Tasmanian Labor scandal deepens. “The Tasmanian Compliance Corporation failed to fulfil ‘fundamental obligations’ to the State Government and Tasmania’s building industry,” the Hobart Mercury reports today, quoting a KPMG report. It also found “inappropriate payments” were made to the private company’s three owners and directors, including former Tasmanian Labor health minister John White. The Tasmanian Government released the report under FOI legislation. The Liberals say this makes a mockery of Premier Paul Lennon’s comments about being constrained from commenting on the matter due to privilege issue. Liberal leader Will Hodgman says saying the Premier should resign if he can’t or won’t answer questions on the TCC. Political observers in the Apple Isle are saying that this could be even bigger than the Edmund Rouse case. That was attempted bribery. This could emerge as the grubbiest kind of corruption.
The Queensland Liberal realignment. Former Queensland Liberal powerbroker Senator Santo Santoro has gone from having almost half the numbers on the party state council to just controlling a quarter of the votes in the wake of the weekend meeting, senior sources say. Anti-Santo forces won ten of the 11 spots up for grabs, and more bad news is expected with further defections when it becomes clear that Santoro is in no positions to deliver on the promises of the past. State director Geoff Green is looking particularly nervous. The knives are out. It is just a question of whether the move to sack Greene will come before or after the Federal election.
If you’re not interested in the Cup form… Here are some goodies courtesy of the ANU’s Democratic Audit of Australia for you to have a look at this afternoon. In last week’s Senate estimates hearings, it emerged that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet had omitted from its Annual Report any figure for expenditure on government advertising campaigns – expenditure that had increased by nearly 50%. The Government dismissed the error as an oversight. The opposition accused the Government of concocting a “dog ate my homework” excuse. Meanwhile, it also emerged in Estimates that the number of Australians enrolled to vote has fallen for the first time in ten years. The Australian Electoral Commission was unable to provide a definitive explanation for the fall. It is too early for the recent restrictions on enrolment to have had an effect, though they are likely to exacerbate any existing enrolment problems.