Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Bent and Bungled

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-06-29

There are three billion more reasons to detest, and hopefully prosecute, the unlamented ALP Brumby government of Victoria.

The general continuity of policy under Liberal Premier Ballieu will be tested to see if it can use legal smarts to annul the 10 year pokies contracts the came out of deceitful behaviour by one, if not all parties.

Will Ballieu use the chance to kill two birds with one stone – sink the ALP in Victoria for a decade or more while helping the states coffers to the tune of billions at the same time?

It’s a win/win for Ballieu and Victoria if he does, and if he doesn’t, there is no reason to believe the Liberals will be any more honest, any more competent.

Today’s The Age gives an advance look at the Auditor General’s report on the 10 year polies rights to Bruce Mathieson and Woolworths, the dodginess of the patently flawed tendering process, the internally inconsistent instructions from government (before the tender, saying to maximize returns to the state, during and after the tendering, to aim for nebulous social targets).

After investigating for a year, there is proof of NO social advantage, and billions down the drain.

Unfortunately, it’s expected that the former cabinet that ran the thing will get off scot free, and department personnel will be the scapegoats.

It wouldn’t surprise me if senior personnel, appointed by the Brumby government, deserved at least some of the blame – probity and competence were never criteria for advancement under Brumby, both as Premier and as the puller-of-strings under Bracks.

If three billion dollars, a process that reeks of corruption, and no social benefit whatsoever isn’t cause enough for Ballieu to go for the throat, then what is?

Failiure to properly punish the guilty, failure to make robust efforts to get the money back or at least restart the process properly, will give us billions of reasons to distrust the Ballieu Liberal Party, to believe they are in bed with the same predators, and wonder where the hell we can find an honest government, let alone one that is capable as well.


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