told us on Wednesday night that former Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer will complete his report into the wrongful detention of Australian permanent resident Cornelia Rau and then step down, now that his inquiry has been expanded to look at more than 200 cases of possible wrongful detention.

Even before conflict of interest allegations came up yesterday, there had been queries over whether the former federal flat foot was the best person to conduct the inquiry. Full and frank it ain’t. The PM and Minister Mandy have admitted that. And someone who’s been stroppy about this is none other than Jeff Kennett.

Kennett – wearing his mental health hat – has had plenty to say about the Cornelia Rau case in various forums, Crikey understands. The Jeffmeister has indicated his unhappiness that the Palmer inquiry was not public. “We need to have exposure,” he has told Liberal Party audiences, criticising “a system that allows persistent failures.”

Kennett has questioned Palmer’s knowledge of the public health issues that clearly were at the heart of the Rau matter – and been central to the Alvarez case – in typically uncompromising Jeff terms. He has talked about damage caused by jurisdictional conflicts between the states and the commonwealth over inmates in detention centres who “have all their rights denied to them” by DIMIA droogs and people like the man who sprung Rau from Baxter, South Australian Public Advocate John Harley.

He has expressed his fear that “this inquiry is for naught”. Perhaps someone should ask him for more details. Jeff Kennett, expert witness.