Alan Tudge
Alan Tudge (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

What to do about the car park rort? Can we get the money back?

Well theft is theft. The law, for all its complexities, ultimately derives from some basic propositions, one of which is that stealing is wrong.

The $660 million appropriated for the car parks fund was public money -- but it doesn’t belong to the public. The federal government is an entity, which raises money by various means including taxation and borrowing and then appropriates it for spending. It owns the money; if the money is stolen, it is the Commonwealth that has the legal right to get it back.