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EYE-BALL Opinion – Story 1: Election bets raise corruption issue again – Story 2: Prime Minister interferes in FOI request –


Latest ‘EYE-BALL Opinion’ Posts:

– 5th Feb – Obeid [Senior] Testimony – ALP doomed for years over endemic corruption issues –

– 5th Feb – ALP MP’s are divorced bedfellows – Simon Crean shows frighteningly poor judgement  –

– 4th Feb – Craig Thompson – his enemies grow – Brilliant Op Ed story by Paul Sheehan –

– 4th Feb – Government Policies in the Technology Age – Computer spend poor judgement –

– 3rd Feb – How close are we to Spain – Corruption leads to riots –

– 3rd Feb – Government a shambles – Gillard desperate – Whitlam era revisited …

– 30th Jan – Gillard clearly rattled by AWU scandal – does not want the Opposition pursuing her AWU involvement …

– 30th Jan – An AWU Scandal Review – including Alan Jones and Mike Smith Interviews –

– 28th Jan – Communications Minister Conroy  needs a POKE – one that will make him stand tall and take notice –

– 23rd Jan – A new low – Gillard buying Aboriginal Votes
– The fairness [or not] in Nova Peris’s appointment –

– 16th Jan – Claims of Climate Change Answers – Akin to Lucifer and the evil men do –

– 14th Jan – ALP Backbencher Andrew Leigh adds himself to the Idiot Brigade

– 13th Jan – 2013 Geo Political & Economic Predictions – Global uncertainty at post 9/11 high –

– 3rd Jan – Paul Howes joins the ‘idiot’ crowd  –
– He sees ‘lower interest rates’ as the answer –

– 27th Dec – Climate Change & The Human Factor  – The Silent Debate nobody wants to talk about –

– 17th Dec – American Gun Laws – will to change is just not there for Legislators

– 15th Dec – “International men of Mystery” – An Australian modern-day Bank Heist story –

– To see more EYE-BALL ‘Opinion’ posts:

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– Story1: Election bets raise corruption issue again –
– Story2: Prime Minister interferes in FOI request –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 5th Feb 2013 |
Election bets raise corruption issue again

The betting agency SportsBet has issued statements that they suspended betting ahead of the Gillard election announcement because suspicious activity occurred.

The ABC reported the following:

Suspicions raised after election betting plunge

| Author: Simon Lauder | Date: Feb 5th, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

There are suspicions someone with insider information of the federal election date may have tried to profit by placing bets on the date before it was announced.

Sportsbet says it shut down the market for the federal election date when it received a suspiciously high number of bets for a September poll on the morning Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced it.

Sportsbet’s Haydn Lane says the bets were not huge, but there were enough of them to raise suspicions.

“There was a couple of different punters having bets in the hundreds of dollars,” he said.

“With the odds being 167 into $1.50, you know, they’re standing to make either 67 per cent or 50 per cent return on their investment, so it wasn’t as though they were getting set to win thousands but certainly hundreds if accurate.

“But the reason we suspended betting, it was more to get an understanding of what’s happening, if there was any news or if there was potentially a leak, because with that particular market, there hadn’t been really much activity at all over the previous couple of weeks and then we start taking bet after bet.”

Mr Lane says there were only 10 bets placed but they raised suspicion because they were placed in such short succession.

“We obviously weren’t aware of any inside information, but the fact that we took bet after bet and again, there weren’t tens or hundreds of these bets, but they were in a succession,” he said.

“So the prudent thing for us to do was to suspend the market until we could get a better gauge of what was going on, hear of anything.

“As it turned out, there was an announcement shortly afterwards.”

Aside from a handful of political allies, Ms Gillard took most people by surprise last Wednesday when she announced the date of the election, which raises the question – who had the inside running?

But Mr Lane says it is of no great concern for Sportsbet.

“In this case we weren’t actually sure, but we thought the prudent thing to do was to suspend it and as it was, it was proven correct,” he said.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has drafted legislation which would ban betting on politics. He says it is open to corruption.

But Mr Lane says Sportsbet has safeguards in place to protect the integrity of political gambling.

“You could argue that some people had some inside information here and took advantage of that. What we do in that case is put low limits in place,” he said.

Regardless, Sportsbet has paid out on all bets for the election being held in September.

SportsBet have the account profiles of those who placed their bets – this should be thoroughly investigated and those found guilty of acting on inside information punished to the full extent of the law. This is the worst kind of corruption and any mitigation via the small amounts of the bets wagered has no relevance. All betting agencies betting sheets need to be investigated.

The leak can only go back to Gillard’s office and those she took into her confidence about the election decision. It is a small pool and again raises doubts of how Gillard’s judgement is in question when she has staff who seek to profit from her political decisions.

Prime Minister interferes in FOI request

Another indication to the length Gillard will go to protect herself and her position was reported in The Australian today. Hedley Thomas has been pursuing FOI documents and is being frustrated by Gillard and her office in preventing the release of documents requested.

Read Hedley Thomas story below:

Gillard’s office bats away FOI request

| Author: Hedley Thomas | Date: Feb 5th, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

JULIA Gillard’s office is blocking the release under Freedom of Information laws of a raft of documents generated by key staff and other taxpayer-funded officials last year in relation to the Australian Workers Union fraud scandal.

The documents include internal briefing papers, media-management strategies and correspondence with media executives and journalists. All of the material sought is directly related to the Prime Minister’s handling of the controversy that dogged her in the second half of last year.

Several of Ms Gillard’s most trusted advisers, including her communications director John McTernan, chief of staff Ben Hubbard and her then senior media adviser Sean Kelly, were directly involved in monitoring and managing fallout from the AWU revelations.

The staff research and advice also helped inform two media conferences, in August and November last year, in which Ms Gillard made statements and responded to questions about her role in providing legal advice to help her then client and boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, set up a union slush fund.

Ms Gillard has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said she had no knowledge of the workings of the AWU’s Workplace Reform Association.

The Prime Minister’s director of cabinet, Mathew Jose, has determined that no relevant documents sought under FOI would be made available to The Australian.

The Office of the Information Commissioner is now reviewing the decision by Mr Jose, who stated he was satisfied that “no official documents of a minister within the scope of your request exist in the possession of the Prime Minister or her office”.

Under FOI guidelines, the term “official document of a minister” does not extend to personal documents, (such as bank statements) or documents of a party-political nature (such as a strategy for the upcoming election).

Mr Jose concluded that in relation to the AWU matters, “the documents, if they exist, would be personal documents in that they would directly relate to alleged events that predated the Prime Minister’s election . . . and her subsequent appointment to ministerial office”.

The Australian two months ago made an FOI request for “all documents relating to media management, policy and and general advice over matters concerning the Prime Minister and the Australian Workers Union/law firm Slater & Gordon” from June 1, 2012.

The request sought only material generated recently at public expense by staff in Ms Gillard’s office. It asked for drafts of letters and email messages sent and received by the Prime Minister and her staff and external advisers to media outlets and executives, as well as talking points, drafts of speeches and internal question-and-answer notes.

The request sought documents about any advice on questions about any offences that may have been committed in the incorporation and use of the AWU Workplace Reform Association, or whether there have been any defamations of persons including the Prime Minister.

Ms Gillard has said she had been repeatedly defamed by suggestions she set up a slush fund, insisting that her role was limited to providing legal advice on the incorporation of the association.

The issue of FOI and Politicians controlling their release challenges the very fabric of democracy – open and transparent Government is the only think that makes Parliamentarians feel a sense of accountability.

If our Leaders can now quash documents from being released to the public – what do we have as a process of Government.  Gillard’s action challenge the very essence of our freedoms – the freedom for us to know what our Government is up to.

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Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s

The EYE-BALL Opinion …

  1. February 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    “EYE-BALL Opinion – Story 1: Election bets raise corruption issue
    again – Story 2: Prime Minister interferes in FOI request – The EYE-BALL Opinion” genuinely got me addicted with your blog!
    Iwill wind up being back more frequently. With thanks ,Casey

  1. February 6, 2013 at 4:32 am
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