Tasmanian minister for tourism, Ken Bacon, has done it again. Known
for looking and acting vacant most of the time, it is widely held that he only
got his promotion to the ministry by being last man standing when premier Jim
Bacon (no relation) and treasurer David Crean both retired last year.
With only 13 in the lower house (after providing the speaker) to choose a nine
person ministry from, new premier Paul Lennon closed his eyes, said a prayer
and went for Bacon ahead of the even worse Brenton Best and three newbies.

Ken Bacon rarely makes news but when he does it is usually for not really
knowing what is going on around him. Last year in parliament, in response
to a question, he rose to his feet and “thanked the honourable question for his
member”. On another occasion he had a brain fade and missed a question
altogether. The pregnant pause was only broken when a colleague quipped,
“that one’s for you, Kenny”. (To be fair to Bacon, his explanation for
that lapse was low blood sugar as a result of diabetes.)

Tourism is generally regarded as one of the cushiest portfolios going
around. The only really irksome task in Tasmania is that you also get to
be minister for the Spirit of Tasmania TT Line, which has not being going too
well lately, especially the Sydney to Devonport ferry which is expected to lose
$25 million this year.

Given that the ferry performance has dominated the news in Tassie for
months, one would expect that the minister would come well briefed and prepared
for the GBE estimates hearing held in Hobart yesterday.

Not Kenny.

There’s more on the site here: http://www.crikey.com.au/articles/2005/03/002-0001-3267.html

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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