Australian Politics, Mark II


Lack of training and decimation of FOI teams does not help.


I’ve just heard that the “Government” have funded Cash’s defence to the tune of $300,000 — of taxpayers’ money. If true, that’s a gross misuse of public funds, tantamount to embezzlement.


The staggering cost of defending incompetence

Kaye Lee

When it was revealed last year that taxpayers had shelled out more than $825 million on lawyers in 2016-17, Attorney-General Christian Porter said he was “taking a particular interest in the expenditure of funds on legal services, applying very close scrutiny to each and every application that comes before me for approval.”

That being the case, one wonders how he can justify approving over $288,000 in legal costs (so far) for Michaelia Cash when all she has done is provide the police with a copy of Hansard and then turn up for one day in court to say “refer to what I said in Hansard”.

Cash is not facing any charges, she was merely a witness who had nothing to say. So why does she need a defence team?

And let’s not forget how much Cash’s stellar decision to appoint Nigel Hadgkiss as head of the new ABCC cost us despite being aware that he was facing charges of breaching the Fair Work Act himself. His ultimately unsuccessful defence cost a staggering $436,000 in legal fees paid for by us.

The previous Attorney-General, George Brandis, spent three year’s fighting to keep his ministerial diary secret at a cost to taxpayers of over $168,000, just to avoid showing he had not met with community stakeholders before he slashed legal aid.

We have also paid out millions in compensation to people the government has harmed including the Save the Children staff defamed by our current PM and $70 million (plus costs) to the men illegally incarcerated on Manus Island.

And there are more to come.

In January last year it was reported that “A backlog of 26 compensation claims from asylum seekers and the Immigration department’s own staff cost the government $230,000 in legal fees and “case management costs” last financial year” despite none of them having been resolved.

At Senate estimates last October, the Department of Home Affairs also revealed it has spent almost half a million dollars in legal fees in three months responding to court applications for urgent medical transfers of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru.

These few examples are by no means exhaustive, just an indication of how willing this government is to waste money to avoid scrutiny and to defend the indefensible.


Misuse of public funds is a cornerstone of LNP philosophy and policy.


Pliba doing the NPC Address today.


Have you all remembered to pay for your holiday?

Seems as though more names will come out today of those who also forgot to pay!


The Cash statement to the AFP was nothing more than a copy of the Hansard transcript of her answers in Senate Estimates - answers which were factually incorrect . Wong had asked her to correct the Hansard records.
Cash is not only treating the Senate with contempt, but also judicial processes. As was clear from the AFP answers at Senate Estimates, the AFP is not going to take the blame on this.


Cash is about as slimy, and as entitled, as they come.


She is Julie Bishop with out the veneer of competence


Signs that public servants stepping back from Ministers and telling it how it is.
In addition to the AFP evidence on the Cash saga, the AFP clarified that Home Affairs had not told AFP of the soccer player’s refugee status until after the event.
In regard to the ASIO/Home Affairs briefing leaked to the Australian - which the Government had bandied about as casting the medevac bill as an invitation to people smugglers - ASIO claimed that its advice was very narrow and was misrepresented. Home Affairs said that its advice related to the earlier bill passed by the Senate, NOT the amended bill passed by both Houses.
Public Service has been stung by criticism that they are only acting for the government. They are also looking to a possible change of government.


Public Service do act for the Government, that is their job.

Fortunately though, especially when Government is broken and dysfunctional the Public Service still manage to keep the wheels turning.


She’s been quiet lately…


They serve the government of the day without fear or favour and may represent the government in some areas, but are not not government actors and their role at Senate Estimates is not to represent the government.


Their role at Senate Estimate Committee is to answer any questions asked truthfully. They only represent themselves, as if they lie then they can go to jail.


They represent their deparment


So who is in the shiite when they don’t or won’t give an answer. Not the Department Head, name the last one of them that went to jail.

In fact, under the rules that apply to Ombudsmen, so-called anti Corruption bodies and other such tyrants in Victoria, you are not allowed even to tell your Boss or your Husband/Wife where you are.


And gone


Are Labor giving victory speeches in parliament already?


Parliament is sitting?


Pfft. As if that would ever happen!

Remember all those lies McDevitt told to the Senate Committee? Even the written replies contained lies.

He was never called to even explain or retract the lies, let alone being charged with contempt of Parliament, perjury or whatever.

And I will remind you that it was a Labor man who — in a move that I think may well be unprecedented — declared what the government’s position was on the matter, and was not overruled by Tories there present.