As Fairfax newspapers reported:

West Australian Director-General of Health Neale Fong has resigned after a probe recommended criminal charges be considered over his dealings with disgraced former premier and lobbyist Brian Burke. Dr Fong denied any wrongdoing in his contact with Mr Burke but resigned, citing media pressure. “I have made no secret of the fact that I have had contact with Mr Burke, there has been nothing untoward in those dealings,” Dr Fong said.

But what was the nature of those contacts? What disgraceful and nefarious matters may have been the subject of discussion? Well, us, since you ask. some extracts:

CORRUPTION AND CRIME COMMISSION
Report on the Investigation of Alleged
Misconduct concerning Dr Neale Fong,
Director General of the Department of Health
25 January 2008

The Commission has identified 33 emails between Dr Fong and Mr Burke in the period August 2002 to June 2006. They are listed in Table 2 below. It can be seen that 24 of those emails were after Dr Fong took up his role as Executive Chairman of the HRIT on 2 August 2004.

On 27 September 2002 Dr Fong emailed Mr Burke and stated, “Thanks for that, I’ll stay in touch”. It is unknown what this relates to but it indicates that there was ongoing contact between Dr Fong and Mr Burke.

On 2 April 2003 Mr Burke emailed a Crikey media article to bulk recipients regarding him and Mr Grill being retained by the WA Trotting Association. The article related to lobbyists and the political process and Dr Fong was just one of numerous recipients.

On 9 April 2003 Mr Burke forwarded a further Crikey article and again Dr Fong was just one of a large number of addressees. The article also related to the use of lobbyists in the political process and was titled “Lobbyists create a furore out West”.

It’s not for us to comment on the appropriateness or otherwise of Mr Burke’s relationship with Dr Fong. What we can say though is that we condemn in the strongest possible terms the unauthorised distribution of this email newsletter by subscribers to their non-subscribing friends and associates. Brian Burke is not alone in forwarding his daily copy of Crikey and thus revealing a scandalous disregard for the rights that normally attach to intellectual property. Let this disclosure be a warning to you all.

Peter Fray

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