Tasmanian Times

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Integrity – or the lack of it – Goes National …

Kate Ausburn was arrested at a prayer vigil for asylum seekers, at then-Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's Sydney office. Pic: Flickr

Gee, I winced when I heard that (federally) we were getting – not an ICAC – but a national Integrity Commission.

We in Tasmania remember the saga of the then proposed Pulp Mill, the collusion and apparent corruption involving Gunns and members of successive Labor and Liberal Governments.

We remember David Whatsisname’s Line in the Sand … (all right, his name is Bartlett) and we remember the reason why the ICT was formed: to take the heat off the government in the face of the widespread outrage that was in the community. It was outrage against a number of things, of which the pulp mill was at its heart.

And the complaints about the misdeeds surrounding the pulp mill were so numerous that the ICT chose not to respond to them individually, but instead, it chose to group the complaints into a number of broad areas … 6 allegations as it then called them. Some of the allegations it dismissed and the rest were deemed by the ICT to be outside its jurisdiction. Our ICT failed in its first job – the job that supposedly it was created to perform. Was it created in order to fail us on the pulp mill scandals?

[You can read the ICT report here: pulp mill assessment report (PDF, 569.4 KB) ]

Let me quote from the report’s 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 within the Integrity Commission’s jurisdiction, or do not otherwise justify or warrant further investigation.

[…]

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

12 April 2012

Our ICT was thought of as a ‘toothless tiger’ and recently there was significant public dissatisfaction with an ICT Report over another long-running matter – that of the operation of the Fox Free Task Force and Fox Eradication Program – this ‘Fox Fraud’ Report similarly disappointed a number of TT readers …

[ https://tasmaniantimes.com/2018/04/foxes1/ ]

View the ICT Report No 4 of 2017, here:

Report No. 4 of 2017 – Investigation into allegations of misconduct in the Fox Free Taskforce and Fox Eradication Program )

The Report found that:

There was no direct evidence of employees of the programs or the organisation knowingly fabricating or falsifying evidence, or knowingly relying on false information; and there was no evidence to suggest that the Minister had a conflict of interest.”

Regarding the above Fox Report, the matter was ‘referred to DPIPWE for action’. Incidentally, MLC Ivan Dean [see link to Tasmanian Times below] subsequently announced that he would be

arranging an independent legal review of the I.C. Report to ensure errors, anomalies and deficiencies are addressed, and the full facts emerge.”

[ https://tasmaniantimes.com/2018/04/foxes1/ ] I am still waiting eagerly for the results of Ivan Dean’s independent review.

So, in conclusion, given our own local history, readers might understand why Tasmanians should have reservations about the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC):

The Guardian [ https://tinyurl.com/ycwtv4js] reported that PM Morrison’s CIC would not conduct public hearings and would not make its findings public.

The SMH [ https://tinyurl.com/ybv7rvd3] reports that, according to a government discussion paper,

“The CIC will not investigate direct complaints about ministers, members of Parliament or their staff received from the public at large.”

In other words, the Prime Minister proposes to keep the public at arms length from his proposed Integrity Commission. We won’t know what they are doing, we won’t know their results, there will be no public hearings or reports and if we wish to complain about instances of corruption, we will not be able to do so.

Integrity?Hardly.

Transparency?No.

Garry Stannus is an occasional contributor and regular commenter to Tasmanian Times. His interests include environmental matters, politics and other miscellanea. He’s a youthful almost-68, lives and works in the North (Liffey and Lonnie) drives an old grey ute and rides a bike to get from A to B when he’s in town. 

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Garry Stannus

    December 21, 2018 at 11:23 am

    For me, expressions such as ‘move on’ are similar to the ‘get over it’ exhortation. What’s that other one? You know, when someone dies and their close ones – or others around them – begin to speak of needing to achieve … aah, that’s it … closure! I don’t like the ‘closure’ package and I – sure as God did make … little green apples – see in ‘move on’ and ‘get over it’ an unfeeling and hard psychology at play.

    Let me direct my remarks elsewhere: Max: you make comments from time to time and I would like to say to you that I can’t think of any comment that you have ever made that was not at the one time articulate, considered, informed and humane. Just thought I’d tell you that, cobber.

    Yes, I’ve got issues with things that happened here in Tasmania in the past. I must acknowledge that Robin (who has expressed the ‘move on’ position) has always expressed (as a Forester) an aversion to the mill. He has been consistent on that for all the years that I can remember. Yet, my concern with the Prime Minister’s proposal goes beyond the deficiencies that we know exist in the ICT (Integrity Commission Tasmania).

    And in writing this I want to recognise the contributions in this and in so many threads and articles of ‘Our Man in Chudleigh’ … Mr John Hawkins. I remember him well, from our first meeting. It was in the (Launceston) City Park. It was quite possibly during what I think Bob McMahon called our ‘Week of Madness’ when our state parliament came to Launceston and sat in the Albert Hall. TAP set up a tent in the park outside the Hall and to anyone who came near, spoke about the woeful mill proposal and the abuse of proper process and of proper governance that had seen the passing of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act, and the passing of the Pulp Mill Permit. If it wasn’t on this occasion that I first met John, then perhaps it was at the huge TAP rally against the mill that was earlier assembled in that City Park. John is always well dressed and on the occasion when I first met him, he was wearing a hat similar to what is known as a ‘fedora’. Along the side of John’s hat was affixed that ‘bumper sticker’
    which came to be seen all over the place. It was simple, with a white background, text in blue and words similar to: ‘Tasmania: your corrupt state’. I – as was my wont – was photographing anything that moved and also much that didn’t. I spoke to that chap in the fedora, and found him to be quite engaging, genial and informed. He told me that the bumper sticker was of his own creation, i.e. that he had conceived and financed it: it worked! Those were turbulent times … I don’t dwell in them, but it is appropriate to refer to them when considering Scott Morrison’s recent proposal.

    In writing my short article on Scott Morrison’s proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission, I was not dwelling in the past, but was using it sensibly, to inform the present. It is said (George Santayana) that ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Moreover, Santayana’s observation, telling as it is in its simple understanding, must surely include the blackness surrounding those who refuse to remember the past. Such types, in my opinion, lie ‘beyond the Pale’. They live in a veritable darkness. I recommend Conrad’s novel, ‘Heart of Darkness’ to anyone interested in what I shall term ‘moral failure’, be it at a societal or individual level.

    I do not accept that Scott Morrison’s proposal for a CIC should be supported. It is weaker that our own ICT, lacks ‘teeth’ and rottenly, excludes the public from being able to make complaints concerning corruption. The Prime Minister proposes to keep the public at arms length from his proposed Integrity Commission. We won’t know what they are doing, we won’t know their results, there will be no public hearings or reports and if we wish to complain about instances of corruption, we will not be able to do so.

    Finally, let me conclude by wishing all Tas-Timers a ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’. I do mean this and I thank Lindsay (our Editor) for continuing to provide this wonderful, open-communication medium.

    PS: I refer readers to John Hawkins’ telling comment which can be found in this comment thread at John Hawkins December 16, 2018 at 8:00 am

    PPS: On Christmas Eve 2018, it seems that I will be present as the New York City Ballet company again continues to perform its regular ‘Nutcracker’ presentation. One of our grandchildren is among the dancers, a younger part of the dancing troupe. On tomorrow’s long flight to the States, I’ll be continuing to research and analyse the witness evidence given in this and last years various hearings regarding the application for leave to appeal : against the conviction of Susan Neill-Fraser for the murder of Bob Chappell. I now know that the person whose DNA was found on the Four Winds was identified to the Court as having been at Sandy Bay on the evening of 26Jan2009. That identified person had (according to this witness – whose only connection with the case was that he lived next door to a chap who brought back to his house (evening: 26Jan2009) two men and a teenage girl. They had, in the words of this witness, been encountered by his next-door neighbour (since deceased) on Short Beach, Sandy Bay, where the neighbour had met them, when they had ‘come out of nowhere on a dinghy’.

    I used to hold the opinion that the available evidence only allows us to think that it’s possible that Sue Neill-Fraser killed Bob Chappell while at the same time allowed us to hold that it’s possible that someone else did. Now – Dec 2018, in possession of new (unpublished) information, my opinion has changed … now I do believe that Bob Chappel’s disappearance can indeed be connected with that ‘homeless girl’. I have pointed out before how according to the recent evidence, the two men (one of whom is currently serving a sentence of imprisonment for murder) and the teenage girl having come ‘out of nowhere on a dinghy’ then accompanied the Stanley St resident back to his home, passing on the way the very red-brick fence on which the next morning was found the ‘Red Jacket’ Yes it was Sue’s. Yes it had been on the yacht. No, Sue did not put it there… the evidence suggests that it was put there by one of the members of that group, that group which on the evening of 26Jan2009, had ‘come out of nowhere on a dinghy.

    In my honest opinion, we need Sue’s application to succeed, and we need her appeal to succeed ( i.e. ‘not guilty beyond reasonable doubt’) and then we need a Royal Commission, which (as I understand it) can use an Inquisitorial as opposed to Adversarial method of inquiry. I now believe that the real killer of Bob Chappell is still at liberty. I now believe that our Tasmanian legal persons know this, and yet are continuing to oversee the ‘letter of the law’, despite personally realising to themselves, that Sue’s conviction is at the very least ‘unsafe’ and most probably: wrong. A woman is in jail now for 23 years, for a crime which I now consider that she did not commit. The person whose DNA was found to be on the Four Winds … I now know was identified as that of the teenage girl who along with two men, had come ‘out of nowhere on a dinghy’ onto Short Beach, that evening of 26Jan2009.

    We are now, in my opinion, at an ‘J’accuse’ situation even as the court still waits to hear Colin McLaren give evidence next 5Feb2019. It is not SN-F who is on trial now … it is the integrity of our Tasmanian Justice System which lies in the balance.

    – Garry Stannus.

    • max

      December 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks, Garry for your kind words. I try to do my best as the fight for common sense goes on long after the debacle of the pulp mill.

      Thousands marched against the sheer absurdity of a massive pulp mill in a valley with an inversion layer. Corruption was blatantly obvious then, even to just a casual observer, and corruption won .. the pulp mill got its license.

      Unfortunately, corruption didn’t end with the pulp mill. Those involved are still here and no integrity commission will find them guilty of corruption while they pull the strings to block their condemnation.

      The LibLabs combined then .. and they are still in lockstep.

  2. max

    December 20, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Rob,

    Twice on this site you have defended an anti-corruption commission that hasn’t, or won’t, stop corruption. It gives you a bad look as only the guilty have anything to fear from an investigation of past crimes.

    The only thing that will stop the continuation of corruption, or even perceived corruption, is an investigation into past corruption. Any investigation must be able to deliver the deserved punishment.

    Greg Barns has concerns .. and rightly so, but corruption in our political system and elsewhere must be stamped out, and if there is some collateral damage, as there would be, it would be a small price to pay.

  3. Rob Halton

    December 19, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Greg Barns column in the Mercury newspaper TALKING POINT Mon DEC 17th suggests PM Scott Morrison’s proposed Federal anti-corruption commission deserves praise for respecting the fact that such a body should have some restraints placed around its capacity to hold public hearings.
    This of cause does not meet with the approval of some of the media who appear to care little about the damage such a body can do to peoples lives.
    And the Federal ALP appears to care more about political point scoring than protecting accused persons.
    In other words the Morrison anti corruption plan strikes the right balance.

    Read it as it may re educate the Morrison knockers and give them some sort of order of what the Morrison government actually stands for.

    • Simon Warriner

      December 20, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Greg Barns is a lawyer, and as such his interests are conflicted. Evan Whitton wrote a bloody great book on the subject, posted by Chapter on this site. The further any integrity commission stays from the rort that is English Law, the better.

      We need Commissioners trained in seeking the truth, not lawyers trained in avoiding it.

  4. Kevin Moylan

    December 18, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Geraldine. All on the public record…The Ombudsman, Jan O’Grady, told me and my highly credible advocate, fellow whistle-blower and legal witness, Dr O… “My file was missing.” December 1999. My (five-year dossier) file was never located, even under ‘legal discovery’ and Right to Information request in 2014-15.

    Worse still, and yet again, my common law action legal files, went missing, after my Australian Nursing Federation Lawyer, Murray ‘Dale’ Docking (dec) from the law firm, Abetz, Curtis and Docking..was struck off the Tasmanian legal registry, December 1999.

    Months later, my senior legal agent, Alan Blow QC, who had provided a memorandum of advice, told me, “Your files went to John Avery, ‘The Barrister.'” Without my knowledge or consent! I replied, “My case is common law and public interest, I certainly don’t need a criminal lawyer, and certainly not one of my choosing.”

    From that moment on, my file (and future) was tainted and contaminated. I had been ‘got at’ by Club Tasmania and my time in court would be denied and obstructed until the end.

    The MERCURY. September 28, 2012..In 2008. ‘The Barrister’ John Avery was jailed for two and a half years after pleading guilty to 130 counts of stealing and dishonesty. Avery stole $500,000 from clients to fuel his addictive passion for fine art and collectable wrist watches.

    I suffered nine years without a hearing. THEY consciously and deliberately broke me into homelessness by mean stealth and morbid attrition, victim of crime syndrome and psychological warfare; as an example to others contemplating speaking out in the public interest for the common good..All I gained was PTSD and depression.

    Be warned unsuspecting mainlanders wanting to start a new life! If you don’t become like them – THEY will clean you out and send you packing – back to where you used to belong.

    No more questions please, Geraldine. I think I’m having a flashback(s)
    relapse..’The Van Diemen Syndrome’. There is no cure or remedy, only escape from that wretched island and maintaining a moral faith.

    “Poverty is the worst form of violence.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  5. Rob Halton

    December 18, 2018 at 4:17 am

    Hawkins, I agree “it is not good enough” however we must move on whether it be Foxes, Pulp mill/HWP’s, Ta Ann, flooding of Lake Pedder, Timber losses versus HEC at Lake Gordon or Florentine valley/ANM loss of OG regnans forests are examples!

    There is more than enough issues facing Tasmania at present. It seems the Hodgman government is moving too slowly particularly with its aim to increase population growth as far superior infrastructure is required to support Hodgmans objective!

    At the time of the last State election I make it clear our family who live in Denison voted for Sue Hickey and not for the Liberal party, our view remains the same, the Liberals, Labor and Greens are not up to scratch individually to move the State foward in a timely manner. I am sure we all want Sue to keep pushing the political boundaries in an attempt to bring Tasmanian politics into some sort of semblance of order!

    As examples, local government Minister failed to amalgamate two poorly administered small councils joining Huon to Kingborough and Glenorchy to Hobart, more recently failing to join Tasman to Sorell.

    Similar situation with the Royal Hobart hospital rebuild, it will never service and expanding population let alone the existing one.
    Opportunity to harness the remaining Hobart Showgrounds site and or spacious land at DEC needs immediate follow up for governmentemt to secure land now!

    Survey of Highway link(s) from the South past the city needs urgent attention as does movement of traffic from the east of Hobart beyond the airport as both are popular destinations for residental areas drawing on creation of businesses including better education and health facilities.

    John, it does not end there either but dwelling on the past even if we have personal issues, there is no doubt Tasmania has been a war zone over forestry, hydro and political implications but it is best if we force the government of the day to get on with those issues that I have mentioned as above instead of wasting time with frivolity of establishing a cable car across the organ pipes on Mt Wellington.

    Continued monitoring of current Salmon farming practices and for fruit fly in the State has more impact on the State than what Jim Bacon, Paul Lennon and what Lara Giddings did and didnt do with foxes, pulp mill and an entire range of past State government cock ups.

    In this rapidly globalised We have to face the present and the future, protect out interest to let go of the past!

  6. Geraldine Allan

    December 17, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Kevin Moylan — you write “In 1999, the Tasmanian Ombudsman and Health Complaints Commissioner, Ms Jan O’Grady, informed me ‘I’m very sorry Kevin, but we can’t find your file.’ …”

    Can you please advise if that ‘lost’ Ombudsman Office file was ever found?

  7. John Hawkins

    December 17, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Halton … in your comment: “We have to move on there is no point bitching about a Integrity Commission Inquiry into this past political discrepancy by Forest Industry, Rolley, Bacon and Lennon!” you suggest that we just sweep these matters under the carpet and forget them!

    This approach does you no favours, and your suggestion will certainly not change the Tasmanian Legislation drafted by the corrupt to protect the corrupt.

    The insidious corruption mantra that controls Tasmania will continue if we allow the perpetrators to gain public acceptance by the likes of you.

    Not Good Enough, Sir.

  8. Wayne Tamar Valley

    December 16, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Just after the Integrity Commission was established, I spoke to a lady at the government tent at Agfest who was handing out brochures with the contact details should anyone need to report corrupt conduct.

    After a brief look at the brochure I asked “So what powers did the commission have if it uncovered any corruption?”

    The answer I was given was that the commission had the power to educate persons against engaging in corrupt practices.

    • Simon Warriner

      December 17, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      And it is up to the government departments and services as to whether they engage with that training or not. I note with some interest that the Tasmanian Fire Service was not inclined to bother under its previous leadership. What has happened since, I do not know.

      It is a complete ……

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Simon, obscenities (and their derivatives) are impermissible under TT’s Code of Conduct.

      https://tasmaniantimes.com/the-legal-bits/

      — Moderator

  9. Rob Halton

    December 16, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    At the time of the pulp mill dream 15-20 years ago third world countries were pursued for specifically processing eucalypt for paper product of cause China has caught up by replacing Japan as a world importer of eucalypt since the early 1970’s.

    Third world countries such a Indonesia, the South Americas and Africa have the advantageto capitise by to grown their own eucalypt feed stock with cheap labor forces and less stringent environmental standards.

    So far the resource that Gunns would have used for their world class Tamar pulp mill is mainly E Nitens which was to be primarily used for pulp processing and is unlikely to be suitable for other uses for an Australian market!

    FT under Rolley took the punt and pruned the States better stands but to date there remains a shadow over HWP Nitens ever achieving the same level of more refined uses for quality sawn timber that is available from native grown eucalypt or for that matter from SWP grown radiata too!

    If in fact the same circumstances had occured 30-40 years ago then Tasmania may have managed to have a successfull pulp mill in Tasmania. Luckily the resource has been developed into a log export business mainly to China but we do not the value adding as such which goes against for what could have been a fine business had global economics not been against us!

    We have to move on there is no point bitching about a Integrity Commission Inquiry into this past political discrepancy by Forest Industry, Rolley, Bacon and Lennon!

    • Simon Warriner

      December 17, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Robin, there is always a point to bitching about government instruments that do not serve the purpose they purport to serve. They are a waste of OUR money and they spit in the face of those they are meant to serve. They are, sir, and insult to the intelligence of any thinking person they are meant to serve.

  10. Ted Mead

    December 16, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Robin obviously says the first biased thing that comes to mind, and never does any research.

    There is no question that the Lennon government held Tasmanians in utter contempt over the pulp mill fiasco, but rest assured, that had it been now, the Hodgman government would be doing the same!

    And we can all be sure you would still vote for the Liberals if they put one up today.

    “It is ridiculous that Australia is an exporter of timber as Pulp mill feed stock that has no use on the local Australian market”. Well it’s been going on forever through taxpayer subsidies, particularly due the dumb and/or corrupt wood supply agreements in the past.

    I’m sure you were quite content with that last century.

    “Any bloody fool knows that large Pulp mills mainly exist in third world countries”.

    That’s not true!

    Here is a list of the world’s 10 biggest pulp mill driven countries this decade, where the top 8 or 9 are owned by well-developed nations …

    1 China 99,300 24.9% 1 92,599
    2 United States 75,083 18.8% 2 75,849
    3 Japan 26,627 6.7% 3 27,288
    4 Germany 22,698 5.7% 4 23,122
    5 Canada 12,112 3.0% 5 12,787
    6 South Korea 11,492 2.9% 8 11,120
    7 Finland 11,329 2.8% 6 11,789
    8 Sweden 2.8% 7 11,410
    9 Brazil 10 ,159 2.5% 10 9,796
    10 Indonesia 10,035 2.5% 9 9,951

    World Total 398,975 100.0%   394,244

    • spikey

      December 16, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      Personally I think it would take some research to intentionally project the many curious ideas Robin appears to represent as fact.

      However, I’m fairly certain he doesn’t research ‘his own’ historical comments, otherwise I’d expect more consistency than his perpetually diverting blame from the Liberal party and forestry in various creative manners.

  11. Rob Halton

    December 16, 2018 at 10:15 am

    AM, who ever you are in hiding, The public hospital is not off topic, it indicates another waste of money $11M survey by a misguided Lennon government when Lara Gidding was then Health Minister.
    Its a serious matter that haunts the Royal rebuild today as I speak, as hundreds of millions continues to be spent on an old hospital on a site with limited space.

    I dont accept sorry from Giddings she was responsible for a massive mistake and to a certain extent Andrew Wilkie has to accept responsibility too when choosing the Gilllard government over Abbott who made it very clear he was prepared to fund a new public hospital on a greenfield site.

    The MP site was unsuitable because of working port commitments. Any fool knows the Showgrounds site was the best to serve Greater Hobart and despite Bunnings taking up a section of the site the Showgrounds are close to closing anyway and there is still an opportunity to acquire the remaining area including demolishing the older houses along Elwick Road and building a modern facility at least for mental health and rehab!

    Even the bare area northwards of DEC alongside the Elwick Race course is another possibility but the fact remains the Old Royal rebuild by the time it is completed and I doubt that it will be able to service a growing population where public health and primary health care continues to be on a downward spiral.

    At least having the option of another site within Greater Hobart would be desirable. Its an issue that I may take up with Premier to be Sue Hickey who single handed has taken on the role of State political leader while the rest idle their way.

    Unfortunately Tasmania has more than its share of small mindness and depends on localised voices and is not prepared to present it self to a broader community . All of this partly due to smaller self serving local governments running the show.
    In my opinion Local government Minister Peter Gutwein continues to encourage this behavior.

    And of cause is the $300M waste of money by the Bacon government without sufficient business case to support 3 ferries, Do yuo not recall that happening when the famous Mr Lennon was Transport Minister the enormous loss of the forced sale of Spirit III to save TT line from bankruptcy which served the Sydney run. Pity Bacon was not alive today as he was probably about 20 years before his time.

    The Pulp Mill was the worst decision of the lot and the subsequent out fall on investment in pulpmill feed stock only E nitens will be felt for decades as the loss of large areas of high quality native forest to produce fine eucalypt timber continues on and on and on.
    Any bloody fool knows that large Pulp mills mainly exist in third world countries where population accepts loer paid jobs and environmental controls are lax and ironically the eucalypt feddstock grows at a faster rate.

    It is ridiculous that Australia is an exporter of timber as Pulp mill feed stock that has no use on the local Australian market.
    Talk about wasted carbon capture exchange.

  12. John Hawkins

    December 16, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Dear Garry,

    The powers that be in Tasmania have had their attention drawn to the deficiencies within the Tasmanian Integrity Commission, but they have done absolutely nothing.

    In his 2016 Independent Review of the Integrity Commission Act, the Hon William Cox AC RFD ED QC noted:

    “The Commission is concerned that there are misconceptions about its role in dealing with corruption in the public sector. As it stands, the Commission deals with misconduct and serious misconduct, both of which have the potential to relate to corrupt conduct; however, ‘corruption’ and ‘corrupt conduct’ are not mentioned in the Integrity Commission Act. The Commission believes that there needs to be detailed consideration of whether and how corruption and corrupt conduct should be dealt with in relation to the Commission’s functions, particularly in relation to its investigative powers and resourcing. This would include consideration of the interrelationships between the term ‘misconduct’ in the Integrity Commission Act with the terms ‘corrupt conduct’ and ‘improper conduct’ in the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2002.

    The Commission takes no further position on whether it should, or should not, have the powers and resourcing to investigate systemic or institutionalised corruption. Ultimately it is for the Government of the day and the Tasmanian community as a whole to debate the issue, and to subsequently ensure that the Commission has the appropriate legislation and resources to achieve the objectives of the Integrity Commission Act.”

    In other words, the Act as created protects those who govern and rule in Tasmania from prosecution, or for that matter investigation in all matters relating to corruption.

    I suggest that this was done with both purpose and intent when the Act was drafted by colluding pollies, be they Liberal or Labor, to protect their own skin if they had the misfortune to be found out when acting corruptly.

    It resulted in the protection of those involved in corrupt acts relating to the Pulp Mill.

    Their cases were dismissed as being outside the remit of the Act and therefore incapable of investigation.

    How can this be so?

    In October 2014, the Tasmanian Integrity Commission released a report highlighting what it believed to be a significant weakness in the legislative regime under which it operates, that is, the lack of a ‘misconduct in public office’ offence in the Tasmanian criminal code.

    That those who govern in Tasmania are not interested in being caught out by an Integrity Commission is self-evident.

    The Liberal Party under ScoMo will be no different.

    We are dealing with bad people .. and we must never, ever forget it.

    I ask .. Why is a lying Adam Brooks still sitting in our Parliament after being investigated by the Tasmanian Integrity Commission?

    Welcome to this, our corrupt Tasmania.

  13. Rob Halton

    December 16, 2018 at 1:15 am

    How dumb are State governments? It looks as if Giddings has finally woken up to herself and wants to make a belated public apology for her misgivings over not choosing a greenfield site for a new public hospital, but being as stubborn as she always was, is still wrong with her choice of site at Macquarie Point a decade ago, her survey costing in the order of $11 Million, as I recall!

    An article by Blair Richards in Sat Mercury states “Giddings sorry for no new hospital” Another former Labor premier has expressed regret that Hobart has missed out on a new hospital.

    Speaking on ABC local radio about Hobart’s hospital woes, former Premier Lara Giddings said she felt “very sorry” a planned new Royal Hobart Hospital did not proceed a decade ago.

    “It wasn’t me personally who discarded it. Unfortunately it was the powers beyond mine that said we no longer had the finances to go ahead with it because of the GFC which basically just whipped out hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget immediately.” Ms Giddings told the ABC.

    Ms Gidding retired from politics at the state election.

    Last month former Premier Paul Lennon also weighed into the debate on the Hospital. In an opinion piece for the Mercury, Mr Lennon defended his government’s legacy on the hospital. He said his government had been committed to a new hospital and had been advised a “patch up job” on the current site would not meet the state’s needs.

    Mr Lennon said construction of a new Royal now would be well advanced at Macquarie Point had subsequent governments stuck to plans put in place in 2005.

    In 2014 the Liberal government rejected the widely supported Ceno Tas proposal for a new hospital on the Queens Domain.

    As I recall the waterfront hospital was rejected as being in the too close proximity to a working point with regular noise and air pollution. As well, the Hobart City Council and Chamber of Commerce were urgently requiring the hospital to remain in the city to revitalise CBD business interests at the time.

    As I have always said, the Royal rebuild had nothing to do with improved public health services. It was for very different reasons, and in my opinion it will never be completed to a satisfactory level to enable a southern based Public Hospital to operate in a relatively efficient manner.

    There is more to come that may remedy the current situation if the current Liberal government is serious about providing for population growth.

    • AM

      December 16, 2018 at 8:57 am

      Another of your off topic writings.

      Content is fine, so why not put it in an appropriate place?

  14. Kevin Moylan

    December 15, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Thanks Garry, for your concise and well written appraisal.

    Federal Attorney General, Christian Porter, stated at Thursday’s press conference, that “Whistleblower protection laws are still being drafted.”

    Public Servants brave enough to report crimes and corruption must be fully protected from State Sponsored fear and reprisals, grief, unemployment or any grievous harm, physical, emotional, psychological, psycho-social and criminal having the sole conscious intent of ‘breaking’ the human spirit into powerless submission, perpetrated by YES men/women, also described as the ‘Unrecognised Socialised Sociopaths’ .. those who are rewarded and promoted for following orders and doing the ‘dirty work’ for others. They have no ethical or moral conscience and are obsessed by self, greed, and gaining privilege and more power. They should never be trusted.

    Those who speak out and do the right thing must not suffer life changing punishment and reprisals (payback) which in my case included stalking, physical assaults, mental terror, threats to kill and attempted murder using a motor vehicle. (All on the public record – but so what and who really cares. There is no help).

    In 1999, the Tasmanian Ombudsman and Health Complaints Commissioner, Ms Jan O’Grady, informed me “I’m very sorry Kevin, but we can’t find your file.”

    For me, democracy died that sad and wretched day.

    Little wonder TasMANIA cannot recruit and retain loyal nurses.

    Be warned! Nurses, doctors and health professionals, if you perform your legal and ethical duty, your career and life will be set upon!

    I eagerly await the Labor Party releasing their ICAC and Whistle-blower protection laws. Australia is watching and hoping, Mr Shorten.

  15. Russell

    December 15, 2018 at 7:14 am

    And then they will come after the complainant.

  16. Russell

    December 15, 2018 at 7:13 am

    The Tasmanian Integrity Commission was set up to intercept and bin complaints. That’s all that Morrison’s dud will do.

  17. max

    December 15, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Thanks Garry, for raising the absurdity of putting the foxes in charge of the hen house.

    It has never worked, and it will never work because it is designed to never work.

    As you point out, the Tasmanian ICT was set up to fail, or to give a feeble subterfuge to the truth.

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