Shock news!- Prmeier Barry O Farrell has fallen on his sword and resigned

 
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
No ICAC is doing it's job, It's Job is to seek and find out corruption in the pollies, I say give them more power

Kind Regards

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  waxyzebu Locomotive Driver

You'd have to conclude that the bloke either wasn't very bright or that he was slightly demented... OR anxious to hide any embarrassing conflict of interest. Take your pick. As we discussed earlier, you can't declare a new broom sweeps clean while secretly accepting expensive gifts from rent-seekers; it shows just how hollow that promise was only a month into his election as premier.

And Bruce Baird (father of the new premier of NSW) wants ICAC reigned in? Of course he does - Mike Baird appointed Nick Di Girolamo to the board of State Water in 2011 and that's something they're yet to discuss at ICAC. What's the bet there was some influence-pedalling going on there too?

Those ICAC people are out of control - sack the lot of them and let us get on with running the place in the way that we're accustomed !
don_dunstan


Mike Baird is making familiar promises, admitting past mistakes and committing to clamp down on lobbyists, whatever the hell that actually means... but with an ICAC question mark also hanging over his head, why should anyone believe a word he says?

The office of Premier of NSW has been thoroughly trashed by the events of the last few years, many of which are linked to Obeid. The title means nothing anymore. I doubt Baird the investment banker will fix anything.

Those poor politicians, sick and tired of having their reputations ruined by ICAC. Would they rather an angry mob on the streets?
They must wish they could shut down ICAC, but they know it would be a hard sell, not that they care what the public thinks outside election campaigns.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Interesting reading this Fairfax story about Mike Baird when he was first put into his role as Treasurer of NSW in 2011.

It's worth noting that he went to Kings in Sydney when the family arrived home from his dad's posting as Aussie High Commissioner in NYC. I'm betting Kings has produced quite a few NSW politicians... It's a bit like Baillieu, Kennett, Brumby and Bracks here in Victoria - they all went to the same private boys schools, like they were all made by the same machine. Maybe it's this 'mates factory' that's part of the problem.

Do you think the Liberal/Labor machine might try something different one day? I'm guessing 'no'.
  waxyzebu Locomotive Driver

Interesting reading this Fairfax story about Mike Baird when he was first put into his role as Treasurer of NSW in 2011.

It's worth noting that he went to Kings in Sydney when the family arrived home from his dad's posting as Aussie High Commissioner in NYC. I'm betting Kings has produced quite a few NSW politicians... It's a bit like Baillieu, Kennett, Brumby and Bracks here in Victoria - they all went to the same private boys schools, like they were all made by the same machine. Maybe it's this 'mates factory' that's part of the problem.

Do you think the Liberal/Labor machine might try something different one day? I'm guessing 'no'.
don_dunstan


They'll guard the status quo as long as they can. Make big announcements and superficial changes to get people off the scent, but that's about it, as I said in an earlier post. Behind the scenes it will be business as usual. The whole system is broken due to a deeply entrenched corrupt political culture, political parties infiltrated by agents of big business and party heavies/politicians willing to take money from big business in return for favours. Even if donations were ruled out by new laws, that would not be the end of the story.

Privatisation makes it even worse. Government bureaucracies are not immune to corruption but even so, if they had monopolies on certain things like utilities, public works etc there would be less room for private companies like Australian Water Holdings to be throwing their weight around in the back rooms of the ALP and Liberal Party. They can't have that though - then it would be harder to get rich ripping off the State for tens of millions, investing in companies involved in PPPs and outsourcing of essential services. The ALP would also be more reliant on unions for party donations. The global banking system would fight against renationalisation with threats of dropping credit ratings, higher interest rates, and the media campaign would be enormous, full of fluff about efficiency, competition, higher prices but ignore the cartels, cabals, inefficiencies and social problems of a fully outsourced, subsidised system, the obscene executive salaries and skeleton blue collar labour on contracts with no job security... along with plenty of hungry unemployed people waiting to snap up vacancies when people get sacked or drop dead. Oh, but privatisation leads to lower prices, they say. Even if it does (which is not always the case), with lower pay and less job security, it's just as well... The closer you look at what really happens under privatisation/outsourcing, the less attractive it is - unless you're an Obeid/Di Girolamo/Sinodinos and the list goes on.

Mike Baird will think and act like a banker.
Now, privatisation is presented as the only way of improving public services.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-premier-mike-baird-shares-his-private-views-20140419-36xsy.html#ixzz2zNYuYvxu

Privatising hospitals is a dangerous new development, but Mr Baird says, "don't be afraid of the private sector".
Yeah right - you can go and get effed!

One comment on this article read, Hypocrisy is a hallmark of the fundamentalist.

Let's see his Christian values shine through, if he can remember any of them.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
ALTHOUGH I agree with you that privatisation doesn't fundamentally deliver what it promises (lower prices for end consumers) I'm not convinced that having things in public ownership necessarily reduces corruption.  Case in point is the appointment of Nick Di Girolamo to the board of State Water; ultimately there's probably nothing wrong with the way he was appointed to that position but the whole reason AWS was out there rent seeking from the NSW government was because Sydney Water was plaything of the politicians.

The other part of your post I think rings true for me though - banks and super funds won't allow governments hold onto any substantial assets now-days because there's so much money sloshing around looking for 'safe' investments (especially monopoly infrastructure).
  waxyzebu Locomotive Driver

ALTHOUGH I agree with you that privatisation doesn't fundamentally deliver what it promises (lower prices for end consumers) I'm not convinced that having things in public ownership necessarily reduces corruption.
don_dunstan

My basic point was that the more governments are open to outsourcing/PPPs for essential public services, the more room there is for corrupt deals to go down that end up wasting taxpayers' money for the benefit of a few corrupt rent seekers and their cronies. That's not to say government bureaucratic monopolies are immune to corruption or cheap to run, but if it's understood that no contracts are being given out to private companies to run public services, they won't be lobbying for it (as much). I know that's not the world we live in because outsourcing and PPPs are considered perfectly acceptable by most of the governing class in this country and the general population quickly forgets the horror stories. I also understand it's hard to have all resources in-house in a modern government entity. The railways offer similar examples, going from having almost everything in-house to almost nothing. Many private companies went the same way.


Case in point is the appointment of Nick Di Girolamo to the board of State Water; ultimately there's probably nothing wrong with the way he was appointed to that position but the whole reason AWS was out there rent seeking from the NSW government was because Sydney Water was plaything of the politicians.


NDG's appointment to State Water Corporation was a "mistake" and possibly an example of corruption in a government bureaucracy, but State Water and Sydney Water are not really absolute, vertically integrated monopolies because they outsource and there apparently have been moves to introduce more competition into the water supply market. It's not hard to imagine that Di Girolamo wanted to be on the board to influence decisions about future AWH proposals or possibly other scams yet to emerge. If Nick had his way, both entities would have been outsourcing or PPPing with Australian Water Holdings.

If the government water board was going to do AWH's work as a fully in-house project with no possibility of outsourcing, Nick would have had less/no reason to be there (except for taking a hundred grand a year for doing 5/8's of f*** all).


The other part of your post I think rings true for me though - banks and super funds won't allow governments hold onto any substantial assets now-days because there's so much money sloshing around looking for 'safe' investments (especially monopoly infrastructure).

My point exactly - the financial system will resist nationalisation and pressure governments to privatise/PPP because it's good for them, not us. Isn't it ironic that despite their claims of competition and reduced prices, they seem to like putting their money into safe essential service monopolies where they can feed off taxpayers?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
You're always going to have rent-seekers milling around where-ever there's things like outsourcing, contracting and buckets of government money being spent. The trick is for people like Mike Baird to actually follow through with what's been repeatedly promised and MANAGE this situation so that people like AWH and their connections don't infiltrate the government decision-making process like they so obviously already have.

Speaking of AWH, it's really hard to work out what their purpose actually was apart from schmoozing with politicians and claiming expenses from their own lobbying of Sydney Water. Not even Arthur Sinodinos seems to know what the company was actually about and he was in charge of the bloody thing, drawing down a $200,000 executive salary. So clueless was the nominal head of AWH that he apparently didn't even know that his own company had donated $75,000 to the Liberal Party, of which he was a former treasurer... gosh, all these executive memory losses in NSW, there must be something in the water...
  waxyzebu Locomotive Driver

You're always going to have rent-seekers milling around where-ever there's things like outsourcing, contracting and buckets of government money being spent. The trick is for people like Mike Baird to actually follow through with what's been repeatedly promised and MANAGE this situation so that people like AWH and their connections don't infiltrate the government decision-making process like they so obviously already have.
don_dunstan

Really enforcing changes like that would radically alter the nature of the two big parties and politics in general. It would be like amputating both legs. Given that these guys are products of the same machine, I find it hard to believe they will be able to go through with it beyond superficial changes. If donations are restricted they can come up with new methods of laundering secret gratuities, payoffs and kickbacks that will take years to uncover if they ever come to light. And the machine would go on, irrespective of whether a few pollies and powerbrokers occasionally fell on their swords.


Speaking of AWH, it's really hard to work out what their purpose actually was apart from schmoozing with politicians and claiming expenses from their own lobbying of Sydney Water. Not even Arthur Sinodinos seems to know what the company was actually about and he was in charge of the bloody thing, drawing down a $200,000 executive salary. So clueless was the nominal head of AWH that he apparently didn't even know that his own company had donated $75,000 to the Liberal Party, of which he was a former treasurer... gosh, all these executive memory losses in NSW, there must be something in the water...

Apparently Australian Water Holdings started as a not for profit organisation in the 90s that was able to claim expenses from the Water Board for its operations but not earn profit. Di Girolamo, a lawyer, got involved after he bought a horse with John Rippon, an AWH director. He noticed that the contract with Sydney Water was worded carelessly and could be exploited firstly as a cash cow to fund a lavish lifetsyle, but there was also a possibility of getting for-profit contracts with Sydney Water without going through a tender process. So, they were out for whatever they could get. No doubt if they had won any serious for-profit contracts they would themselves have been outsourcing given how small the company was. It seems Sydney Water was hostile towards AWH from the outset, which is probably just as well. AWH then tried to bypass Sydney Water executives by lobbying in the back rooms of the ALP, then to hedge their bets they also donated to the Liberals and got Liberal MP Chris Hartcher to throw in a false corruption complaint against obstructionist Sydney Water bureaucrats Kerry Schott and Ron Quill for good measure. Nasty bastards.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

It's worth noting that he went to Kings in Sydney when the family arrived home from his dad's posting as Aussie High Commissioner in NYC. I'm betting Kings has produced quite a few NSW politicians... It's a bit like Baillieu, Kennett, Brumby and Bracks here in Victoria - they all went to the same private boys schools, like they were all made by the same machine. Maybe it's this 'mates factory' that's part of the problem.
don_dunstan

Google/Wikipedia is your friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_old_boys_of_The_King%27s_School,_Parramatta

A few prominent politicians there, although more from the pastoralist/squattocracy ilk.

It's nothing like England where half of the "Who's Who" there went to Eton.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Brad Hazzard (yep, he certainly is a Hazard!) has been dumped from Minister for Planning (the "Minister for Developers and Mine Extension & Approval Board! Laughing) )

Pru Goward now Minister for Planning.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...Let's see his Christian values shine through, if he can remember any of them.
waxyzebu


The JC I know wouldn't be too impressed with a mob that encourages elitism, materialism and intolerance.

To quote Josh from "The West Wing"...  "the God you pray to is too busy being indicted for tax fraud!"
Touche Laughing
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The JC I know wouldn't be too impressed with a mob that encourages elitism, materialism and intolerance.
Groundrelay

If you read Mike Baird's bio he seriously considered becoming a minister of religion for a long time (like Tony Abbott) but ultimately thought he would do more good in the community as a politician.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Really enforcing changes like that would radically alter the nature of the two big parties and politics in general. It would be like amputating both legs. Given that these guys are products of the same machine, I find it hard to believe they will be able to go through with it beyond superficial changes. If donations are restricted they can come up with new methods of laundering secret gratuities, payoffs and kickbacks that will take years to uncover if they ever come to light. And the machine would go on, irrespective of whether a few pollies and powerbrokers occasionally fell on their swords.
waxyzebu

This current ICAC thing is only a small peek into that world - I'm sure if we fully lifted up the piece of corrugated iron we'd find all sorts of creatures that don't like seeing the light of day.

In Victoria (as I'm sure is the case in NSW) it's developers that are the real problem - way too much slithering between real estate/property development and politics going on and too much money sloshing around when it comes to getting things rezoned. Case in point is the recent approval here in Victoria of a big residential development around Port Melbourne to replace those pesky dying manufacturing businesses there. And I've heard a rumour that there's quite a few prominent Victorians who might stand to benefit from that particular rezoning... you know the rest of the story.

The problem is that pollies just can't help but speak out in favour of interests that directly affect their own hip pockets... they get caught up in this kleptocracy habit once in office that they just can't help 'working their networks' and after a while they feel they're entitled to every bit of insider advantage they can get. Last year (for example) Jeff Kennett came out of retirement to be very vocal about proposed issuing of more taxi licenses at public auction here in Melbourne because it would hurt poor innocent hard-working families who own taxi licenses. And whose family do you think happened to own some taxi licenses !

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