From a legal perspective, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian delivered a gala performance at ICAC. Citing a loss of memory more than 150 times to questions put by counsel allowed the Premier to distance herself from implications that she may have had knowledge of Daryl Maguire’s corruption. Daniel Anstey reports.
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So much for sovereignty. Australia is locked out of repairing key US components of our submarines’ computer systems, and the government has committed our fleet to the extraordinarily dangerous role of helping the US conduct surveillance in the South China Sea. Brian Toohey reports.
Attorney General Christian Porter failed to disclose his use of controversial National Security Information (NSI) orders in criminal proceedings, blaming an “administrative oversight”.
Barnaby Joyce signed off $80m for Angus Taylor’s old company after zero was paid for same sort of water nearby
Same water, same valuer, $80m and nought. The same type of water licences for irrigation properties near those for which the Coalition government paid $80 million in 2017 were valued at zero between 2008 and 2010, writes investigative reporter Kerry Brewster
Christian Porter is waging war against Bernard Collaery and his client in pushing the line that the sky will fall in if the Commonwealth has to admit in open court that ASIS bugged Timor-Leste officials. Yet the allegation has been noted in hundreds of reports and nobody seems in any doubt it is true. Lawyer Ian Cunliffe reports on the latest judgment in the saga that has cost nearly $2.5 million before the trial has even started.
Barnaby’s Boondoggle: documents reveal $80m price for ‘Watergate’ licences was nearly twice valuation
The Coalition paid the tax haven-linked Eastern Australia Agriculture nearly double what independent valuers recommended for water licences. Most of the record $80 million from the sale ended up with a Cayman Islands company established by Energy Minister Angus Taylor. Investigative journalist Kerry Brewster has this exclusive report.
Dr Sarah Russell critically examines two documents that Scott Morrison asserts were the federal government’s pandemic plan for aged care. The first is a set of vague guidelines that places responsibility for protecting residents on individual providers. The second is a plan for the health sector, not aged care.
From Robodebt to Ruby Princess, politicians are past masters at ducking responsibility, though busy prosecuting their perceived foes. Will they stop at nothing to avoid being accountable, asks Elizabeth Minter. Taxpayers are on the hook for $3 million in court costs fighting whistleblowers, and threatened High Court action to stop a federal employee giving evidence to the Ruby Princess Inquiry. All the while, in the absence of a federal anti-corruption commission, the political scandals unfold, and pass without consequence.
‘Sham inquiry’: calls grow for proper investigation into scandal-ridden NSW workers’ insurance scheme icare
The publicly owned workers compensation scheme paid for a right-wing US political operative to work in Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s office. Instead of ordering a judicial inquiry into the scandal, Premier Gladys Berejiklian continues to stand by her man, writes Wendy Bacon.
Robodebt: changes to Criminal Code pave way for action against lawyers who vigorously defend clients
The Commonwealth has been extremely cruel to Centrelink recipients but there’s no suggestion that those who designed and implemented Robodebt will face any punishment. Yet lawyers who unwittingly cause distress to public officials when defending clients could face criminal charges.
Trump is adding to the US sanctions list at a rate never seen before, without Congressional oversight or the requirement to produce evidence. Sanctioning the International Criminal Court over its unanimous ruling to investigate US military personnel for alleged war crimes could see the names of victims of war crimes added to a list previously reserved for terrorists, war criminals, dictators and international drug lords.
If it’s good enough for tennis stars and entertainers, it’s good enough for multinational tax avoiders and consultants. Michael West addresses the Senate Inquiry into Finance and Public Administration today. This is an edited version of the opening statement to the Committee which oversees public accountability in which he calls for measures to protect Australian taxpayers from reckless spending and opaque disclosure.
Only one member of the Australian media questioned Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s narrative about the “innocent” failure of Kevin Rudd’s Closing the Gap scheme. This failure of accountability from all major Australian media outlets skirts over the $1 billion in funding cut from Indigenous services. Callum Foote lays down the real numbers in this investigation of yet another instance of media succumbing to Government public relations narratives.
Decode China, a new China news service in Australia is funded by the US State Department and has links to Falun Gong and ASPI, which is funded also by US arms manufacturers.
The wife of former Chief of Army Peter Leahy is a director of a company that earned $2.2 million in revenue from federal government contracts before Leahy resigned as Chief.
Our QED database includes dozens of examples of dubious travel claims made by politicians. But what is more concerning than the apparent inappropriate use of public funds is the MPs’ lack of accountability and their arrogant treatment of the fourth estate – the journalists holding power to account. Elizabeth Minter reports.
Coalition pork-barrelling during the 2013 and 2016 election campaigns included awarding “zombie” grants that had no hope in Hades of getting off the ground. Yet those grant applications are still on the books just waiting to be revived. How many grants from the 2019 election await a similar fate? Jommy Tee investigates.
Is AI Group just a front for big business and foreign weapons manufacturers? Michael West reports on the rise of government and business propaganda outfits who are suddenly mute when the subject turns to the delicate matter of who funds them.
It is simply implausible that the Queen did not know that John Kerr was planning to sack Gough Whitlam, writes John Menadue. She may not have known the detail of the coup in progress, but she knew the substance.
ACT remote weapons systems manufacturer, Electro Optic Systems Holdings, which has hitched its wagon to countries known to be engaged in gross violations of human rights and likely war crimes, wins big from the Coalition’s weapons announcement on eve of by-election, writes Michelle Fahy.
Funded by the Department of Defence, the Australia Strategic Policy Institute collects millions more as it drives the “China threat” narrative. As Marcus Reubenstein reports, while ASPI is the media’s go-to experts for public comment, ASPI is remarkably coy about revealing all its funding sources.
Fears of China buying up the country run deep, with opportunistic politicians and commentators long showing a willingness to not let “facts” get in the way of the truth. And the facts are that: China’s land interests are predominantly leasehold, it owns just 2% of foreign investment stock and is subject to a much lower threshold test. With the Australia-China relationship at a low ebb, it is time to call out this destructive tactic, writes James Laurenceson.
Labour hire companies hit pay dirt in the commonwealth public service but workers pay a high price, with underpayment of wages just one. Promotions withheld unless staff sever ties with the public service or signing up to privatised contracts are just some of the other disturbing employment conditions. Michael West reports.
Concerns are being raised about the ‘boofhead diplomacy’ being conducted at the highest levels of China/Australia relations. But apart from the Murdoch tabloids urging all and sundry to call out China whatever the cost, who else is in their camp? Hamish McDonald finds out .
University of Wollongong ‘six weeks away’ from disaster unless staff accept large pay cuts, job losses
University of Wollongong scademics are arguing they shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of poor decisions by executives whose pay has risen by 50% in 10 years.
As part of her series of investigations into the close links between the military industry and politics, Michelle Fahy reports on former weapons chief executive for BAE, Jim McDowell, who is now at the centre of government in the Defence State, South Australia.