Steve Vizard was very much a media creation, but given he’s now admitted to being a cheat and a liar, you would expect hacks to be a little bit more circumspect in buying the lines coming from his discredited and much-reduced support base.

Alas, Sunday Herald Sun reporter Chris Tinkler baldly stated the following yesterday in the first Vizard-initiated piece of spin we’ve seen in recent days: “But Justice Finkelstein left Vizard the option of applying to relaunch key charitable roles. Vizard, who has donated about $15 million to charitable causes, said those words gave him great hope.”

Vizard might have gained $15 million worth of tax deduction by pumping art and property into his Steve Vizard Foundation, but we very much doubt he has actually given even one-tenth of that figure. Donating to charity involves actually handing over control of an asset. It doesn’t involve a charity buying a clifftop mansion in Port Douglas for your family holidays and it doesn’t involve a charity buying art that then hangs in your Toorak mansion.

We would love to believe that Steve Vizard has donated $15 million. Why then did National Gallery of Victoria director Gerard Vaughan not mention anything about his generosity when giving his character evidence in court two weeks ago? Vizard will need to actually donate many millions to help rebuild his reputation, rather than putting out lines that are simply not true to gullible hacks.

As we said last week, the first step will be donating his impressive contemporary art collection to the team from the Sir Ian Potter Museum of Art at Melbourne University which actually put it together for him.

Peter Fray

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