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EYE-BALL Opinion – QLD ALP Badguys land plum jobs – Gillard continues to add to the mediocrity –

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Title:
– QLD ALP Badguys land plum jobs –
– Gillard continues to add to the mediocrity –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 5th Dec 2012 |
The Christmas break always brings interesting political events – i.e. yesterday saw announcements of former QLD ALP politicians being appointed to plumb cushy bureaucratic jobs, and the corrupt MP Craig Thompson fronted the criminal court over his HSU charges.

Anna Bligh lands plumb job:

The Gillard Government announced a number of Political appointments in recent weeks – none more important that the Anna Bligh to Medicare’s Board.  The scrutiny behind the selection criteria for these appointments has to be questioned, as does the political accountability given Bligh’s resignation from her seat only days after the QLD election.

Read the story first –

Bligh joins Medibank board


| Author: David Crowe | Date: Dec 5th, 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

THE Gillard government has made its third move within four weeks to elevate a state Labor ally to a key federal post, naming former Queensland premier Anna Bligh to the board of Medibank Private.

Ms Bligh will take up the post within weeks for a term of three years, collecting a package worth up to $90,000 a year to help oversee the federal government’s health insurer.

Finance Minister Penny Wong announced the appointment yesterday as one of three changes to Medibank, a priority target for privatisation if a Coalition government takes power at the next election.

The move follows the Gillard government’s appointment of former Queensland treasurer Andrew Fraser and former attorney-general Cameron Dick to other federal posts in recent weeks.

Mr Fraser gained a two-year position on the Australian Sports Commission board early last month, joining business and sport executives who oversee millions of dollars in grants. He was Queensland treasurer from September 2007 until Labor lost the state election earlier this year.

Mr Dick, a former state minister for industrial relations and education as well as attorney-general, was last week named the new chairman of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission for three years.

Before becoming premier Ms Bligh had been deputy premier with responsibility for finance, state development, trade and innovation, and prior to that held portfolios including education, families, community care and disability services.

Ms Bligh becomes the only former politician on the Medibank board, which is chaired by former Howard government cabinet secretary Paul McClintock.

Medibank directors receive from $74,000 to $89,000 over the year in cash, superannuation and non-monetary benefits, according to the health insurer’s last annual report.

Senator Wong also announced that Medibank director Cherrell Hirst would continue on the board for a further three years.

She thanked another director, Philip Twyman, who leaves the board after five years.

The integrity and political judgement of these postings has to be questioned –

Anna Bligh earlier this year won her seat in the QLD election – she led the ALP to a record defeat with he rALP only winning 7 seats in the 80+ member House.  It was a sound message from the QLD electorate that they have had enough of ALP.

Within days of her re-election, Bligh resigned as Leader of the ALP and told all that she wanted to resign from the Parliament.

This was a gross abdication of responsibility to all who voter for her re-election. The resultant by-election cost the QLD taxpayers $100’s thousands.   Bligh on the other hand banked her mulit-million dollar Parliamentary pension and walked away from her pre-election, and declared intent to all QLD’s to represent them for another four years if elected.

With the humiliation of the election defeat Bligh chose the weakest option – rather then front parliament in Opposition and be accountable for all the past deeds during her term – she chose the piss-ant option to walk away.  Why should that gutless action be rewarded with a plumb job on a Government Board?

How can Gillard reward Bligh for such a humiliation loss?  It is symbolic of all that is wrong with these Parliamentary appointments.

Bligh has not been the only appointment to plumb Governemnt jobs for QLD ALP MP defeated at the last election.  The depth of favours to ex MP’s has to have a justification – what is it?

The former QLD Treasure Andrew Fraser who oversaw the massive QLD budget blowouts, and plunged the State into debt numbers never before seen in QLD – what could he bring to the table on any Public entity Board?

The other appointment referenced in the story was that of former State Minister for Industrial Relations and Education – Mr Dick.  Again, a ‘jobs for the boys’ appointment.

I don’t care what the credentials are of these tried and rejected politicians with legacies that will cost QLD’s for decades to come – I want an answer to a question about what makes these appointees deserving of $100k a year type appointments purely because of past loyalty to the ALP?

Craig Thompson learns from Gillard – deny everything!

Another Christmas story the ALP hoped would go unnoticed was the Craig Thompson court case over the HSU allegations.  Who knew his court case was on this week – some journo’s did and they covered the story.

Thomson denies credit card claims


| Author: Not declared | Date: Dec 5th, 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

Independent MP Craig Thomson has formally denied using union credit cards to pay for prostitutes and says he should avoid civil penalties because most of the accusations against him were made outside the legal time limit.

Mr Thomson lodged his defence papers in the Federal Court on Tuesday in response to the Fair Work Australia (FWA) claims he misused union funds while he was national secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) between 2002 and 2007.

In his 28-page submission, he denies using union-issued credit cards to spend thousands of dollars on prostitutes while travelling on union business in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

He also denies using the cards to pay for flights and accommodation for his wife and family and for cash withdrawals and other personal expenses and says he did not act contrary to the financial management and governance of entities such as HSU.

But the suspended Labor MP says the vast majority of FWA’s accusations were made outside the six-year Statute of Limitations.

‘Ordinarily it’s six years. Six years before October 2012 is, unless there’s some unusual reason which no one has advanced, the limit. Nothing before that is relevant,’ Mr Thomson’s lawyer Chris McArdle said.

The vast majority of accusations made by FWA, including all claims relating to prostitutes, relate to the period before October, 2006.

But several accusations, most relating to flights and cash withdrawals, fall between then and the time he left the union in December, 2007.

However, Mr McArdle believes FWA’s claims will be whittled down even further if a case currently being heard by the full bench of the Federal Court in relation to Toyota finds the limitations only go back two years.

Opposition frontbencher Eric Abetz warned in October that FWA would have much to answer for if Mr Thomson avoided civil penalties because it took too long to bring the matters to court.

FWA has taken civil action against Mr Thomson, alleging 37 breaches of workplace laws and 25 breaches of HSU rules.

Mr Thomson, however, has denied any breaches and does not even admit being issued with the Diners Club card and Commonwealth Bank Mastercard he’s alleged to have used for purchases including prostitutes from various escort services, including A Touch of Class, Tiffany’s and The Boardroom in Sydney.

Mr Thomson was elected in 2007 as the Labor MP for the NSW seat of Dobell, but was suspended from the party in April and moved to the cross benches following the release of the FWA report in April this year.

FWA has until December 20 to reply to Mr Thomson’s defence.

The matter is listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Court on February 1, 2013.

The story was reported in a number of Media publications.

The ‘time constraints’ argument put forward by Thompson’s defence team is a hail-mary.  The statute of limitations can be a real issue – my information is that the statue is frozen from the time the crime is discovered and investigations commence – the FWA commenced their investigation into the corruption some 3+ years ago, and takes the statute back to 2008-9 and six years before that time.

The reasons for the 3+ years to complete the FWA investigation will also come under some scrutiny. There are plenty who would argue that it was designed in its length to protect the minority Government numbers from 2010.

As for Thompson’s statement denying all charges – that is a reproduction of Gillards AWU defense. Deny everything and dare anyone to provide proof.

The monkey show is set to continue next year when this matter and the Slipper judgement will again have the Gillard Leadership front and center.  The Slipper reserved judgement is still to be handed down and we can expect that will be released during this break as well.

Every day this Government remains in office the level of disgust increases.

On what basis can the Government justify the Bligh, Fraser, and Dick appointments when they were the only candidates considered?

What has happened to the selection panel process for Government appointments, or is it that the candidates on any panel are all chosen by the Government looking to reward friends of the party.

This type of nepotism has to be stamped out …

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  1. Barry M
    December 5, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Gillard and Labor obviously have no interest in holding seats in Qld let alone win any new ones. Bligh and Fraser are not held in high regard in Qld and both are receiving Taxpayer funded pensions that the public think they are not entitled to due to the poor financial state they left the State in. Giving them a cushy Board job with a further $90k a year of more Taxpayers money will not sit easy with most Qlder’s

  2. December 5, 2012 at 8:09 am

    New evidence reveals the FWA were holding up the Thompson investigation … see story linked here ..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/fwa-boss-hindered-probe-say-police/story-fndsip4d-1226530044043

  3. December 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Gillard announce today – 7th Dec ’12 – another ‘plumb job’ appointment – that of former Victorian Premier John Brunby to the head up the COAG reform Council – see story here: http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/brumby-to-head-coag-reform-council-20121207-2azbu.html

    Now some history for the John Brumby and Julia Gillard relationship – Brumby gave a comment recently about the reference he received from former Slater and Gordon Partner – Peter Gordon in the aftermath of Gillard’s dismissal in 1995-96, and in relation to her joining his staff in the Victorian Premier’s office.

    A case can easily be made to see how this new appointment was a favour for the recent comments in defence of Gillard’s ex-employer reference, and John Brumby speaking out about it – and the fact that with her career in tatters – John Brumby gave her a chance to rejoin the ALP fold.

    Who were the other candidates considered? There is no transparency on these types of appointments and this is something that has to change …

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