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Jeor

Aussies: NSW Politicians, keeping ICAC in business

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I know it's a very minor story in the scheme of things, but I'm quite pleased that Bernardi's 13-year political career is now over. His party's struggles to gain traction in SA and beyond (even after combining forces with Family First) really bring home the point that, at least outside of QLD, there is no electoral appetite in Australia for a more pure form of conservative politics. This is quite distinct from Europe, where fringe right-wing parties have gained a lot of support in recent years. 

On the downside, the supposedly centre-right Governments we have seen since 2013 have tapped in to Bernard-style policies a lot more than I would like. Ironically, Bernardi's biggest impact may have been on the party he so dramatically (and mischievously) abandoned. 

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On 1/21/2020 at 1:42 AM, Paxter said:

I know it's a very minor story in the scheme of things, but I'm quite pleased that Bernardi's 13-year political career is now over.

I'm quite pleased too. He was a wanker without a moral bone in his body.

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18 hours ago, Stubby said:

I'm quite pleased too. He was a wanker without a moral bone in his body.

And we're rid of him at a reasonably young age too. Nile has been throwing his weight around NSW politics since the early 80s (apart from one attempted stint at Federal politics). 

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Decent-sized bushfire near my family home today...but thankfully looks like no property damage.

Plenty of smoke for @Stubby and @laoise I'm guessing?

And go Ash Barty!

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There's been fires kicking around in proximity to my home town for weeks now, Got really close to my first home on the first day but has been further away since then, but threatening several of the towns in the area regularly. Its a shitty feeling.

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2 hours ago, karaddin said:

There's been fires kicking around in proximity to my home town for weeks now, Got really close to my first home on the first day but has been further away since then, but threatening several of the towns in the area regularly. Its a shitty feeling.

Yeah, the ACT has had two fire emergencies in a week (plus a massive hail storm). My nephew was evacuated last week and had to sleep in my spare room. The current fire has been downgraded for the moment, hopefully it will stay that way with worse conditions predicted. The 2003 Canberra firestorm is always in peoples' minds.

If only our government would take the hint that it might time to actually take climate change seriously, rather than just pretending to do so.

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13 hours ago, Wall Flower said:

If only our government would take the hint that it might time to actually take climate change seriously, rather than just pretending to do so.

I find it interesting that so many people blame the government rather than voters. My view is that guys like Abbott and Morrison are known climate-sceptics; once in The Lodge I would expect them to remain consistent with the platforms on which they were elected. 

At the end of the day: the buck stops with Australians (and all voters in democratic countries) to elect governments that want to take genuine action. 

Edited by Paxter

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On 1/28/2020 at 1:01 AM, Paxter said:

Decent-sized bushfire near my family home today...but thankfully looks like no property damage.

Plenty of smoke for @Stubby and @laoise I'm guessing?

And go Ash Barty!

Not much smoke at all mate.  We were following it on line, because it was close but the other side of Tonkin highway, but we couldn't see anything from our place.  I don't think it got too close to your folks either - mainly down the bottom of the hills.

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1 hour ago, Stubby said:

Not much smoke at all mate.  We were following it on line, because it was close but the other side of Tonkin highway, but we couldn't see anything from our place.  I don't think it got too close to your folks either - mainly down the bottom of the hills.

Yeah looks like it was Forrie rather than the Hills proper. 

About to tune in to the Barty party...go Ash!

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Poor Barty. But she's only 23 - there are bound to be plenty more opportunities.

In other news...I wonder if this coronavirus stuff is going to hit here much. NSW schools have already asked students to stay home if they've visited China.

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There goes McKenzie. Though she was the right person to take the fall for the “sports rorts” scandal, could this be part of a broader plot to rehabilitate Barnaby? McKenzie is (was) one of his stronger opponents.

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58 minutes ago, Paxter said:

There goes McKenzie. Though she was the right person to take the fall for the “sports rorts” scandal, could this be part of a broader plot to rehabilitate Barnaby? McKenzie is (was) one of his stronger opponents.

Apparently, there were no actual rorts and no question mark over the legality of ministerial approval - at least according to advice from the Secretary of PM&C and Christian Porter. Advice which the PM has no intention of releasing for scrutiny. Bridget has gone on a technicality while the Government tries to sweep the whole saga of misappropriating tax payers money for political purposes under the carpet.

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14 hours ago, Paxter said:

There goes McKenzie. Though she was the right person to take the fall for the “sports rorts” scandal, could this be part of a broader plot to rehabilitate Barnaby? McKenzie is (was) one of his stronger opponents.

Barney the Beetrooting Dinosaur has already said he will throw his (ridiculous affectation of a) hat into the ring.

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13 hours ago, Wall Flower said:

Apparently, there were no actual rorts and no question mark over the legality of ministerial approval - at least according to advice from the Secretary of PM&C and Christian Porter. Advice which the PM has no intention of releasing for scrutiny. Bridget has gone on a technicality while the Government tries to sweep the whole saga of misappropriating tax payers money for political purposes under the carpet.

My understanding is that although the actions taken to award the grants was perfectly legal (all projects approved were eligible) it was the process of their selection that was under scrutiny - according to some ranking system, a lot of projects scored highly and didn't get funding while lower-scoring projects got funding (being in marginal electorates).

While the minister is not bound to go by the rankings advice, and thus decisions were not corrupted in a strictly legal sense, it's still not a good look.

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2 hours ago, Jeor said:

My understanding is that although the actions taken to award the grants was perfectly legal (all projects approved were eligible) it was the process of their selection that was under scrutiny - according to some ranking system, a lot of projects scored highly and didn't get funding while lower-scoring projects got funding (being in marginal electorates).

While the minister is not bound to go by the rankings advice, and thus decisions were not corrupted in a strictly legal sense, it's still not a good look.

Constitutional law expert, Anne Twomey, has an article on the ABC website where she queries the legality of the decision making by the minister on a number of levels. This issue was also raised in the Auditor General's report. I believe it has to do with the approval of the grant process being vested in Sports Australia, which is a statutory authority not part of the minister's department. Even if the minister did have authority to approve the grants, there are legislative and administrative requirements to be followed in approving the expenditure of public money which were not followed.

If I didn't have computer skills of an old lady, which I am, I would link the article.

Edited by Wall Flower
typo

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These people are really ruining whatever faith I had in the law's ability to hold the government to account. If it's not illegal for politicians to brazenly ignore their responsibilities and the independent advice given to them in order to use the public's money as a personal slush fund to win marginal seats and to prop up the failing industries of the people bankrolling them into parliament, then what's the point. If not for Barnaby leaking details in revenge they probably would've denied and whinged their way through the scandal. 

4 hours ago, Wall Flower said:

Constitutional law expert, Anne Twomey, has an article on the ABC website where she queries the legality of the decision making by the minister on a number of levels. This issue was also raised in the Auditor General's report. I believe it has to do with the approval of the grant process being vested in Sports Australia, which is a statutory authority not part of the minister's department. Even if the minister did have authority to approve the grants, there are legislative and administrative requirements to be followed in approving the expenditure of public money which were not followed.

If I didn't have computer skills of an old lady, which I am, I would link the article.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-02/bridget-mckenzie-sport-grants-minister-rules/11922152

I think I read the same. 

Fuck I'd single-issue vote for a party that promised an all-powerful federal ICAC with unlimited scope and retrospective powers. 

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Nats and Greens both have leadership contests going down this morning. Strap yourselves in (unless you're more interested in a little state called Iowa, or none of the above). 

Edited by Paxter

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16 minutes ago, Paxter said:

Could that have been more perfect? Barnaby fails and Canavan is out of Cabinet.

:lmao:

Was very much expecting the worst so a very pleasant surprise.

 

Bandt is the new Greens leader. No surprises there.

 

 

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