Where’s the Commonwealth Ombudsman? So the saga of the apparently unsinkable Angus Taylor rolls on. Today it’s been revealed that on the night Taylor’s office leaked documents alleging that Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore had spent millions on air travel, two senior staff members were frantically texting one another, clearly becoming aware the figures were wrong. This was relayed to Taylor as being “messier” that they initially thought.
While the Australian Federal Police (AFP) — having interviewed neither Taylor nor Moore — concluded in February that there was “no evidence” Taylor was involved in the falsification, there is still one avenue for us to find out what really happened. The Commonwealth Ombudsman commenced an investigation into the AFP’s investigation in March, which is still ongoing.
Revelations like today’s raise the question: what’s taking them so long?
RIP accountability A little detail that’s worth remembering as the government cuts funding to the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO): it was the ANAO that probed the operations of Tourism Australia (TA) back in 2008 and found irregularities during the reign of managing director Scott Morrison. These irregularities included requesting tenderers to make a start on multimillion-dollar contracts before the contracts were executed.
Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial and get Crikey straight to your inbox
Morrison, of course, was given the boot by the TA board. And, as prime minister, he has overseen cuts to the very same ANAO — the one body that is enforcing any accountability on the government.
Get a real education! The Conservative Political Action Conference’s (CPAC) Sydney conference is just two days away — it coincides with the US election — but it’s still merrily adding a coterie of hard-right thinkers to the line-up.
CPAC is offering a subsidised student ticket, encouraging attendees to bring along their children who “have not yet been indoctrinated by the woke-left … We can guarantee they will hear some educational thoughts that their lecturers won’t dare tell them”.
While we give CPAC credit for knowing no young people are voluntarily lining up to see Craig Kelly, maybe they ought to stay in school? Continuing the list of hard-right figures, the email announces men’s right activist Bettina Arndt as the latest “edition”. It does this twice.
Is that the kind of “educational thought” a lecturer wouldn’t dare tell?
The Courier-Mail walks it back Do newspapers have any sway in elections anymore? The Courier-Mail made its views very clear in the lead-up to Queensland’s state election. It editorialised for change and produced numerous anti-Labor front pages:
But of course, we saw a big swing towards Labor. In fact, the party’s worst outcome came from the left: losing Jackie Trad’s seat to the Greens’ Amy MacMahon.
The Courier-Mail has now changed its tone. It called Palaszczuk a “Labor legend” on Sunday and noted that Labor had won over seats with more “seniors”. It’s a sensible approach to make nice with her: that’s a demographic which also makes up the majority of the Courier‘s readers.