting never mentioned 15 metres or the word FOX.
    I refer to comment number 113 in your own article of the 19th January 2015 Fox Scientists: Both Sides Stumped?

    113.Garry writes ‘I think there have been foxes here … live individuals’. He told me he bases that confidence on his direct contact with Chris Spencer. So, it seems Garry believes Mr Spencer saw a fox in Tasmania (Illawarra Road)and so with that referral Garry makes his statement of belief.

  6. Garry Stannus

    September 3, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you, Lindsay #33…

    Departed Commissioner Kellam made the following observations:
    -that the 20% reduction in the ICT’s budget would further restrict the already limited number of investigations that the Commission can perform.
    -that the Integrity Commission Act 2009 provides the Commission with “a manifestly inadequate legislative framework” in which to operate.
    -that the joint standing committee on Integrity* supported most of the proposals put to it by the Commission in 2013, however that the Government deferred on their implementation until receipt of the Commission’s Review which itself was delayed until after the 2014 election.
    -that neither the Committee nor the Government has dealt adequately with the need for the Commission to have a fully workable piece of legislation with which to conduct its operations.”
    -that the Committee has failed to progress development of a Code of Conduct applicable to all Members of Parliament.
    -that “Powerful interests”in the Government/bureaucracy have sought to limit the work of the Integrity Commission by “reducing its budget, calling for removal of its investigative functions, not remedying its deficient legislation and, by not supporting its [the Integrity Commission’s] work”

    Ex-Commissioner Kellam noted that this lack of government support for the IC is exemplified in its [both Lib and Lab] failure – despite repeated requests during his tenure – to amend our Criminal code to include the offence of ‘misconduct in public office’. He concluded that “There appears to be complacency in Government and in the bureaucracy that allegation s of corruption [… (as per NSW etc) … ] will not occur in Tasmania”

    By the way, #51 and #52 in my opinion, contained a type of innuendo (e.g. “the treasurer admitted his girlfriend worked for…”) that many thoughtful people would be uncomfortable with. In fact, #52 misrepresented both the then Treasurer’s actual words and also the context of his statement. Might I add that while I was holidaying in Coventry these last two weeks and more, I read up on, and was impressed by, Murray Kellam’s various contributions to the quest for improving the ICT –including his own submission to the much delayed 3 Year Review. So I temper my remarks (#9), noting that Kellam’s departing shots were not just ‘last-minute’, he’d made them before – strongly – though regrettably not receiving the same public attention as occasioned in his stepping-down remarks.

    As well as Kellam’s, I read Geraldine Allan’s submission* to the Joint Standing Committee’s ‘3 year’ Review of the ICT. I commend her for it and in doing so, I add that she is a personal friend of mine. I liked her personalised style in that submission and acknowledge its merit. It was a submission which recommended:
    1. Increased funding to allow for full and proper handling of complaints (e.g assessment & investigation) along with appropriate clerical backup.
    2. Considerations of fairness and justice in decision making to have priority over “hurried cost effective decisions”.
    3. Community representation on the ICT’s Board.
    4. Legislative reform to solve the problem of the ICT having to refer on a complaint to the same Govt body that may have initially refused to investigate it, or more to the point, might have actually occasioned that which is being complained about.

    The problems are quite complex. As an apparent sop to the chorus of complaint about Gunnsmania, the mill, the forests and such stuff, Premier Bartlett did a sleight of hand, pulled out of the hat an ‘Integrity Commission’, steered well clear of an ICAC and promptly departed. Now we have a federal and state liberal political apparatus which legislates against dissent, which repeals the future protections of some of our high conservation value native forests. They tried to reintroduce SLAPP suites, they are trying to make environmental organisations subject to secondary boycott provisions. Reasoning people would think that we should be considering Kellam’s parting remarks in this Liberal political context, rather than trying to find sense in years-old exhortations to ‘join the conspiracy dots’ on foxes.

    *Geraldine Allan’s submission is found
    [Here] online under the mis-spelt name Allen.

  7. Geraldine Allan

    August 30, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Impressive #37 @ http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/comments/38763/#37

    Since it seems relevant to the discussion here, I take liberty in reposting: –

    “I have finally realised Tasmania is now a ‘corruption incubator’ for the rest of the nation.
 This case indicates we are exporting alleged criminals to the mainland.
 It would look weird on car numberplates ‘Tasmania the Corruption Incubator State’. Posted by Karl Stevens on 29/08/15 at 11:03 AM”

  8. Geraldine Allan

    August 30, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Ian #54, my understanding is that a number of complaints already submitted to TIC that exclude “hypothetical speculation, suppositions and misinformed speculations” have been dismissed. These complaints are not directly related to the Tasmanian fox issue, although some executive government processes may be aligned with your experiences.

    TIC dismissal of valid complaints was one of the reasons I inquired if you had made a complaint.

    The broader issues of corruption in Tasmania public administration, which initiated this thread discussion, is of interest to several observers hence we look forward to hearing the outcome of your submission.

  9. Ian Rist

    August 29, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Any facts are always welcome to contribute to our submission to the TIC, hypothetical speculation, suppositions and misinformed speculations are not.

    What I do know on the Tasmanian fox issue is time has proven myself and others to be right and others very, very wrong.
    Some people just cannot accept they backed the wrong horse and the wrong party.

  10. Garry Stannus

    August 29, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    So would it be ‘koscher’, Lindsay, to make a response to #51 and #52?

    Ed: Natch, providing it’s the issue, not the man …

  11. Ian Rist

    August 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    For some reason the links change very quickly…if required re comment # 50 go to Google type in Parliament of Tasmania, search box on top of page click Hansard, drop down Legislative Council then in the Hansard request box type in:
    April 17th 2007.

    For comment # 51 same procedure but in search box type in:
    15th March 2011.
    Part 2 pages 37 – 84
    At least in the first paragraph the treasurer admitted his girlfriend worked for the Fox Eradication Program.

  12. Ian Rist

    August 28, 2015 at 12:38 am

    One thing that will be necessary in any TIC Investigation will be the necessity of some past Treasurers and Leaders to contribute what they know re the fox evidence trail.
    Over time it has become obvious why they have taken such an interest in matters fox.

    PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE – REPORT ON FOX ERADICATION PROGRAM

    Tuesday 15th March 2011

    http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ParliamentSearch/isysquery/81566f89-cf0f-438f-a5a1-4b61128a998e/2/doc/

  13. Ian Rist

    August 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    What we will be able to prove to the the TIC on the fox issue is clear evidence of hoaxing and evidence fabrication re carcasses and fox scats.
    It will then be up to the TIC to involve Police, I believe it should be the Federal Police.

    There have been attempts in the Tasmanian Legislative Council for a Tasmanian Police Investigation into the ‘Fox evidence” but they have been constantly vetoed in the Lower House.

    On Tuesday 17th April 2007 a motion was passed in the Upper House for an investigation.

    http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ParliamentSearch/isysquery/ca0ce203-5db4-4038-86ba-02dca6b267e7/20/doc/

    The motion was vetoed in the Lower House by Minister Llewellyn.

  14. William Boeder

    August 23, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Hello Geraldine, This same suggestion to Ian is a matter that I can vouch offer an example thereto that had been rejected by the go now further Tasmanian Integrity Commission.
    In a sort of by the way comment it was offered by myself in a prior article relating to this TIC subject matter, that this commission was little more than a repository and clearing house for all manner of complaints lodged by the enemy. (The State’s citizens.)

    No matter the serious subject matter, be it seeking an action to address all lodged and or submitted complaints to the TIC claimed some form of malversation, or inappropriate dealing was discovered that emanated from either a State government department, or one of Tasmania’s GBE’s, or some other aspect of State government administrative function that was on the nose, then directed to the Commissioner of the TIC.
    Bearing in mind that the TIC served another function as well, which was to act the part of a forward scout to report back to headquarters of any skirmishes or signs of enemy movements, (scat-terings out there in Tasmania’s hostile citizen’s territory.

    Mr Murray Kellam AO was much obliged toward His Excellency the late Governor of Tasmania, Mr Peter Underwood, for providing him with this huge annual stipend, Mr Kellam being one of the flock of retiring Supreme Court Judges out there on the mainland.

  15. Geraldine Allan

    August 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Great! #47 Ian.

    Stepping to broader issues of complaint, my belief is that (one of) the ICT role & functions is to receive complaints from persons who have experienced cover-up(s) of systemic wrong-doing.

    If you have evidence of successive governments/public officers turning a blind-eye to and/or being involved in administrative impropriety, which I believe is instanced in several complaints already submitted to and dismissed by ICT, then add your name and evidentiary detail to the complainants’ list, and see where it goes.

    Hopefully, it will be a ‘watch this spot’ activity, as numerous persons are interested in the success or otherwise of your complaint.

  16. ian Rist

    August 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    OK Geraldine I will test it with the IC.
    The problem all along is that subsequent Governments knew very well what was going on and didn’t want to be part of it.
    Llewellyn, Green, Parkinson and Aird in Labor knew exactly what was going on but would not allow anyone to become involved.
    I pursued it at the change of Government and was told that “there will be no witch hunts, we are in power now and don’t want to upset anyone”.
    “We certainly do not want to do anything that may jeopardise future funding”.

    As I have said before too many in too deep.

  17. Geraldine Allan

    August 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    #44, Ian in order that the topic does not meander from the lead topic, prudence suggests that you might test the Integrity Commission (ICT) with your —
    “If there was one single event … that should (be) have been investigated this would have to be it. …”

    Then, if your complaint about that “one single event” is rejected and not investigated, your position may be strengthened.

    Additionally, it will add voice-volume to other complainants (to ICT) who suggest valid complaints are being sidelined.

  18. Kathryn Barnsley

    August 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Just a gentle reminder of my article in the Tasmanian Times and a publication on crony capitalism and corruption in Tasmania. This has gone on for a long long time. It is time it was fixed.

    “The public servants involved in approving the land transactions were directly involved in the conspiracy. One senior public servant explained in 1971 that, after a meeting of officials with tobacco executives, it was recognised that it was highly undesirable for any persons other than those associated with the tobacco company to be able to access land grants in the designated area.”

    “The public servant involved in facilitating this scheme placed on record the mechanism for achieving the purpose of the company to acquire the land, and for ensuring that ordinary members of the public were excluded from this opportunity.”

    This illustrates the two factors identified by Beresford as leading to corruption; a powerful business lobby with close ties to government, and a lack of transparency in government processes.”

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/the-curious-case-of-british-tobacco-and-a-tasmanian-government/

  19. Ian Rist

    August 23, 2015 at 12:42 am

    If there was one single event in the whole fox saga that should (be) have been investigated this would have to be it.

    Comment by Prof. Peacock on his blog and inserted in the University of Canberra newsletter.
    February 25, 2009
    Is a Faecal Fooler at work in Tasmania?
    “If you found a fox poo in a paddock in Tasmania, would you think there was a fox in the vicinity somewhere”?

    “Not if you were Ian Rist”.

    “Mr. Rist is the most vocal of a small band of conspiracy theorists that seem to believe a faecal fooler is at work. He is an ardent critic of the people charged with ridding Tasmania of foxes: the Fox Eradication Branch of the Department of Primary Industries and Water”.

    What say ye now Prof. Peacock ?

    Facts.
    Over 1200 fox scats imported into Tasmania. Refer Senate Hansard.

    No two scats allegedly recovered in Tasmania from the same fox… not possible as foxes defecate at least six times a day in the same area.

    Not one of all the 58 DNA tested positive fox scats contained any Tasmanian endemic species -not one. What about all the Tasmanian endemic species roadkill?

  20. Simon Warriner

    August 20, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    It is almost hilarious watching the libs tie themselves in knots avoiding the screamingly obvious conflict between Hodgemans denial of the need for a real corruption watchdog with fangs and the clearly demonstrated lack of competence that has been revealed at the DHHS Child Welfare operation.

    The failures of the DHHS child welfare operation have been around for many years, certainly for many and possibly all the years labor was overseeing the show. That their minister was not in reciept of weekly KPI data that reported at the very least the number of un-allocated notifications tells anyone with an ounce of management knowledge that those running the show are either clueless or grossly negligent.

    Perhaps this state of affairs is because nepotism and narcissism are being mistaken for real management skills. I have had conversations with ex staff and foster carers that strongly suggest this possibility. The presence of a real watchdog capable of rigorous examination of the provenance of such non performing managers would seem to be the only hope of getting past the cycle of failure, disappointment and harm that the presence of nepotism and narcissism create in any organisation.

    Or maybe Will Hodgeman and the Libs have another way. If so, he really needs to share it before the final embers of his credibility fade to ash and go cold.

  21. mike seabrook

    August 19, 2015 at 10:29 am

    ref o’brien

    you forgot the scam on spending on irrigation schemes
    – the subsidies paid by the battlers are capitalised in selective farmers land values and the increased production (supply) by definition results in a lower market clearing price and the non beneficiary – non crony farmers are effectively ripped off

    – what about the tree farmers who are not recipient of handouts and are effectively ripped off by the tree farmers recipient of the mis and other taxpayers loot and competing with the hopelessly uneconomic , non profitable activities by the cronies the pollies have appointed as directors to run the hopeless taxpayer owned tas forestry

  22. Ian Rist

    August 18, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Re John at # 38

    Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.

    Against the dangers of fires, he conceived of the idea of night guards and watchmen.

    The famous saying by Augustus was applied by latter day politicans.

  23. Malcolm

    August 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Comment continued

    I subsequently made a detailed submission into the Three Year Review into the functions, powers and operations of the Integrity Commission Act 2009 highlighting numerous shortcomings based upon my own experience together with my own proposals to improve matters.

    http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ctee/Joint/Integrity.htm

    However, the Joint Standing Committee on Integrity refused to publish my submission, along with several others, claiming that:

    “there are a number of reasons why the Committee may resolve not to publish a submission, including:

    • That the submission makes allegations that reflect adversely on a person or body (e.g. where allegations are made against third parties in the submission); or
    • That the submission is not relevant or does not address the terms of reference; or
    • That the person making the submission requests that it remain confidential; or
    • Where there are legal requirements for information contained in the submission to remain confidential; or
    • Where the Committee determines in all the circumstances that it is not appropriate to publish a submission.”

    Although I was advised that “all submissions taken into evidence by the Committee, whether published or not, will be considered by the Committee in conducting its review” this assurance does not appear to be substantiated by the findings contained in the final report.

    It is also important to note that under the terms of the review submissions become Committee documents and must not be released without the approval of the Committee. Submissions are protected by parliamentary privilege but the unauthorised release of them is not. This leaves submitters exposed to potential legal action such as defamation which has previously been used by forest industry players like Gunns and Ta Ann to close down dissent.

    In contrast, the Liberal member dominated Committee inquiry into the Triabunna Wood Chip Mill accepted and published late and apparently vexatious submissions in breach of the guidelines.

    http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ctee/House/HAComDev-Triabunna.htm

  24. Malcolm

    August 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t believe that the Tasmanian public will be fooled by the Premier’s hollow assurance that the State’s corruption laws are sufficient when all the evidence points to the contrary.

    As a prime example, the Integrity Commission’s decision to dismiss substantive complaints into Gunns’ pulp mill assessment process demonstrated the Commission’s woeful lack of powers.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/tasmanian-pulp-mill-escapes-toothless-watchdog/story-e6frgczx-1226332163227

    I suspect that these failings may well have been deliberately designed by the architects of the Commission in order to protect politicians from investigation.

    Yet only a few months after the Commission’s feeble determination on the pulp mill the Commission’s newly appointed CEO rejected claims that the Commission was a toothless tiger saying it had enough muscle for now.

    http://www.examiner.com.au/story/317777/powers-enough-for-integrity-commission/?cs=94

    Comment to be continued

  25. john hayward

    August 18, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Re Ian,#31. I have never discerned a serious limit to the degree of editorial discretion which Tassie officialdom enjoys in transcribing official documents. I’ve seen crucial evidence, even the very existence of crucial witnesses, vanish into the ether between hearing and transcription.

    Will’s confidence in the malleability of the Tas justice system is well founded.

    John Hayward

  26. William Boeder

    August 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you John, my understanding of the citizens military’s forces (or reserves) is that the rank enjoyed by its higher level officers are generally given as the equivalent of the longevity of one’s time served with these forces, also relevant is the professional role or occupation as a legal practitioner.

    A person who keenly seeks high-office or rank and therefore not unlike a certain Abbott.

    The bit about working ‘with’ governments, is also that special something which should wrankle quite a number of spatial equilibriums.

  27. John Wade

    August 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Mr. Aziz G. Melick (Greg), AM, RFD, SC serves as Major General at the Australian Defence Force Headquarters, Assistant Chief of the Defence Force (Reserves) and Head of Reserve and Employer Support Division. Mr. Melick also has extensive human resources and financial management experience including 42 years in the Army Reserve. Mr. Melick has considerable experience in advising and working with governments having formerly been a Crown Prosecutor/Principal Crown Counsel in the Tasmanian Crown Law Office and a Statutory Member of both the National Crime Authority and the NSW Casino Control Authority. He serves as Director and served as Chairman, of the Australian Wine Consumers’ Co-Operative and a Director of St John Ambulance Australia (Tas) Inc. Mr. Melick served as a Non-Executive Director of Proto Resources and Investments Limited until April 2013 and also served as its Executive Director since March 5, 2008 …

    http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=41958189&ticker=PRW:AU

    – I am getting a little suspicious of Defence Forces personnel being “sat” into high office positions around our country. Something is wrankling my spatial equilibrium, that which requires a simple framework for existence, namely, beware of false prophets.

  28. John Hawkins

    August 18, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Of course they are sufficient.

    No one from that side of the ledger ever gets caught!

  29. Editor

    August 18, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Comment thread reopened with Will Hodgman’s wonderful comment that Tasmania’s corruption laws are sufficient …

    But play nice and stay on-topic …

  30. Editor

    August 14, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Comment thread closed … as it was drifting way off-topic …

  31. William Boeder

    August 13, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    #30. With regard to your comment Garry, let me say that I have a number of valid incidents known to myself and Tasmania’s Justice Department where the term, ‘unwarranted slur’ is a term that could be applicable to any number of State issued media releases, Supreme Court decisions handed down along with the judge’s sentence that does not exactly identify with the flagrant invidious actions of the criminal charges laid against an accused.

    The many discordant citizens in Tasmania that have been astounded by the inappropriate sentences that can be compared for instance, to 50 lashes with a silk stocking and those lashes be administered under the eye of the presiding judge in his private chamber.

    Perhaps my example given here is not entirely consistent with the sentences handed down upon the majority of lower echelon citizens, then when we elevate our eyes to peer up at the higher echelons to observe what the presiding judge may refer when handing down the sentence, (if the case matter even reaches the judges bench) we observe a entirely new approach is adopted to punish the guilty culprit.
    How about a good behaviour bond and the judge rules that this case does not warrant that a conviction be recorded, based on the esteemed character of the defendant and the many persons who have come forward to attest to the exemplary character of said defendant?
    Notwithstanding that each of the character witnesses are indeed birds of the same ruffled feather as the accused.

    So you see Garry that a tainted Tasmanian justice system is well within the scope of ‘nulla-opprobrium’ dwelling deep within the bricks and mortar of these supposed sacrosanct court-house buildings.

    So with regard to the reference whereby you express some level of doubt existed in Inquiries such as the Great Federal Government Funded Fox Flattus, or more commonly known as the ‘will o’ the wisp’ affair, or even better as the ‘Ignis Fatuus affair, or even the Tasmanian Faux Frolics.
    Justice in Tasmania is often considered to be ‘the thief in the night’ not knowing when this Justice thingy will arrive unto the State’s Supreme Court temple………….

    My kind regards to your good self Garry.

  32. Ian Rist

    August 13, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I suggest certain people read the Hansard again, carefully. I know what was said, I was there.

    When I first mentioned several names it was suggested that the evidence be given in camera.

    I repeat again the Hansard is not a complete account of everything that was said.

    Furthermore I do not intend to get into public essays with known fox program sympathisers and public essay writers, I have more to do with my time at the moment.

  33. Garry Stannus

    August 12, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    On the subject of inquiries … I don’t believe that we should throw our hands in the air, and say that nothing can be done, that Tasmania can never be fixed. Some inquiries achieve nothing (witness the Triabunna witch-hunt!) while others do result in improvements. The Fox Inquiry, which has been mentioned on this thread, did produce some qualified results, though it is disappointing to hear the organ grinding out the same tired ‘There’s something rotten in the State of Denmark’ tune.

    Ian’s #17 “It was on the day insisted upon by several PAC Inquiry members that some of the evidence must be ‘in camera’” fails to reveal the fact that it was Ian himself who asked to give some of his evidence ‘in camera’:

    Mr RIST[…] This is where it all gets quite amazing for me. Within a week or 10 days a photo appeared of two men holding up a dead fox under the Longford sign. I know the people involved and it has come to me. I wish to give that evidence in camera. I wish to name names in camera if that is acceptable to you, Chair.

    Ian’s suggestion that

    Maybe the recording tapes in the right hands would demonstrate what exactly was said ?

    seems to cast an unwarranted slur on our Parliamentary staff.

    Why should we abandon public inquiries just because people such as Ian – or O’Brien (#16) – tell us that the system is beyond redemption? The Fox Inquiry did deliver the recommendation for the creation of the Invasive Species Branch

    The Government move to establish an on-going unit or single body to respond to the threat of all or any invasive species.

    This was surely one positive which came from that Inquiry. We shouldn’t forget or overlook the wrongs and the failures, but we must not ‘because of them’ turn our backs against present/future challenges. Isn’t that why we contribute here, on Tasmanian Times, in order to make things better?

  34. Wiliam Boeder

    August 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    A compilation of the best and most compelling references among the comments submitted and published in this article, relating to allegations of the corruptions that are of an easily identifiable instance of such occurrences and of their magnitude, are sought by me for use by this forum attendee to form as an addendum to a submission by myself to the highest authorities here in Tasmania.

    It is only by the thrusting of allegations of these kinds of lawless corruption as are so freely committed by elements of this government and are attached to them in the manner of common Lamprey Eels, can become the substance of irrefutable evidences that certain persons in the government ranks are deeply complicit in both the alleged corruptions and of the malversations known to have been perpetrated by the hand of this State government.

    Many of this forum’s attendees have the ‘full monty’ toward readily identifiable corruptions and or etc that have occurred or have been seen to have occurred by the hand of this State government, thus to become the evidences incorporated to justify a submission being directed to this State’s minister for justice.

    Only by confrontational actions of this kind can we hope to see these blatant actions placed under the spotlight and hopefully have these same published by this State’s often reluctant media news providers.

    To sit on one’s hands and piss and moan of the wrongs being committed in Tasmania by its government brethren, is to be seen as doing Jack Schitt to seek change in the wily ways of this State’s foremost agents of deception.

    Names and identifiable references will be removed to protect the identification of the authors of these ‘borrowed (well presented) comments.’
    I now hand this opportunity over to the authors.

    Perhaps I must first ask for the comment adjudicators and the much respected Editor of Tasmanian Times, that they consider this action and thus provide a platform to aid this push for an acceptable means to energetically seek the necessary change in this State’s government tainted behaviours.

  35. Geraldine Allan

    August 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    My #25 failed to include the header : Aziz Gregory (Greg) Melick AO, SC

  36. Geraldine Allan

    August 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    #26 Ian to answer your question “So why would I bother with a State Integrity Commission?”, my attitude is at least lodge a complaint. Over time, the accumulation of genuine & substantial complaints that the Commission dismisses, may hold weight for some review. Numbers = strength.

  37. Ian Rist

    August 11, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    No Geraldine I have not…possibly I would be wasting my time.

    I went to the AFP with a detailed submission and the case was taken up. It went well for awhile and two then three AFP persons became involved.
    Suddenly I was contacted by the head of the AFP in Hobart and the lady in charge J****e said they were dropping it as it wasn’t an AFP matter.
    What?….. defrauding the Commonwealth isn’t an AFP matter.
    This was at the time a State Labor Government was receiving large amounts of funding from a Federal Labor Government for “fox eradication”.

    That’s almost the same as in the dying days of the Rudd Labor Government whilst it was in caretaker mode the Labor Government gave the State Government here 1.9 million dollars for “fox eradication”.
    In other words vote for us and there will be more where that came from.

    So why would I bother with a State Integrity Commission?
    It is and always was a toothless tiger.

  38. Geraldine Allan

    August 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Admitted to Practice: 3 Feb 1975 (NSW), 20 Mar 1981 (Tas)
    Signed Bar Roll: January 1996
    Appointed Silk: 1 May 2001
    Also admitted in: NSW, Vic, Qld, WA, SA, NT

    Biography:
    Crown Prosecutor/Principal Crown Counsel (TAS) 1980-89,
    Partner, Gunson, Pickard and Hann 1990-95,
    Statutory Member, National Crime Authority, 1996-2000,
    Statutory Member NSW Casino Control Authority, 2000-03,
    Special Investigator, Australian Cricket Board/Cricket Australia, 2000-present.

    Areas of Practice:
    Administrative, Appellate, Common Law, Corporate, Criminal, IP and IT, Royal Commissions and Inquiries.

    http://www.tasmanianbar.com.au/barristers/azizmelick.html

  39. Paul Bonnet

    August 11, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/appointment_of_new_chief_commissioner_of_the_integrity_commission
    Goodwin has made it official. Aziz is our new Chief Integrity Commissioner.

  40. Geraldine Allan

    August 11, 2015 at 11:18 am

    #17. Ian, my #13 is not meant to read as “advice”. Rather, it is a question — “have you submitted the matters including … with the Tasmanian Integrity Commission?”

  41. Simon Warriner

    August 10, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    re 16, O’Brien. There is one little trick you left out of your list of quick and dirty corruption detection techniques. A quick peek into the register of births would be a useful tool to illuminate otherwise inexplicable management decisions. Advertising for anonymous hints would get the list started, I’ll bet.

    re 21, Mike, the standard of shite you are prepared to walk past is the standard you accept. Frankly, I hope you choke on it. Every farmer besieged by wallabies from the neighbouring plantations would share that view, as would those waiting for rent long overdue while trying to hold off the banks and their repossession agents. You might have got yours, mate, but some of us are still paying for it and we are not very happy about that, not at all! The dollar figure out of my bank account will top $20 grand after lost production and re-fencing are totalled up. That is money that will not pay for my kids sport, my holidays, will not get spent locally on entertainment, and will instead go to manufacturers of fencing material who are not Tasmanian. That is just my small property. The properties either side of me will bring that figure up to well over $70k. I estimate my employers property would be suffering production losses worth well over $80k per annum using the same formula based on plantation boundary distance, without adding in the cost of fencing. That is what socialising the costs of private gains does. I guess your admission is to be admired, for its honesty if nothing else

  42. mike seabrook

    August 10, 2015 at 8:54 am

    don’t knock the mis forestry and other agricultural (walnuts/winegrapes/cherries etc) mis scams or the $50 million funding for the futile hunt for reynard the invisible tassie fox

    this funding mostly from mainlanders and dupes was a massive good for tasmania in massive spending on payouts to tassie landowners (myself included) and in employment and business activity in tassie which tassie would otherwise not have had

    those scamsters who caused this were heroes

    as is clive palmer – who else in australia has extracted in excess of $1 bn in chinese and similar funding for spending on goods and services and employment in a worthless wa iron ore mine

  43. O'Brien

    August 9, 2015 at 1:01 am

    “Procrastination is also a subtle act of corruption – it corrupts valuable time”
    (Amit Abraham)

  44. William Boeder

    August 9, 2015 at 12:04 am

    O’Brien, the compelling readability and ready acceptance of your comment #16, is of such a mighty and powerful magnitude that should would ordinarily have you appointed by the Tasmania citizens as one of Tasmania’s finest integrity laden Statesman of all time.
    A case in point, I myself am into the 7th month of attempting to have Tasmania’s crony higher echelon reptiles admit to a failure in this State’s delivery of due justice being imposed upon a most dishonest and despicable State inhabitant.
    This matter can easily be rectified by their mob casting 2 of the oiliest members of their crooked higher echelon incumbents, quick fast into the caboose, for their perjuring proclivities and disdain for correctly executed Supreme Court carriages of justice.
    My only choice appears at this point in time, is to be sunk to the bottom of the largest and deepest of the North-West Tasmania Rivers via the enfilading cannon fire from the fleet-ship bearing the name of “F–k you Jack and leave alone our non-ethical Tasmanian style of Justice” (as is the e’er cheaply wrapped and proffered gift from this State’s ugly duck pretender members of this State’s myopic justice practitioners of due process to be offered to this State’s beleaguered citizens……….. or to take a running leap from atop Hobart’s highest crossing of the Derwent River, yep, whilst wearing a pair of bolted-on-to-the-feet concrete enhanced running shoes.
    Why is this so?

  45. Geraldine Allan

    August 8, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Hear, hear O’Brien #16

  46. Ian Rist

    August 8, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    “Forget wide ranging inquiries” I agree with O’Brien – # 16.
    Enough factual and truthful claims have been made over the years by journalists and some politicians on the fox issue but were never allowed to be acted upon.
    There simply was never the political will and therefore the police or judicial will to proceed.

    I gave evidence as sworn testimony at the PAC Inquiry.
    It was on the day insisted upon by several PAC Inquiry members that some of the evidence must be “in camera “.
    In camera evidence is not available to the general public and certain letters and evidence submitted were kept secret also.
    Because I began to give evidence in open testimony I was very quickly shut down.
    My absolutely sure recollection of what I began to say does not agree word for word with the written Hansard.
    Maybe the recording tapes in the right hands would demonstrate what exactly was said ?

    Thanks for your advice Geraldine in # 13 and your kind words William in # 16.

    My knowledge of the fox saga is, as many have stated is encyclopedic and I would be prepared to stand before any court or inqquiry and repeat exactly what I said and what I know.
    Bring it on.

  47. O'Brien

    August 8, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    “Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.”
    (Henry Kissinger)

    How can any person maintain even a shred of faith in government, public institution or the law after this unapologetic exit by another ‘learned’ and ‘esteemed’ pillar of the community? We knew there was something rotten in Denmark when Ms Etter split the scene. Let’s face it folks we’ve been fleeced and fooled for a long time now, and it’s not going away any time soon. From the first day the Union Jack ran up up a sapling on these windswept antipodean shores the people have been ruled over by a gang of thugs with god, the law, and the guard on their side, and there ain’t no arguing with that logic folks regardless of the rights and wrongs.

    Any back of the envelope assessment of Tassie’s recent history includes managed investment scams/schemes, Forestry Tasmania, pulp mills, builders insurance scams/schemes, wood chips, train loads of tax free hardwood logs as ‘presents’ for foreign friends, Ta Ann, salmon farms, WHA profiteering proposals, free housing renovations, invisible foxes, hundreds of thousands of poisoned native animals, grants for magic beans etc. etc. The list is long and ugly and doesn’t end there, many people have become far richer from their ‘sacrifice’ ‘working’ in politics or public service with very little evidence of achieving anything of consequence.

    Forget wide ranging inquiries and royal commissions, we all know they would be compromised before they began and achieve nothing. A lot of money could be saved and directed to proper end by simply examining the statistical probability of so many members of the same families, close friends, ex-cops and ‘old boys’ from a leading private school being consistently selected ‘on merit’ for particular public service positions. This could be done in a couple of days by one or two people, cost effective, quick, concise and irrefutable evidence of nepotism, at the very least. While we’re at it why not ask what response was forthcoming, aside from complicit silence from politicians of all stripes and union wind bags when approached for help reporting corrupt conduct within the public service?

    We who cling to notions of integrity, justice and public service are getting what we deserve by our dogged insistence that there must be justice and fairness in the end. Never forget folks some of these operators are without scruple they will lie, cheat, threaten, assault, set up, verbal and fit up to keep the gravy train rolling. Jesus wept. The good guys don’t always win.

  48. William Boeder

    August 8, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    #13. Geraldine Allen, knowing that honesty is the personal hallmark of Ian Rist, thus no matter the accuracy and factual detailed information being submitted to the TIC, will this State government bureau ever find in his favour.

    Let us all be aware that the recent statement delivered by departing chairman Mr Murray Kellam, has been a surprising revelation of fact.

    Those that care to dispute this sparkling gem of truth that slipped from the corner of the now retired chairman, need only to read the 2013 joint parliamentary committee into the TIC, then its summary report.

    One must also read among the private submissions and to stay away from State government department submissions.

    The 2 submissions tendered from the Tasmanian Police Association suggest little need for an ineffective group of meddling middlemen/women who at their very best have no actionable authority other than to sharpen their own pencils.

    (I will admit to a slight exaggeration here re the sharpening of pencils, as it provides a semblance of a toothless revenue-consuming entity) that is legislative prevented from ever becoming a threat to the department for malversation.
    Which by the way happens to be a living breathing organism with its own tiny office disguised by its signage as a broom closet.

    The State’s Lib/Lab ministers have no time for an authority wielding commission that could investigate into allegations of impropriety, especially toward any of their Lib/Lab selves let alone any of this State’s government departments and GBE’s.

  49. Garry Stannus

    August 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    CORRECTION: RE MY #9: A dear friend has kindly advised me that “Barbara [Etter] was the inaugural CEO, not Commissioner. M Kellam was the inaugural commissioner”. My apologies for my mistake … memory is a weird and sometimes inventive thing!

  50. Geraldine Allan

    August 8, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    #12 — Ian, have you submitted the matters including “names and addresses of person involved in hoaxing, fabrication and fraud […]” with the Tasmanian Integrity Commission?

  51. Ian Rist

    August 8, 2015 at 2:07 am

    My faith in the Tasmanian system was destroyed during the twelve odd years of the fox saga. Especially during the time of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Efficiency of the Fox program.
    What an absolute farce,I gave names and addresses of person involved in hoaxing, fabrication and fraud […], nothing, absolutely nothing happened, well not openly anyway.
    Plain commonsense dictated it was a sideshow from day one, but some politicians went along with it for all sorts of reasons – keep the “conservationists” happy, keep the farmers happy, ensure the continuing use of 1080, prop up some badly lacking departments with taxpayer supplied largesse.
    The greatest tragedy was the very animals they claimed to be saving from the ravages of the non-existent fox were the very animals they were actually poisoning en masse.

    One party was as bad as the other.
    Now they are all running around like headless chooks scratching their backsides saying what has happened to all the Quolls and Devils?

    It was a blatant example of politicians and bureaucrats not doing the job we elected them and paid them to do.
    Now they are hiding in their bunkers hoping it will all just go away.
    Yes, too many in too deep. Where would you start?

    Nothing much has changed since the rum trade, shame, sugar and swashbucklers.

  52. john hayward

    August 8, 2015 at 1:55 am

    The fact that Murray spoke out about the glaring deficiencies in the TIC only when departing says something about both the organisation and himself.

    While it’s too early to say anything about Greg Melick in the job, he hasn’t distinguished himself from the Tassie legal culture, which is a worry.

    John Hayward

  53. Geraldine Allan

    August 7, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    The reality is — was Tasmanian Law Society President Matthew Verney who said “Mr Melick, who was expected to be announced as Mr Kellam’s replacement next week, was a well-regarded legal practitioner”, going to say anything else for the public record?

  54. Garry Stannus

    August 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Kelham and Quango-Mania:
    Re the departing Murray Kelham … Russell Langfield’s comment “He is just as guilty by doing nothing.” (#6) strikes a chord. Regardless of what Kelham did or did not do, I ask, “What have we achieved, prior to his leaving”? The raison d’être for the Integrity Commission was the foul mess that Gunns, the Forestry GBE, MIS, the Pulp Mill and the Lib-Labs put us in…

    We lost our inaugural commissioner, for reasons not yet fully understood, and now after a further 5 years or so, the next one is gone, while ‘giving us a serve’, talking straight at the last moment ‘en passant’ and going out through the exit door. Good on him. ‘Hope his fouls die’. As a member of the public, I ask,

    “What integrity landmarks do we have to show for the Kelham tenure”?

    To my fellow Tasmanians, I say … never vote Liberal, nor Labor. It will only be more of the same. Vote Green if you dare … but hold them to task. Vote Independent … judiciously. If you ever meet them, in person, on the street etc, tell them they have to give us transparency, truth and justice while in office. Tell them you’re watching…

  55. John Forsyth

    August 7, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Mr Kellam blames the current State Government for the Commission’s failure to perform. Keep in mind the background to the creation of this white elephant during the time Lara Giddings was Attorney General. Does anyone remember the Magisterial appointment which cost Steven Kons his job? The irrefutable reality is that the Integrity Commission was set up to sell the myth that the Labor government was anxious to clean up its act.
    The reality was that it was never intended that it would be a proactive force in exposing corrupt behaviour. To that extent it has been a roaring success

  56. Karl Stevens

    August 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    It was written in the stars that the descendants of 75,000 convicts would not see the need for misconduct in public office to be deemed a criminal offense.

  57. Russell

    August 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Mr Kellam was in the very position to do something about the “misconduct” and “corruption” occurring within the Tasmanian public service yet he chose not to.

    He is just as guilty by doing nothing.

    Why is it only after they have pocketed the money and left that senior public servants speak out? Why don’t they refer their findings/experiences onto the Police, preferably Federal if possible?

  58. Simon Warriner

    August 7, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Regardless of these revelations by Sir Murray, the integrity of the TIC, and therefore his own integrity will never be free from taint while ever we remain uninformed as to the reasons behind the departure of its first commissioner, Barbara Etter.

    Not addressing that issue makes his comments on all other issues trite, at best.

    Sunlight, Sir Murray, is the best disinfectant.

    On the subject of misconduct in public office, would using that office to provide continued employment for the mother of your illegitimate child in the face of that woman’s obvious inability to co-exist with others without causing them real harm or work in a competent manner fit the bill? What would be the statute of limitations on that offense, one wonders?

  59. Philip Lowe

    August 7, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Only the mediocre and the incompetent are always at their best.

  60. Kev Rothery

    August 7, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Within Murray Kellam’s statement he says “A number of investigations conducted by the Integrity Commission could have resulted in prosecution” had the offence of Misconduct In Public Office existed within the Criminal Code of Tasmania.

    Irrespective of whether these investigations could be prosecuted as criminal activities, surely the Integrity Commission should be able to publish the outcomes of those investigations pointing out where actions would likely to have been criminal in other states? Otherwise the Commission can only be seen as a vehicle to “mop up” whatever corrupt behaviours have been occurring with no detriment to the perpetrators.

    I believe the public deserve more information about the Commission’s investigative findings so far to support a call to amend the Criminal Code.

  61. Simon Warriner

    August 6, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    This just reinforces everything I have said about the root cause of problems being the quality and competence of those we elect to govern us.

    The solution is staring us in the face.

    Elect people who are not prepared to conflict their interests.

    Those people cannot ever be party members.

  62. John Francis

    August 6, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    My experience of working in multiple departments of the Tasmanian Public Service since the beginning of the 80s is that corruption is often rewarded with promotion and incompetence is simply ignored. That is, of course, if you are part of the incestuous ‘in-group’. If you are not, then heaven help you.

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