David Flint writes about inquiries he thinks should never happen:
from the irrelevant point-scoring questions at Senate Estimates which
have nothing at all to do with the forward estimates, the real scandal
is surely Senate inquiries which should never have been undertaken.
egregious example was the recent republican inquiry. Nothing had
happened since the landslide rejection of the republicans’ own
preferred model in 1999 to require the Senate to re-examine it, yet the
Senate majority decided to revive the issue, thus adding to the
millions already spent on this issue. After all, they had all the
information they needed in the Turnbull Report commissioned by Paul
Keating. And with Malcolm conveniently now down the corridor, they
could have asked him for advice over a coffee.
No, they wanted
another expensive inquiry. But the resulting report was such an
embarrassment it was released when the media was distracted with the
Scrafton Inquiry and the 2004 election. It endorsed the ARM’s bizarre
policy to force the people to vote on the republic not one more time,
but three more times!
When the republican Professor Greg
Craven finally persuaded the NSW Liberal Senator, Marise Payne, that
the ARM proposal was designed to produce the impossible Latham
republican model, she dissented in part. This was rather odd – the good
Senator is an office bearer in the ARM. It was her own policy!
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Mark Latham, as only he could, decided to make the project his own. Why
said Mark, with his usual sharpness, spread the voting over three
terms? We want a republic, and we want it NOW! Mark came up with the
brilliant idea to make the people vote on the republic EACH YEAR of the
first term of a Latham government. This would have meant that the
Latham government would have had little time to do anything else!
Waking up to this potential mess, someone decided to can it.
The senators were persuaded to keep it quiet. Drop it in when nobody
will notice. Which they did. But what a way to burn our money.