Former Minister for Youth Larry Anthony – the only National to lose his
seat at last October’s election – hasn’t been wasting time in his new
job as a director of ABC Learning Centres, with the company scoring this childcare gig from the Defence Department.

Political blogger Mr Grumpy
observes: “Former ministers should be free to take whatever job grabs
their fancy, but that means the rest of us should have the right to nod
our heads and go tsk-tsk in their direction. It also means their
employer should expect to be bagged, questioned and have dirty looks
given to them at dinner parties. But I’m sure the big pile of money
they stand to make helps them sleep better.”

For the record,
Anthony pockets $40,000 a year in director’s fees from the childcare
outfit. The Defence Department deal is a good start for him, but maybe
not for transparency in government. It’s good to see that whatever his
skills are, he’s still a valuable corporate asset, or maybe he just
knows the right sort of chaps one should have a quiet word with. Even
if the contract was won because ABC was genuinely the better bidder,
you still can’t help but wonder.

Peter Fray

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