Is it any wonder that public confidence in our political system is at an all-time low?
And if there was any doubt about it, the government’s decision to block an attempt to have Christian Porter use a blind trust to pay part of his legal fees referred to Parliament’s Privileges Committee provides evidence. irrefutable.
Does this government have no shame when it comes to transparency?
Does he not understand the importance of responsibility in decision making?
President Tony Smith believed that an investigation by the powerful Privileges Committee was warranted, so the government simply thwarted it using its numbers.
And politics is a numbers game – when it comes to winning positions and seats.
This should never be the case when it comes to politics and giving voters the confidence that our elected MPs rule for all of us.
But we shouldn’t be surprised.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his government sit on a catalog of cover-ups, all obscuring questionable decisions about the use of taxpayer funds – our – funds.
Just consider these examples.
The suburban parking lot case
Thanks to the Auditor General, we know the Morrison government has approved a program to spend more than $ 600 million on parking lots for commuters, mostly on up for grabs just days before the last election.
The program, according to evidence provided by the Australian National Audit Office to a Senate committee, began as a “qualified top 20 marginal” document.
But we won’t be seeing this document anytime soon as it is stamped “Cabinet Confidence,” deemed to be outside freedom of information laws, and will not be bound for 30 years. (Fortunately, the government has never managed to build most of the parking lots, which is another problem – and it’s more a matter of skill than cover-up).
The real estate manna of the airport
Again thanks to the Auditor General, we know that the government paid 10 times the market price for 12 ha of land related to the development of the Sydney airport.
The $ 29.8million went to one of Australia’s wealthiest families on the advice of an appraiser they recommended, but less than a year later it turned out valued at $ 3 million.
The Australian National Audit Office, in its report, told Parliament it was investigating integrity issues in the transaction – but noted that the issue was with administrative actions, not ministerial-level decisions.
Concealment of the office
The prime minister tasked his departmental secretary Phil Gaetjens with investigating who knew what into the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins in parliament.
The allegations were first made earlier this year.
The PM promised in March that they would be available soon, but it was revealed weeks later that they were already on hold, awaiting legal action.
This was not an investigation into the alleged infringement but the state of knowledge in government offices as to what allegedly happened.
It is now understood that many companies did overpay the JobKeeper allowance when COVID-19 hit last year.
We know this because some have refunded the money and others have paid leaders bonuses for their good performance during the lockdowns.
So who got paid what? It’s a secret.
The anti-corruption commission
Scott Morrison promised ahead of the last federal election to create an independent commission to investigate corruption in the federal government.
A few months (maybe weeks) away from his government, we don’t yet know what he will look like or if he will have any real powers.
Does he really intend to do anything?
What we do know is that he will not have the power to launch independent inquiries or conduct public inquiries like these commissions operating at the state level.
Nothing to see here? You bet.
The list could go on and on, but each highlights a lack of transparency, an ignorance of accountability and the contempt with which voters are held.
So why would any of us expect anything different when it comes to Christian Porter’s blind trust?