Monday, April 30, 2007

Corruption, greed & lobbying in WA

If you didn’t watch Four Corners tonight on The Dark Arts please go to the ABC website and examine the relevant documents. Hopefully the transcript of the whole show will eventually appear online – the television broadcast will be re-broadcast on the ABC Wednesday.

The behavior of Brian Burke, Julian Grill and that charmer (expelled from the Liberal Party) Noel Crichton-Browne over the Smith’s Beach development in WA is deeply troubling. The behavior of local government members and officials in our esteemed state government bureaucracy also seems appalling.

Hopefully those who have committed illegal acts in relation to Smith’s Beach will be jailed for long periods and heavily fined.

What is worrying is that one suspects this type of inappropriate development decision might occur in local government bodies around Australia all the time. That millions of dollars can be made from a development approval or from evading the effects of a regulation creates huge incentives to be corrupt. It was interesting, to me, that those involved in the Smith’s Beach development decision seemed to crumple into monstrously corrupt patterns of behavior for so little, a few thousand dollars was enough.

One might think that those who obviously have so little integrity might place a reasonably high marginal valuation on it. They obviously don’t.

It was wrong of Kevin Rudd to secretly meet Brian Burke. Identifying this failure was not trivial political point scoring. The meeting showed the naiveté of Rudd and his proclivity to deceive when confronted with his own failures.

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