A CESSPIT OF LIES, CORRUPTION AND INCOMPETENCE – THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
The current government is the most dishonest, dangerous, incompetent, corrupt, hypocritical and unaccountable government in Australian political history. By this, I mean the Liberal National party in it’s three terms of office stretching back over eight years. It has undermined every notion of good government and ministerial accountability.
None of this malpractice is debatable by any reasonable examination of the record, or by comparison with the records of past governments and prior practice. Its record is only defensible by the degraded standards and values of current political practice and, even then it is by far the most corrupt government in history.
Arguably, however, you can go much further and suggest that the behaviour of the LNP government is criminal in both the actual and general sense of the word. It avoids prosecution because it controls the process of prosecution.
In THIS TABLE I have attempted to document just a few in the never ending stories of corruption, incompetence, lies, broken promises, criminality and abdication of responsibility that constitutes what passes for Government at the federal level, in Australia. In doing so I have only just scraped the scum off the barrel because there is scarcely an issue or action involving this government that has not demonstrated venality, greed and an almost complete absence of ethics or morality.
In outlining these issues I have not even addressed the gross hypocrisy that pervades almost every area of government and envelopes every minister in a grey toxic miasma of cant and sanctimony. This is a Government led by a man who claims to be a Christian and populated at every turn by alleged Christians.
At the same time it is one where the actions of its so-called leaders are the antithesis of biblical teachings. It is, in fact, tainted at every turn by scandals and behaviour contrary to the values they claim. Leaving aside the issues described here we see also the sex scandals (Joyce, Tudge, Porter, the sex in the prayer room, the masturbatory desk, the rapes, the harassment). And that’s not even starting on its policies such as those on climate, deportation and refugees which are the antithesis of compassion and care.
Of course, the Government will defend itself by saying “it followed the rules” or that behaviour was “within the guidelines”. Statements which say nothing about the behaviour that we are criticising but serve only to condemn the self-serving weakness of the rules and guidelines. Rules that allow an unremitting and unethical gorging at the trough of public funding on a daily basis. After all, even authoritarian rulers can follow the rules that they have themselves put in place and which allow arbitrary arrest and torture on a daily basis.
Take travel expenses, the guidelines for which are so opaque and open to abuse that they are in fact abused on a weekly, if not daily, basis. The behaviour of MPs may be “legal” in most cases but it is at the same time entirely unethical and lacking in values.
As the Auditor-General found in 2015, parliamentary travel entitlements are complex, opaque and difficult to define. They are also self-administered: certification is essentially left to the politicians themselves. The scope for rorting should be obvious.
It is “corrupt” in the sense that we understand “grey corruption”.
The term ‘grey corruption’ is useful in politics to describe areas of minor corruption and/or unethical but legally ambiguous practice such as gift giving, favouritism and undue influence, conflicts of interest, excessive expenditures and deceit in political discourse …
I would describe this government using these terms: Dishonest, dangerous, incompetent, corrupt, unethical, criminal, unaccountable, hypocritical.
Just to avoid any suggestion of exaggeration it’s good to understand the meaning of those terms in context but also the track record in relation to each and every term.
Dishonest: the dictionary defines this as follows: behaving or prone to behave in an untrustworthy, deceitful, or insincere way, intended to mislead or cheat.
The dishonesty started early and has never really stopped. When Abbott came to power in 2013 he made a number of quite specific promises he immediately proceeded to break. These are listed in the spreadsheet.
It’s hard to believe, in fact, that Abbott did not deliberately lie his way into office. The sheer number of lies and degree of blatency suggests that he deliberately lied to Australians during the election knowing full well that, if he told the truth about his intentions, he would never get elected.
Morrison has compounded the dishonesty, not so much with outright lies, although he has not been averse to that but through continuing being economical with the truth. His is a style of avoidance. He is disingenuous, refuses to answer honestly, avoids questions, obfuscates, is indirect.
But to the terms which describe this Government and for avoidance of doubt….
Dangerous: able or likely to cause harm or injury. likely to cause problems or to have adverse consequences
From the Government’s denial of science and necessary action on climate, endangering millions in Australia and around the world, to its complete incompetence on aged care which, essentially, killed several hundred people and its failure to properly equip our fire services it’s hard to remember any government which has showed such a complete disregard for the welfare of its citizens. Add to these its behaviour around domestic violence and violence against women, in general, its incitement of race hatred, its treatment of refugees, its abandonment of entire sections of the community during the pandemic and one can only conclude that this is a government that either doesn’t care or which actively works to harm those citizens it does not value.
Incompetent: not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully. not qualified to act in a particular capacity.
It is difficult to think of a single major issue that the Government has handled competently. It seems incapable of either planning or implementation. On almost every single issue it has touched it has been shown be completely incapable of effective management and sometimes dangerously so. The list is almost endless. Aged care, water management, fires, robodebt, jobkeeper, vaccine roll out, quarantine, repatriation of Australians, relations with China, procurement, care for returned servicemen, energy.
Corrupt: having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain; in a state of decay; rotten or putrid: cause to become morally depraved; infect; contaminate.
GrassGate, Clovergate, Watergate, Sports Rorts, Travel Rorts, Robodebt, Safer Communities. The list of corrupt practices goes on and on.
Unethical: It goes without saying that one might argue that one person’s definition of immorality is another person’s definition of good practice. The point here is that there are certain values that almost everyone accepts. We don’t believe that lying is good (even where we do it ourselves). Similarly theft, fraud, dishonestly etc. Even if one views the behaviour of Government members as being within the rules or lacking in criminality, they remain in many cases entirely unethical by most community standards. Within the rules is not the same as “right”.
Unaccountable: not required or expected to justify actions or decisions; not responsible for results or consequences.
The concept of Ministerial Accountability has not merely been discarded by this government but has been thrown in the dirt and urinated on, successively, by one minister after another to the extent that the concept is now entirely meaningless. We now have a government that breaks the rules and blatantly lies once caught out. Not one single Minister has been effectively held accountable with the sole exception of Bridget McKenzie and then only because her breach was such a direct breach of standards that it couldn’t be explained away.
Criminal: relating to crime; deplorable and shocking
THE TABLE – Corruption and Lies at the Heart of the Federal Government – A SUMMARY
|THE ISSUES||WHAT HAPPENED|
|ROBODEBT: Thousands of welfare claimants received letters from the Government claiming they owed money that they did not owe – debts calculated using an illegal system of income averaging. It’s believed that there were a large number of suicides as a result of the pressure placed on claimants who received these letters||Despite advice to Cabinet that the Robodebt scheme was illegal, the LNP Government continued its illegal activity sending letters to welfare claimants seeking repayment of alleged debts based on the (illegal) practice of income averaging|
|CLOVERGATE: In September 2019 the Murdoch “newspaper” the Daily Telegraph pubished a letter from Minister, Angus Taylor to Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore in which he attacked the council for an alleged $15.9 million in domestic and international travel expenses in a single year. The letter was based on a document which Taylor’s office claimed had been downloaded from the Sydney City Council annual report.||Although the NSW Police dropped any investigation (after the intervention of PM, Scott Morrison) no explanation has ever been provided about how the false document came into existence. Short of it creating itself, the forged document must have been prepared by someone in Taylor’s office, possibly even Taylor himself. At the very least he knows who the culprit is. Forgery is of course a criminal offience. In addition, Taylor tabled the document in Parliament. A clear misleading of Parliament. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-28/no-evidence-angus-taylor-downloaded-document-from-council/12191960|
|TUDGE/IMMIGRATION: A Federal Court judge has labelled the behaviour of Federal Cabinet Minister, Alan Tudge as “criminal” after he left a Hazara Afghan man languishing in an immigration detention centre despite a tribunal ordering he be granted a visa.|
“The Minister has acted unlawfully. “In the absence of explanation, the Minister has engaged in conduct which can only be described as criminal.”
|The case relates to a man known as PDWL, who arrived in Australian in 2012. He applied for a temporary protection visa four years later, fearful for his safety should he be returned to Afghanistan.|
In December 2019, an official from the Home Affairs Department rejected the visa application on the basis he had pleaded guilty and been convicted of assault over a drunken fight with a friend over a mobile phone.
This was seen as a breach of the “character test”, which is used to measure the risk someone might present to the Australian community.
On 11 March 2020, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) overturned that decision and ordered the man be granted a visa — and that the process should be carried out quickly, given he was “understandably anxious to be reunited with his wife and children”. Tudge failed to release the detainee despite the decision of the AAT.
|THE ISSUES||WHAT HAPPENED|
|GRASSGATE: Jam Lands, a company part owned by Minister, Angus Taylor, was prosecuted for illegally clearing 28.5 hectares of the critically endangered natural temperate grassland of the south eastern highlands on a property in Corrowong in NSW on or about 30 October 2016.||Jam Land, the company part-owned by the energy minister Angus Taylor and his brother Richard, illegally poisoned critically endangered grasslands in the New South Wales Monaro region, the federal environment department has concluded.|
After an investigation the department has ordered the company to restore 103 hectares of native grassland
The Jam Land investigation took more than three years and was controversial because Angus Taylor sought meetings with senior environment officials about the grasslands while the inquiry was under way. The office of the then environment minister Josh Frydenberg subsequently sought advice about whether laws protecting the grasslands could be changed.
A Guardian Australia investigation revealed Angus Taylor met with senior environment officials and the office of the former environment minister Josh Frydenberg in March 2017 about the protected status of the grasslands while the investigation was underway.. Frydenberg’s office sought advice from his department about whether protection for the grasslands could be weakened in secret.
Notes from a senior official show Frydenberg later indicated he was “keen to see [if] he can accommodate Angus Taylor’s requests”
|CLOVERGATE: Taylor attacked Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore for her supposed outrageous travel costs and used a fraudulent document to justify his claim||Taylor used wildly inflated travel figures to attack Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore over climate change. The document on which the attack was based subsequently turned out to be forged – presumably by someone in Taylor’s office.|
Even though he has now admitted the figures he used were wrong and has offered an apology to Clover Moore, the saga of where the figures came from continues.Taylor has still not explained how the numbers came to be altered nor has he produced the metadata for the document he relied on, which would help shed light on its origins. Labor referred the matter to the NSW police but they apparently dropped the case after a call to the Commissioner, Mick Fuller from Scott Morrison. Morrison has said he believes there was no need for action.https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/25/angus-taylor-apologises-clover-moore-document-used-to-attack-her
|WATERGATE: This is the scandal of $80 million dollars paid by Barnaby Joyce’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) to Eastern Water Holdings (EWH) for a volume of water valued by Opteon at just $1.4 million|
The water rights owned by EWH were attached to two Queensland stations, Kia Ora and Clyde, owned by Eastern Australian Agriculture (EAA) and were for overland water flows (ie water captured by dams or bunds when the river floods). Even if the water is returned to the river there is nothing to stop downstream users with rights from extracting it from the river.
What did the government actually buy with that $80 million of taxpayers’ money? It bought a right. In crude terms, it bought a right to tear down a wall so water flowed back to the river system rather than being retained behind the dam wall. That right does not appear to have been exercised, The Project has demonstrated. What then did the Commonwealth do to ensure the Queensland government and the counter-parties to its $80 million transaction did their bit? Or did they just give $80 million away and take no security, no assurance there would be action for the environment?
Similar water rights for better performing properties were purchased for much less. EAA was operating at a substantial loss at the time of the purchase and was not considered a “high performing” property that would have justified paying any premium for water. They were, in fact, some of the worst performing properties.
In effect the entire process was a series of grubby deals in which a group of people, most likely including Government Ministers, but certainly including mates of Ministers were enriched at taxpayers expense https://www.michaelwest.com.au/exhumed-evidence-barnaby-joyce-whitewashed-role-in-watergate/
|The Water Valuations: There are, in effect four separate valuations of the water entitlements that were purchased by the Department of Agriculture Water and Environment (DAWE).|
1. In April 2016, Colliers International valued the overland flow water in the Condamine Balonne region (the region that corresponds to the water entitlements held by EAA) at $1,650/ML. This valued the water at $47.421 million
In June 2016, the department commissioned Opteon to provide six water entitlement valuations for various Queensland regions as part of its (DAWE’s) Healthy Headwaters program
2. In August 2016 Opteon valued the Condamine Balonne overland flow water, , at $50/ML. That figure would have valued EAA’s 28,740 ML overland flow water entitlements at a minuscule $1.437 million.
3. Colliers were then asked to provide new valuations which were delivered in September 2016. These were updated by Colliers in Marh 2017 and valued the water at $45 million, approximately the same as the original April 2016 valuation.
4. In its financial report, filed with ASIC on Christmas Eve 2016, Eastern Australia Agriculture valued its entire water holding of 67,000 ML at $79.5 million, yet the government paid $80 million for less than half of that holding (29,000 ML of overland flow entitlement).
In effect, in buying the water the department (without reason or justification) paid between 57 times and double the value of the water it purchased. This is despite the fact that the part the deparment purchased was the more unreliable overland flow water.
It’s notable that in 2006 that the Federal Govt rejected buying the Clyde station (later bought by Taylor’s companies) because the $20 million price tag for the whole Clyde property including water licences was too high and “the amount of water that you would actually end up acquiring simply was not worth the price”.
The Australian National Audit Office in July this year tabled a report into the purchase of strategic water entitlements.
The report noted that the arrangements to support the strategic purchases of water through limited tender “were not fully effective”; that the department did not consistently apply approved policy, planning and guidance to the assessment of all limited tender procurements; and that the department did not develop a framework to maximise value for money.
in 2008, Angus Taylor became secretary and sole company of Eastern Australia Agriculture (EAA) that he had co-founded and was a director of the Cayman’s based parent company Eastern Australia Irrigation (EAI). It was in this same year that Taylor, on behalf of the investors, purchased the two Queensland irrigation properties – Kia Ora and Clyde
In August 2017, $80 million was given to Eastern Australia Agriculture (EAA) for the acquisition of two Overflow (OFL) water licences at properties at Clyde and Kia Ora in southern Queensland – the same properties purchased by Angus Taylor for investors in EAA and EAI. The Minister approving the sale was the then water minister, the disgraced, Barnaby Joyce.
No one knows who actually received and benefitted from the rorted water buy back because it’s all hidden in the Caymans. Angus Taylor may know because he set up the Caymans company, EAI, which got the lion’s share of the cash from the water bonanza; and although he got off the board of EAI before entering politics in 2013, he still had associates on board in the later years.
|SPORTS RORTS (Bridget McKenzie) was a scandal in which millions of dollars of taxpayers funds were corruptly redirected to projects chosen by the Minister and, apparently, approved by the Prime Minister.|
McKenzie was forced to resign when it was discovered she had given funds to a shooting club of which she was a member and where her interest had not been disclosed.
It’s also likely that the allocation of the grants in the way they were carried out was unlawful in that 1. McKenzie did not have the authority to allocate the grants in the way she did and 2. It may be unconstitutional because the federal government lacks power to hand out money to sports clubs.
|The source of the scancal is the community sport infrastructure program, which was announced in 2018 and doled out grants of up to $500,000 to fund to local sporting clubs to improve their facilities in the lead up to the 2019 election. The overarching aim was to boost participation in physical activity and sports and was welcomed by cash-strapped local clubs.|
Clubs applied for grants which were assessed independently by Sports Australia which could recommend grants to clubs that received a ranking of over 74 points. Sports Australia then made recommendations to the Minister, Bridget McKenzie.
McKenzie’s office ran its own parallel assessment process that was separate to the guidelines Sport Australia had developed to objectively and fairly distribute the money.
Grants were frequently directed to marginal seats, or seats the Coalition was targeting in the upcoming election. Sport Australia’s recommendations were, in many cases, ignored. In the scheme’s second and third rounds, 70% and 73% of the chosen projects went against Sport Australia’s findings.
Money also found its way to clubs that had direct links to Coalition ministers and senior MPs. One grant went to a shooting club that McKenzie herself was a member of. Other money went to clubs that had the Indigenous affairs minister, Ken Wyatt, as a patron, the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, as a member and the assistant minister Sarah Henderson as a sponsor
One of Australia’s best golf courses, the Royal Adelaide Golf Club, got $50,000 to install solar panels. Royal Adelaide is a members-only golf course that costs a small fortune to join.
Half a million dollars went to a rowing club in the affluent Sydney suburb of Mosman, while another golf club was given $190,000 to build a new foyer and install a lift, in part so it could attract more wedding bookings
|SAFER COMMUNITIES RORTS (Peter Dutton). This was another Federal Government grants program in which a minister corruptly intervened to favour communities which he specifically favoured, often in Liberal or marginal seats||Mr Dutton’s home affairs department recommended funding a list of 70 projects using a merit-based assessment under the third round of the Safer Communities program, according to documents obtained by the ABC.|
The ABC found on January 31, 2019, Mr Dutton reduced funding by a combined total of $5.59 million, for 19 of the highest-scoring grant applications, in a handwritten note. These were organisations that were strongly recommended by his department to improve community safety. He then used the funds to support projects that did not follow his department’s recommendations
He redirected the funding to handpicked projects of his choice, at least one of which was in his Brisbane electorate. Mr Dutton also used the funds to support grants for two councils — in the lead up to a by-election in a highly marginal seat — that his department recommended should not be funded at all. Dutton continued with the rorting even after being warned by his department that “that overruling the merit system could draw scrutiny from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) or from news organisations.” The ANAO is considering an investigation.
Labor’s Kristina Keneally says Peter Dutton has been ‘rorting on an industrial scale’
|THE LIST||WHAT HAPPENED|
|No cuts to the ABC.||Treasurer Joe Hockey announced $43.5 million in cuts over four years in Tuesday’s budget.|
|No cuts to SBS.||Treasurer Joe Hockey announced $43.5 million in cuts over four years in Tuesday’s budget.|
|Spend a week a year as PM in an Indigenous community.||Abbott managed 4 days only|
|Introduce a rolled-gold 26 week paid parental leave scheme.|
|Not shutting any Medicare locals.||All 61 Medicare Locals will now be scrapped|
|No one’s personal tax will go up. Hello, deficit tax.||The Treasurer confirmed a deficit levy would be imposed on people who earn incomes over $180,000|
|From 2014/15, the $5 billion aid budget will grow each year in line with the Consumer Price Index.||The Treasurer revealed foreign aid would be frozen, leading to a massive $7.6 billion cut over next 5 years.|
|Restore the private health insurance rebate||Did not remove means test or recommence indexing meaning rebates continued to fall|
|Deliver broadband speeds of 25-100 mbps by the end of 2016 and 50-100 mbps by the end of 2019||Every household and business to have access to broadband with a download data rate of between 25 and 100 megabits per second by late 2016; in reality only around 2 million premises were getting speeds of 25 megabits or greater.|
|2013: Clear the 30,000 backlog of asylum seekers waiting to be processed||2016: More than 30000 asylum seekers remained unprocessed at the time of the last election|
|No unexpected adverse changes to superannuation||September 2, 2014, when it announced it would delay all legislated increases to the superannuation guarantee until July 2021, pushing the increases to 10 and 12 per cent back by four years each|
|Send a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean to monitor whaling||Only a plane was sent|
|All $100m-plus infrastructure projects to have cost-benefit analysis||It broke that promise, by paying $1 billion to Victoria for the second stage of the East West Link before any analysis was released.|
|No cuts to education or health||Tuesday’s budget imposed an $80 billion cut to health and education spending over next decade.|
|No cuts or changes to age and disability pensions||Age and disability pensions will fall behind wages growth from 2017 after they are instead linked to inflation not wages|
|No cuts to closing the gap (indigenous affairs)||Cut $500 million through the consolidation of 150 programs.|
|The Coalition will promote the use of solar energy by Australian families and households||Scrapped the government’s Direct Action policy to fund rebates for the installation of solar panels and deliver 1 million solar roofs|
|TRAVEL RORTS (MISUSE OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES)|
|The principal issue with all of these cases of misuse of entitlements is that the rules are sufficiently loose that it is possible in a wide range of cases to claim what is essentially a private trip as being “on business”.|
MPs can and frequently do refuse to answer questions about claimed business meetings. Rules state that parliamentarians are required to use expenses in good faith, “for the dominant purpose of conducting parliamentary business” and in a way that achieves “value for money”.
“For example, they must not seek to disguise their personal or commercial business as parliamentary business,” guidance published by the Independent Parliamentary Expense Authority states.
|Dutton (travel to Maroochydore)||Dutton in attended Liberal Party business. He had no other reason to fly into Maroochydore, had never flown there previously and his home based was closer to Brisbane airport.|
|Sussan Ley – charter of planes for private use (to maintain her pilot’s licence) despite not being on Government business http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-09/sussan-ley-stands-aside-over-travel-expenses/8169410||Ley was forced to stand aside for this rort.|
|Abbott’s farewell (November 2019) – after he was ejected from office by his own electorate. Numerous LNP members including Dutton, Abetz and Andrews attended this private event and claimed travel expenses – subsequently claiming they also conducted official business but refused to say what that business was. ACT Senator Zed Seselja also flew to Sydney that day but refused to even say if he attended||This is a clear case where the rules were rorted for private pleasure and MPs claimed they were on business but refused to say what that business was.|
|Joyce had claimed $3600 in expenses for his and his wife’s flight to Perth the day before the couple boarded a private jet to Hyderabad for the wedding of the granddaughter of Gina Rinehart’s business partner. The spokeswoman said Joyce and his wife attended “a range of official meetings with businesspeople and Senate colleagues” in Perth, for which he also claimed $350 in travelling allowance.||Joyce justified his free taxpayer funded trip to allow him to connect with a flight to attend a wedding on the basis of having business meetings.|
|“Mr Simpkins did not respond to questions” asked by a Sydney Morning Herald reporter. The wife and two daughters of the WA Liberal MP Luke Simpkins had flown to and from Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, at a cost to taxpayers of $5100, while the MP attended hearings in April 2015. The airfares for family members to Cocos, a coral atoll of 27 islands billed as “Australia’s last unspoilt paradise”, appeared to have been funded under “family reunion” provisions. Yet travel records suggest Mr Simpkins spent the previous week in his electorate, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.||Justifying travel for family on the basis of family reunion when he had been home the entire previous seek|
|Joyce had spent more than $18,000 of taxpayer funds travelling to Armidale and Tamworth as a Queensland senator when he was trying to win the lower house seat of New England. According to Guardian Australia, he also used a VIP 34 squadron jet to fly back to Canberra following his televised election campaign debate with Tony Windsor in March 2016 at an estimated cost of more than $20,000.||Using taxpayer funds for party business (to get re-elected)|
|David Bushby billed taxpayers $863 for flights from Hobart to Melbourne and back again to watch the same AFL Grand Final.||Taxpayer funds for personal business|
|Stuart Robert, Dan Tehan and Simon Birmingham According to Guardian Australia, the three Liberal Cabinet ministers travelled on the public’s purse at a cost of more than $4500 to attend the $10,000-a-head Liberal party fundraiser in Sydney in September last year. At the fundraiser, hosted by Channel Nine, politicians reportedly mingled with mining and banking donors.||Using taxpayer funds to attend fundraising effects|
|Steve Ciobi charged taxpayers $1,102 for an airfare to watch the 2013 AFL Grand Final.||Taxpayer funds for personal business|
|THE STATEMENT||THE REALITY|
|Mr Abbott claimed that carbon trading schemes around the world were “being discarded, not adopted”.||The claim was untrue|
|It is actually a criminal offence to attack a serving royal commissioner. It is actually a criminal offence,” Mr Abbott told Question Time on August 19, 2015.||Untrue|
|Abbott claimed a previous Labor government “ran up a $667 billion dollar debt”.|
|The claims were based on not comparing like with like, using different sets of figures to make false comparisons|
|‘From time immemorial, in every culture that’s been known, marriage or that kind of solemnised relationship has been between a man and a woman,” Mr Abbott said on October 25, 2013. This claim is factually incorrect – there is a large body of academic work showing that solemnised relationships have not always been between a man and a woman|
|This was untrue|
|Asylum seekers attempting to come to Australia are breaking Australian Law|
This claim is incorrect – Australian law allows people to come and claim asylum in Australia
|Abbott stated that 74000 ha of land that the Government was attempting to remove from the world heritage area was not pristine. In fact 85% had never been logged|
In fact only a tiny part had been logged or was plantation and UNESCO does not require an area to be pristine to be listed for world heritage
|Misleading if not false|
|INCOMPETENCE AND ABDICATION OF RESPONSIBILITY|
|AGED CAREhttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/20/the-new-aged-care-watchdog-is-like-shifting-the-deckchairs-on-the-titanic||The failings of the aged care system, a Federal responsibility, led directly to the deaths of several hundred people in aged care homes. Despite the fact that this was and is a federal responsibility the Commonwealth Government left the states to address the failings of the system; failings that are a direct result of underfunding, lack of overview, privatisation and other factors dating back to Howard’s Aged Care Act 1997|
This act was designed promote the neo-liberal policies of privatised care, introducing a profit motive into a social service. (Neo-liberal policies seek to shift what were functions of the state to the private sector and the individual.)
Australia provides a good example of the complete failure of this model which deliberately removed accountability, keeping data on aged care performance secret, reducing staff numbers and overview of the aged care sector.
The dean and head of the University of South Australia’s law school Wendy Lacey has slammed the Aged Care Act, arguing that there is “a complete absence of any positive and mandatory legal obligation on the part of facilities to take proactive measures to promote mental health and wellbeing of their residents”.
|ROBODEBT||This issue is largely outlined in the section on criminality, above. In summary the Government developed a program that was not only illegal but entirely incompetently administered. Despite multiple warnings and the rising number of suicides from welfare claimants who were asked to pay back debts they never owed, the Government failed to do anything to revise a program that in both its concept and implementation was entirely incompetent.|
|QUARANTINE||Quarantine is a Federal responsibility. Throughout the COVID pandemic, however, the Federal Government not only completely abdicated its responsibilities to the states but where it did act in any way it was largely to simply demonstrate its complete lack of competence. This varied from its inability to bring the 30,000 Australians stranded overseas home; a direct consequence of its complete lack of planning and refusal to countenance developing specific quarantine facilities similar to those in the Northern Territory, to its role in the Ruby Princess fiasco|
|VACCINES||The Federal Goverment promised that Australia was “at the head of the queue” for COVID vaccines. It stated that 4 million Australians would be vaccinated by the end of March – when in fact the figure will be less than a tenth of that at around 400,000. In fact Australia is at the rear of the queue with dozens of countries ahead some having vaccinated almost their entire population before Australia has even started.|
|BUSHFIRES OF BLACK SUMMER 2019||The level of incompetence and abdication of responsibility is demonstrated by a myriad examples from the failure to listen to the bushfire experts and to adequately equip the fire services with sufficient equipment, especially fire fighting planes, to the absence of the PM on holidays in Hawaii at the height of one the greatest disasters ever to befall Australia. On top of this there was the lying and deceit about his whereabouts and the abject failures to assist victims of the fires post disaster|