This morning’s ABC radio news had two stories that caught my attention. The first was the entirely predictable news that the Mathias Cormann "Helloworld" tickets scandal had already expanded. US ambassador Joe Hockey apparently instructed embassy staff to meet with the Helloworld CEO, who’s a personal friend, when Helloworld was seeking a government tender. The second is that Melbourne has been judged the "heroin capital of Australia", after an analysis of sewer outflows.
Smack running out of a sewer. What better picture could one summon up of Australian governance and political culture than that? As the $400 million dollar Paladin contract sloshes around, with its beach shack registered office, and its shonky personnel, as two thousand deaths of benefits claimants after receiving barrages of Centrelink debt robocalls wait to be investigated, as it turns out that Freedom Boy Tim Wilson plugged a relative’s financial business into a parliamentary consultancy process, as the memory of another $400 million going to the industry-dominated Great Barrier Reef foundation resurfaces, the $30 million handed over to FOX for women’s sports, with no documentation, no reporting and no outcomes, the six hundred thousand given to Bjorn Lomborg’s organisation to produce a single book … after all that, Mathias Cormann must be hoping that $2700 in free air tickets that he "didn’t notice" would barely get noticed by the public.