With the Liberal Party in disarray federally and out of power everywhere, the media needs to become the de facto opposition and push for maximum disclosure, accountability and transparency from the Rudd Government.

The 7.30 Report’s Kerry O’Brien is meant to be the toughest television inquisitor in the country, but he dropped the ball with Kevin Rudd last night when it came to the ministerial code of conduct.

Rudd broke his promise to deliver a pre-election ministerial code and he personally has drafted something that has now gone to the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet for approval before its release next week. This is a wholly unsatisfactory situation because it is Rudd himself who has the biggest conflicts of interests to manage.

We’re told that Therese Rein has sold the Australian division of her burgeoning Ingeus job placement business. To whom? For what price? And most critically – with what warranties given about ongoing Federal government contracts?

Kerry failed to ask any of this, and instead just wanted to know about career juggling:

KERRY O’BRIEN: You and Therese are in unchartered territory in terms of her desire to maintain a business career. I assume it’s going to be case of “suck it and see” in terms of how she will divide her time between her responsibilities as the PM’s wife and as a business woman?

Rudd stuck with his tried and true “she’s very successful, I’m very proud of her and who am I to close Ingeus down” but as Prime Minister this whole situation becomes very different.

PM&C chief Peter Shergold is being asked to look at a document that will go to the very heart of the Rudd family’s personal financial situation.

Lindsay Tanner’s “Operation Sunshine” must surely now go to the release of federal government contracts enjoyed by the Rudd family. Exactly how many tens of millions did they receive from the Howard government and how will contract renewals with the new owner, whoever that is, be handled. Has it been flogged to a mate with assurances the taxpayer cash will keep flowing?