Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

‘Public servants getting away with misconduct, corruption, watchdog chief Murray Kellam says’

First published October 5

It is a couple of years since Murray Kellam said this: “Tasmanian public servants are escaping prosecution for misconduct because the Tasmanian Government is complacent, according to the head of the integrity watchdog.”

And, then the ABC continues …

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, 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 …

So, what has changed?

Read more, ABC here, August 7, 2015 …

*Lindsay Tuffin has been a journo since 1969, mainly in Tassie apart from a few years elsewhere in Oz, and in Pomland where he had a brief stint as a youth worker and where for five years he edited ‘Buzz’ – a magazine dealing with church and social issues and which was beaten in audit circulation in the Specialist Interest category by Aero Modeller magazine …!

Mercury: Integrity Commission says current legislation hinders its ability to sanction councillors TASMANIA’S corruption watchdog says current legislation limits its ability to properly assess rogue councillors. The Integrity Commission wants a change to the Local Government Act for code of conduct complaints against councillors, arguing too much influence remains in the hands of council general managers. Chief executive Richard Bingham told the Sunday Tasmanian a section of the Act was impacting the watchdog’s ability to run investigations. “The problem with LGA Section 28V [and associated sections] from the commission’s perspective is that we cannot act as a complainant under Section 28V, and that we cannot refer a matter so as to enliven the code of conduct panel process,” he said

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43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. Tony Stone

    October 9, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Could be very wrong, but my vision of on line governance would take away the ability for vested interests and deranged focus groups to have any influence over voting or results.

    It would remove lobbying, corruption and bias, by having everything available to all registered voters. Of course there would be a transitional period, where the need to continue governance as we see it now, would continue until the online side of it was set up.

    By using open source linux, would save hundreds of millions a year in iT costs and have the most secure stable and state of the art governance system on the planet,

    An unhackable online government, would need to be on a separate system to the main online world and very good voter verification. Which is easily done with linux, especially when we would built the system ourselves to suit our unique situation.

    Policies would have to be created that fitted in with just about every other policy, that way the transition would be smooth with no jobs loses, just more real long term secure jobs.

    We would have no need for huge cumbersome slow inefficient extremely wasteful and costly bureaucratic service. All those people would be retrained into useful progressive jobs.

    Because most of the new industry would be automated, we would move to a different employment and sociological strategy. Hours worked would drop for many, cost of living drop dramatically, as would foods and commodities.

    The savings from this form of government would fund the setting up of all new industry and would create lots of regional jobs and small business. Small business is the backbone of a sane functioning society, we’d work towards that aim of giving everyone the chance to make their way through life.

    This has to be a very big picture, so getting people elected with the same aims is paramount, but keeping them all as independents, overcomes the toe the party line debacle.

    Personally really couldnt care, as my life is fine, self sufficient and very low cost. That’s because I’ve worked to live, not lived to work,

    The thing is, love Tas and would happily see it become independent from Aus in most ways, even if that meant secession at some time.

    Why should we go down with the sinking ideological ship, when we in Tas have the best chance of getting out of the rut and create a real survivable and enjoyable society.

    To turn Tas into the world first organic state, which could easily provide premium grade produce and fully value added unique goods to the world. Would save us from the future designated by the current ideological drop kicks, destroying it for theirs and vested interests greed.

    We would need to restrict our population to half a million, or we would end up like everywhere else. Overcrowded, more crime ridden, filthy polluted, expensive, matchbox/high rise living conditions and a hopeless future of economic slavery.

    It’s very doable. just needs the right people who are in it for the future and not for themselves. Putting forward policies which would reduce everyones cost of living over 1-2 years dramatically and showing them how everything would work to their benefit. Would either get us elected, or prove human societies and populations are beyond saving.

    As it is, all our private data is being given to private companies, who are selling it or being hacked, so what I propose, would stop all that instantly.

    Have put a lot of thought into this over the last week or so and have found it really easy to devise policies which would suit and they all fit together so it would be a seamless pleasant transition, with only positive outcomes for all.

    What I have thought up, could be easily refined, changed or dropped, when discussed between the right people to take us forward.

    Once we have it set up, we give the people control via our own Tas closed, secure, stable and safe online network to determine future directions, spending and control over their lives. Utopia, no just lateral rational logic thinking.

  2. Russell

    October 8, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Re #41
    Yes, I think I did the same.

    But getting interest via the internet could be more accessible to most, as long as it was open and fully accountable.

    Mind you, T4T’s non-policy model isn’t a good example.

    Maybe Nick Xenophon’s SA venture may lead the way to change?

  3. Simon Warriner

    October 8, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    GetUp?

    They are a lobbying force who pick their projects with an eye to advancing their influence. Anything that might conflict with what is a very “left” agenda gets ignored. I was initially interested but the more I discovered the less interested I got.

    Independent politicians are a means to a more direct, less mediated representation, and having an online medium putting it’s spin on how government should act is hardly a step forward. Sideways maybe, depending on who actually funds the medium, but definitely not forward.

  4. Russell

    October 8, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Re #38
    I would love to see something like that get up.

    There’s an idea! “GetUp” What happened to them?

  5. John Wade

    October 8, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    “take power away from the party system” by invoking the law. Keep the bastards honest, gaol and deprive the pricks. The same as would be done for anyone who perverts, breaks or in any way contradicts the law. Simple, really!

  6. Tony Stone

    October 8, 2017 at 11:29 am

    If there were 15-20 people who sat down and devised policies for a decent future, including moving decision making to the internet so everyone gets a say in their future.

    Then they all ran as independents, choosing policies which represented their knowledge and understanding and in their election promos supported the others policies.

    We would have a chance of at least getting some into government if not, at least take power away from the party system, we would have a real chance of change.

    Having thought about this over the last week or so, have put together some basic directions we could take to the people and probably foolishly, decided would reluctantly be one of those to run for election. Or at least help to set it all up.

    What other options do we have, other than to continue with the status quo and all that will do, is bring more inaction, waste and corruption from politicians, vested interests and senior bureaucrats.

    The is the last thing I’d have thought I’d be willing to get involved in, but to me things are looking pretty desperate.

    If we don’t do something by the next election, we can look forward to a worsening governance situation and policies being applied which will only destroy our island future, culture and environment.

    So there’s a challenge, anyone else want to have a go at changing our small world of Tas. It would only be for a short time as if it worked after a year or so, the people would be doing it all.

    There are people with substance and clout in Tas who would support our efforts; could name one or two that would be most likely to get on board if we approached them for moral and political support.

  7. Russell

    October 8, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Re #33
    So how is it that John Gay broke the Law, got off without the same sentence as Alan Bond, then continued trading after being found guilty of Insider Trading?

    So much for the Law!

    Simon is absolutely correct in his summation of the failings of “Party politics”.

    The other problem is that there is NO difference between Labor and the Lieberals apart from the colour of their ties.

  8. Simon Warriner

    October 7, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    re 33, 34, 35, and the quote Garry has used serves to drive my point at #34 right home. Most particularly this line:

    “The commission is only able to take such action as is consistent with his [sic] statutory remit.”

    Who was it that set the remit? The very Labor party that colluded with the pulp mill scam in the first place, with the approval of the state branch of the Nat/Lib coalition party government that allowed the plantations that would have sustained the toxic mess. The ones who set the rules to make sure their co-conspirators would never be caught by those same rules.

    It is a rort and we ain’t in on it. And that crook Gay is still out there fiddling with the timber industry. Who says crime does not pay?

    History has repeatedly demonstrated that greedy, selfish regimes come to sticky and often violent ends. That seems to be a hard lesson for our highly paid and educated leadership to learn and reflect in their actions. Why is that? Could it be the conflicted interests that are inherent in being a party politician? Those are the job of serving the interests of the electorate, the common good and their conflicting interest of ensuring the party gets re-elected and keeps its sponsors happy and out of jail.

  9. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    October 7, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I quote from the conclusion to the IC’s report on the pulp mill complaints:

    Conclusion
    There is no question that controversies surrounding the proposed pulp mill served, in part, as a catalyst for the creation of the Integrity Commission. However, it does not automatically follow that the Commission must further investigate those controversies. The commission is only able to take such action as is consistent with his [sic] statutory remit.

    As demonstrated above, when the various allegations that have been advanced are dissected, they are seen to involve issues that do not fall with the Integrity Commission’s jurisdiction, or do not otherwise justify or warrant further investigation. (They also expose some ‘shortcomings’ in the Integrity Commission Act that would prevent productive investigation by the Commission in any event.)

    […]

    In the absence of a reasonable suspicion of misconduct, there is nothing for the Commission to investigate. Similarly, where (in respect of some of the allegations) there may be scope for some further examination, it is considered that an investigation would not be in the public interest or would be an unjustifiable use of resources.

    […]

    The lesson to emerge from the various complaints referred to herein should be self-evident. The concerns identified by the Legislative Council Select Committee on Public Sector Executive Appointments (whether meritorious or not) are a perfect demonstration of how public confidence in Government can be put at risk when a perception arises that decision-making lacked transparency, or was a product of political expediency. The suggestion, for example, that a planning approval process mandated by legislation might be truncated in a particular case, or that a proposed appointment to a judicial office was altered in rushed, last-minute circumstances, risks the loss of public confidence in the fabric of good governance.

    For the reasons identified and canvassed above, the various complaints to the Integrity Commission regarding the pulp mill are dismissed.

    Russell Pearce
    Acting Chief Executive officer
    12th April 2012

    Readers may recall how Gunns Ltd drove the timber industry over a cliff, and will remember how John Gay made $750,000 after paying his $50,000 fine for insider trading. Mr Gay had pleaded guilty to the charge which said that when he sold those shares he was in possession of information that wasn’t generally available, but a reasonable person would expect to affect the price of Gunns’ shares. Mr Gay’s lawyer told the court that the guilty plea was not on the basis that his client knew, but that he ought to have known. I remember.

    PS: At the time of posting this comment, I’ve just seen John Wade’s and Simon Warriner’s comments about political parties and independents. It is an area that will be quite interesting to see them explore, should they choose to do so.

  10. Simon Warriner

    October 7, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    re33, Your are quite correct John, being an Independent does not guarantee a higher standard of conduct.

    BUT, and this is what really matters:

    Being independent does remove the conflicted interest that is inherent in party politics and which has been responsible for a plethora of rules, laws and regulations that advantage either party politics or those that support and fund it. Right now the public conversation about political donations is making a mockery of your argument. The laws you say MUST be enforced allow corrupting donations without penalty.

    And John, it does not matter which party as they will all fall at the conflicted interest hurdle eventually. It is the nature of the beast. Better to have Independent representatives that are far more accountable to the electorate and not protected by the party system. That game suits only those who would farm us like sheep.

  11. John Wade

    October 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

    @ 27, Russell, I don’t believe that the “two party’ is the problem.
    The problem is any person in politics, judiciary or leadership who deceives, lies, commits fraud or behaves in any manner that is contrary to legislation and regulations MUST be accountable and MUST be pursued if not.

    The above can be seen with any person of any stripe who is given or earns a position of authority and who then slides into self inflation, self importance and the timeless law of greed, lust, avarice and ego.

    Being ‘Independent’ does not the golden goose make. That is why we have laws.

  12. Wining Pom

    October 7, 2017 at 9:02 am

    #30, ‘Report of the Independent Review into the Tasmanian Floods of June and July 2016’

    Section 3: Causes of the floods.

    ‘The independent report was aimed at informing HT about the impacts on rainfall of its cloud seeding flight on 5 June. HT’s independent report concluded that the cloud seeding flight

    .…had no measurable impact on precipitation……

    This conclusion was in line with HT’s own analysis of this cloud seeding exercise.’

    So there’s to be another study?

  13. Simon Warriner

    October 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    As Garry illuminates in his efforts at 27 and 28 it matters not one iota which of the 1%’s two and a half lackeys are running the show, we still get the same shitty result.

    Clearly it is time to try something different and elect a parliament of independents who work as a team to deliver the greatest common good. In the governance portfolio, that would involve equipping the watchdog with teeth and an aggressive attitude and instructing it to go out and find the corruption we are all aware exists, and make career defining examples of those involved, currently and retrospectively.

    The function of any integrity watchdog is ultimately to educate and that is most effectively done by leaving the bones of its victims lying around for all to see. That is why the TAFE report needs releasing. The only argument against doing so would be that it might impede the prosecution of other as yet uncharged individuals. Given the rot at the head of the fish already revealed that possibility seems eminently possible.

  14. John Wade

    October 6, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    @ 25 – and why Hydro suddenly stopped cloud seeding:-

    As we’ve previously committed, Hydro Tasmania will not resume cloud seeding until there’s been a full internal review of the program, with any appropriate improvements being implemented, supported by stakeholder engagement.

    The internal review will be finalised once the findings from the independent Tasmanian Government Flood Review are released.

    The business will not proceed with the 2017 cloud seeding season and will consider the findings of the Flood Review later in the year and engage with stakeholders before further consideration is given to resuming the cloud seeding program.

    With storages above 38 per cent, and the Tamar Valley Power Station operational, there is no material impact on energy security that arises from this decision.

  15. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    October 6, 2017 at 11:29 am

    …/
    A striking example of the IC’s failure to meet expectation, is seen in the matter of the Report [Here] which the IC has completed concerning allegations that two senior TasTAFE executives were involved in serious misconduct that resulted in improper financial and career advantages. The IC has made what it is careful to term “findings of fact” and has “…referred the report of the investigation to the Premier, as principal officer of the head of agency of TasTAFE. In making the referral, the Board has recommended actions that it considers appropriate for the Premier to take in relation to the matter. The Board recommended the Premier “Give consideration to any possible breaches of the State Service Code of Conduct” by the two Officers concerned. It ‘required’ the Premier to report back within 12 months on any action to be taken/already taken “in relation to the matter.”

    One cannot help but wonder whether the two TAFE officers – like certain members of the former Fox Eradication Program – are now (having left the agency) beyond the reach of its internal-only disciplinary powers. Latest bombshell is of course the news that the Premier agreed with the TAFE Board’s decision [Here] not to release details of its recent quarterly audit. This audit is of course, of interest to more than a few, given that it is now known that former CEO of TAFE appears to have given his close friend and deputy favourable treatment resulting in “improper financial and career advantages”.

    This concludes my lengthy comment. Curiously I think I’ve ended up in now answering my own initial question: ‘Why has Lindsay chosen to rerun this Kellam piece?’ It seems that our Editor’s decision to republish a two-year-old article on the CIC’s departing remarks may have been in direct and informed connection with the TAFE Board’s and the Premier’s response to the report referred to above. It is perhaps appropriate to repeat TasTimes snatch from the ABC: It is a couple of years since Murray Kellam said this: “Tasmanian public servants are escaping prosecution for misconduct because the Tasmanian Government is complacent, according to the head of the integrity watchdog.”

    We can add, perhaps, ‘Plus ça change…

  16. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    October 6, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Well, the obvious question is ‘Why has Lindsay chosen to rerun this Kellam piece?’ I would be interested to know the answer. Notwithstanding, I’d like to make a few comments concerning the ICT…

    More than a few of us thought that the Integrity Commission was born out of the public controversy surrounding the then proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill, particularly the relationship between Gunns Ltd and the governments of Jim Bacon, Paul Lennon and David Bartlett. More than a few of us believed that corruption had taken place and that we were in Paul Keating’s legendary ‘Banana Republic’. Bartlett came in following Mr 17%’s resignation and promised us a ‘line in the sand‘ – a line against further support for the mill – a line which he pretty quickly forgot about. However, at the height of the public fury, David Bartlett gave us the Integrity Commission as some sort of sop which might placate us, perhaps … who knows? Perhaps he even believed in it. How could we ever know?

    Yet one thing we came to learn was that we had been given ‘a lemon’. Following the establishment of the IC, it received numerous complaints concerning the pulp-mill – so many that it did not handle each complaint individually but ‘concertina’d them into complaints under certain headings and then analysed those on that basis. The IC declared that, regarding a number of those categories, it did not have jurisdiction and thus it determined not to conduct the second stage formal investigation into the complaints! Thank you, IC. Thank you, David Bartlett. In my view, the Commission which was set up supposedly to investigate the pulp-mill scandal, instead did a ‘Pontius Pilate’ re-enactment, washing its hands of the whole business.

    Postscript: After Bartlett, came Lara Giddings. Her swansong was to recall the Parliament during one Christmas-New Year holiday period and in a final display of concerted LibLab contempt for the electorate’s concern with the then proposed mill and the process used to achieve it, put though amendments to the PMAA 2007 … declaring that the expired Pulp Mill Permit was by parliamentary fiat no longer expired and declaring also that the proponent could sell the resurrected Permit to whomever they wished from around the world. Her using the Parliament to declare that the pulp mill permit was still valid was in my view, an act of pornography in the true sense of the word. Tasmanians came back from their holiday break to find that ‘stinking, rotten’ Lazarus Mill out of its expiry tomb and lurching back into the landscape. Premier Giddings then cheerfully brought us to an election and handed the Premiership to Will Hodgman. One cannot help finding some fillip of truth in Peter’s expressed view (e.g. at #2) though personally I would think that the same imperfections that one sees here in this state of half a million also exist elsewhere throughout our nation, but are less visible due to the weight of numbers. So too, I would expect, on the international scale. An all too convenient example of course, is seen incumbent in the USA.

    I once used to know Melbourne well enough and could not claim it as having been the city of enlightenment. Its citizens are less likely (for example) to have acquaintanceship of the players and power brokers in the City of Melbourne than traditionally we in Tas have been accustomed. Thus perhaps, they will have less knowledge of the shenanigans of those in Melbourne, a city which is approaching a population of 5 million – 10 times the population of Tas. If you like, I would put it this way: those of us who would see beyond our own teacup will be familiar with the concept of ‘Six Degrees of Separation’. In today’s Tasmania I would posit a possible ‘Two Degrees of Separation’ model … we all know someone who knows the Premier, we all know someone who’s got a shack up the Lakes and furthermore, we all ‘know’ many people online these days…

    Perhaps, in contrast to my friend Peter’s view of the localised intellectual quotient, we could consider the following demographic theorem: The greater the population density, the greater the density of the population (smile!)
    /…

  17. Russell

    October 6, 2017 at 10:26 am

    It seems Nick Xenophon may be providing a solution away from the “two Party problem” for South Australia.

    Hopefully he gets a majority and makes a positive difference there, and that it causes a massive change right around Australia and into Tasmania.

  18. Ian Rist

    October 5, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Re # 24
    Won’t happen in Tasmania, they would have to build an extra wing on at Risdon.

  19. Wining Pom

    October 5, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    #22. Yes, the Fox. I must admit I was gobsmacked at that fraud.

    I wonder if the same folk did the study into whether the cloud seeding had any effect on the floods last year? It seems it didn’t. Makes one wonder why they cloud seed then, doesn’t it?

  20. Wayne, Tamar Valley

    October 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Well getting back to the subject of the Integrity Commission, it just won’t work if the state appoints the commission to investigate itself. A true INDEPENDENT commission against corruption must be appointed by the highest authority in the land, ie a Governor General or similar, who can investigate all 3 levels of government and associated public services Australia wide. No borders, no boundaries.
    Any corrupt conduct should then be referred to the Federal courts for prosecution.
    I reckon an evidence gathering investigative ICAC based on this model would be a huge affair!

  21. Factfinder

    October 5, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    The Prince of Wales has warned that “plastic is on the menu” due to the increasing amounts found in fish caught for the dinner table.

    He said decisive action must be urgently taken to deal with plastic pollution in order to save the world’s marine life and oceans, stating that it may not be too late to turn the tide.

    “The eight million tonnes of plastic that enter the sea every year – through our own doing I might add – is now almost ubiquitous”, the prince told a global conference on safeguarding the world’s oceans.

    “For all the plastic that we have produced since the 1950s that has ended up in the ocean is still with us in one form or another, so that wherever you swim there are particles of plastic near you and we are very close to reaching the point when whatever wild-caught fish you eat will contain plastic.

    “Plastic is indeed now on the menu.”

    The Prince warned that the growing threat to the world’s marine ecology had reached a critical point and that the irreversible damage to the Great Barrier Reef should act as a “serious wake-up call” for all nations.

    He told delegates at the Our Ocean summit in Malta it was crucial to create a circular economy that allows plastics to be “recovered, recycled and reused instead of created, used and then thrown away” but said the “sense of urgency” was still lacking.

    Each year more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally, of which 10 per cent will end up in the sea, the equivalent of a rubbish truck of waste every minute.

    A report published last year by the World Economic Forum estimated that there is now a 1:2 ratio of plastic to plankton and, left unchecked, plastic will outweigh fish by 2050. By 2050 that will increase to four trucks every minute.

    Chemicals leach into the water, and it has been shown that humans who eat seafood ingest 11,000 pieces of microplastic each year .

    The Prince of Wales highlighted the “unimaginably painful” decision Canada took 25 years ago of closing a fishery to protect northern cod stocks that were on the verge of collapse after over-fishing and mismanagement. Last month, David Attenborough launched a new series of Blue Planet which highlights what he calls the “catastrophic effects” of the release of an estimated five trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s seas.

    The heir to the throne added: “Surely we must take equally far-sighted steps to deal with plastic pollution or illegal and over exploitative fishing, or indeed ocean acidification, especially as our ability to fine-tune and accurately monitor implementation has been hugely enhanced by advances in satellite capability.”

    Source: http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/prince-charles-warns-that-plastic-in-now-on-the-menu-due-to-the-amount-ingested-by-fish/ar-AAsXUXU?ocid=ientp

  22. Ian Rist

    October 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Addendum to # 4
    What is also very clear is the DPIPWE and the Government are not going to cooperate with the British Ecological Society over the publication in their B.E.C. Applied Ecology journal written by Sarre et al. “Foxes are now widespread in Tasmania” (2012).

    To tell the Journal that the fox evidence process was fabricated, tainted and fraudulent would result in the Journal of Ecology immediately withdrawing the paper, they cannot afford to have their name tainted with such activity, however the Government and the DPIPWE here obviously consider this the normal activity for Tasmanian departments, just batten down the hatches and keep everything from public scrutiny and hope it will all ‘just go away’.
    To admit the basis for all Federal Funding was based on fabrication, evidence planting, hoaxing and fraud would be just too much for the people and Federal Government authorities that supplied this taxpayer largess.

  23. Peter Bright

    October 5, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Legislation, no matter how well devised and presented, relies on humans to make it functional.

    If the quality of those humans is poor then the implementation of that legislation will be poor.

    In short, if inferior Tasmanians are the implementers then in practice even the best legislation will be effectively sabotaged.

    That will remain the case in Tasmania until persons of principle, integrity and capability become the devisers [i]and[/i] implementers of legislation.

    If quality people are not locally available then to improve the status quo it seems we must import them.

    There’s a serious problem with that however, in that importees will be confronted with the same seemingly intractable social challenges faced by many newcomers to this state because of the extant social conditions referred to in #2 above.

    Is there a better solution?

  24. Poppy Lopatniuk

    October 5, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Labor and Liberal are no different. Not accountable, corruption in the highest places, cover ups, lies and just look the other way.
    We’ve got it all !!

  25. pat synge

    October 5, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Recently TT exposed what appeared to be questionable awarding of contracts by a section of the Education Department to a little known digital media company (DCNSTRCT).http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/aboriginal-education-and-the-800-large/

    This would seem to be exactly the kind of issue that should be examined by the Integrity Commission if it is to “improve the standard of conduct, propriety and ethics in public authorities in Tasmania” and “enhance public confidence that misconduct by public officers will be appropriately investigated and dealt with.”

    Does anybody know if it has been referred to to the IC?

  26. philll Parsons

    October 5, 2017 at 10:19 am

    With the population scale of a local government area but known as the State of Tasmania, it would like to pretend it can do as much as the more populous States like it did in colonial times.

    It does not have the revenue although it does have some advantage in the distances needed to be travelled.

    Thuggo and Gay upset the accepted status quo over a lunch that was overheard in a local ‘cafe’ and since then everyone has been trying to paper over the cracks.

    An Ombudsman who rarely upholds a complaint, assorted rights Commissioners, the hardest to keep being the one for children, a pesticide complaints officer whose job is to justify their use to complainants, an EPA that is toothless and all tied to their few political masters in the old parties who maintain the tiny parliament and are tied to industry ala Thuggo and Gay – think Pulp Mill inquiry where a Justice resigned due to interference.

    This is Tasmania.

    If it were a book it would be a best selling conspiracy but instead critics are described as being foreigners who don’t understand.

    Oh for a Corruption Watch for Tasmania.

  27. Tony Stone

    October 5, 2017 at 9:26 am

    It’s so wonderful to see how excellently our current political and governance system is working, also great to see how everyone is adamantly sticking with it no matter what happens.

    Is this a death wish by the 95% of humans who are ideologues to deny the reality of governance on one hand, then to complain when the facts are presented on the other?

    Then they change hands and vote for the same system, hoping some miracle will evolve and an ideological savior will appear and save them from themselves.

    Does anyone really think we can resurrect this clearly corrupt, deviant and insane bureaucratic and political system so it actually gives us a viable future, not subject to never ending rip offs, corruption, nepotism and outright criminality?

    We read with interest the predictions of what society will suffer by 2050 if we keep going down this path, yet no one does anything but complain and then continue on exactly the same.

    If you add up all the negatives, the rapidity of their occurrence and the sociological facts I doubt world societies will exist in any viable way within just a few short years.

    Unless we here in Tas do something our wonderful island will become a complete basket case being overrun by those desperate to escape the horrors of collapsing societies everywhere.

    As every day passes there seems only one alternative, namely that the people run the show and get rid of the corrupt system all together with online governance.

    Or has ideology such an iron grip on peoples minds that it won’t matter how bad things get and they will still stick with the thing that’s killing them, and keep their faith in the most incompetent fools on the planet?

  28. Peter Bright

    October 5, 2017 at 3:57 am

    The Home page of the Integrity Commission is here ..

    http://www.integrity.tas.gov.au/home

  29. Wayne, Tamar Valley

    October 5, 2017 at 1:00 am

    So I was pleased Tasmania had established an integrity commission, especially after NSW ICAC was so successful in uncovering corruption and leading or referring the many cases through to prosecution.

    That was until I visited the Agfest tent just after it was established and spoke to a representative of our new integrity commission. I discovered that if they did actually uncover corruption they were only given the powers to educate and advise the offender. In other words tell them they have done something wrong .. and please do not do it again!

    I left the tent thinking this was some sort of joke but no, it was written on their brochure that they actually had the power to educate!

    Perhaps the commission has been given more powers since but it is still written up as the 3rd point of the 3 main objectives of the role of the integrity commission. Note the 2nd point. Perhaps we could be confident that corrupt behaviour would be prosecuted but the wording sounds a bit soft to me and doesn’t include politicians.

    This is the wording of the Integrity commission website-

    “The three primary objectives of the Commission are to:

    improve the standard of conduct, propriety and ethics in public authorities in Tasmania;

    enhance public confidence that misconduct by public officers will be appropriately investigated and dealt with;

    enhance the quality of, and commitment to, ethical conduct by adopting a strong, educative, preventative and advisory role.”

    I believe ICAC has been softened since it began to uncover political dodgy conduct in NSW with links to Canberra.

  30. Wining Pom

    October 4, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    A lot of disparaging comments about Tasmanians here. Is Tasmania the only place in the world where politicians think only of themselves? Or where people want to destroy the environment to make a dollar?

    Goodness, the USA has a Bill of Rights and a host of laws that are supposed to stop corruption and they have Trump. Although we did have Robin Gray. But he was a Victorian.

    The thing that I would do if I were king would be to send every Tasmanian away for a year or so and then maybe they would appreciate it more when they returned. Some think that the whole world is like Tasmania. Tasmania is really special.

  31. O'Brien

    October 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” (George Bernard Shaw)

  32. Helen Walne

    October 4, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I used to think honesty was the best policy – until I came to live in Tasmania. It seems that to achieve anything in this isolated little village called Tasmania you have to “do others before they ‘do’ you”. It’s staggering how much dishonesty and skulduggery is the norm here.

    People are offended and turn very defensive or simply pretend they didn’t hear if you dare point out they might be wrong! Then they have you in their sights as someone to be avoided or ignored. There’s a gang mentality against people who speak up.

    Paul Keating was so right when he described Tasmania as having a “bunyip bureaucracy” because this applies to all levels of government setting the example for “doing business” on this island.

  33. Simon Warriner

    October 4, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Hard to come away from this with any other conclusion than that Murray Kellam has been useless, as in not worth his overly inflated salary. Where has he been for the last five years? Certainly not fearlessly advancing the cause of the Integrity Commission at every opportunity and creating public pressure on the government to fix the shortcomings with its funding and legislation, that is for sure.

  34. Robin Charles Halton

    October 4, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Before he kicks the bucket, the silly old ineffective bugger needs to make one final stand and immediately step into the path of TAFE to ascertain what was going on with former CEO Conroy and …

    There is no point the TIC appointing someone with one foot in the grave, it’s no wonder the State government is have problems to function, worse still the community is totally put off by politics both Federal and State.

    We still have the incredible nonsense of those two councils HVC and GCC still with no resolution, do we expect to see it all taken beyond the next election and the election beyond that!

    Ratepayers of those respective councils are being taken for a ride as they will be expected to bear the costs of Local government Ministers inability to dispense with resolve these matters in a timely order.

    (edited)

  35. O'Brien

    October 4, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    “The successful politician owes his power to the fact that he moves within the accepted framework of thought, that he thinks and talks conventionally. It would be almost a contradiction in terms for a politician to be a leader in the field of ideas. His task in a democracy is to find out what the opinions held by the largest number are, not to give currency to new opinions which may become the majority view in some distant future.”
    — Friedrich August von Hayek

    Why would we expect our elected representatives to deviate from the accepted norms? Let’s face it Tassie is the result of the British shipping their social, genetic & moral rejects to the ends of the earth to rot on these antipodean shores.

  36. john hayward

    October 4, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    The most efficient form of kleptocracy is one in which the crooked control all three branches of government. Tasmania’s insularity has allowed us to develop the nation’s most perfect form of this system, one so seamless that even its inhabitants mistake its lack of discord for normality.

    John Hayward

  37. Russell

    October 4, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Re #5
    No, I believe the Queensland Government is a Labor one and they are part of the corruption.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-03/queensland-government-defends-adani-amid-damning-allegations/9010532

    But Labor and Liberal are basically one and the same these days as far as corruption, incompetence and even policy goes.

  38. David Obendorf

    October 4, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Those sufficiently interested might go back to the origins of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission in 2009 [post-Paul Lennon & the Gunns pulp mill debacle] and examine the [i]Integrity Commission Act[/i] 2010.

    You might appreciate that our State Commission was designed to be a tokenistic toothless creation of our politicians and hardly as robust as the Anti-Corruption Commissions in other States of Australia.

    At some stage our politicians might realise that unexamined allegations of corruption, fraud, misconduct & maladministration in the public sector costs the State many millions every year.

  39. John Wade

    October 4, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Is it only occurring in Liberal governed states @ Peter Bright?

  40. Ian Rist

    October 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    It is also very clear that the Politicians that we elect to look after us the taxpayers and the taxpayers funds are not prepared to do the job we elect them to do.
    Simply put why do we bother ?
    We are only of any use come election time and then once elected they do what they like and take the course of least resistance.

  41. Russell

    October 4, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Oh derrr, Murray!

    But you’re happy to take the (good) money for five years and not once refer the blatant criminal corruption to the Federal Police to have investigated or initiate a Royal Commission, or even go to the ABC investigative units.

    (edited)

  42. Peter Bright

    October 4, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Pete Godfrey at #1 offers a clear, accurate and succinct summary of fact.

    Why is he so right?

    It’s increasingly obvious to those with an intellect that many homegrown Tasmanians are congenitally inferior and that their consequent inadequacies infest and damage this state at every level.

    Inadequacy underlies incompetence but as it’s so common this sea of incompetence is seen as normal. If something is normal then there’s nothing wrong with it, right? This attitude ensures there’s never change for the better. Majority rules, OK?

    If you came to live here but were raised elsewhere this grotesque reality of life in Tasmania is better perceived, and small concerns are born.

    What seems at first alarmingly imbecilic but widely accepted makes one wonder if the population in general is right and that it’s oneself who is loopy!

    Some distressed new settlers can’t stand it so they pack up and leave – if they can. Those who can’t are left to endure as best they can.

    Who needs an Integrity Commission watchdog if incompetence, inadequacy, stupidity and corruption are the way of life here? This is how things are; this is how they’ve always been – and if you don’t like then bugger off!

    It’s been said that student psychologists and psychiatrists love studying Tasmania because there’s every mental disorder known to man awaiting their microscopes.

    What is being done to address this appalling situation?

  43. Peter Godfrey

    October 4, 2017 at 9:55 am

    The Integrity Commission was always going to fail. That is what it was set up to do.
    There was never any real political will in Tasmania to stamp out corruption and misconduct.
    If there were we would have had an Independent Commission Against Corruption.
    I was told at the enquiry that was set up to look at whether we needed an ICAC that “there is no organised crime in Tasmania” so we don’t need an ICAC here.

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