Never Mind the Budget: The Corruption Inquiries Are More Interesting

On the eve of the budget the media’s attention has been diverted to the corruption/irresponsible behaviour inquiries by the Heydon Royal Cn, the Hanger Royal Cn (into deaths from the botched batts program) and the NSW ICAC inquiry (another Liberal MP gone).

The Heydon Royal Cn is of particular interest for the HR Nicholls Society, which is holding a conference in Brisbane on Saturday 17 May on “Stopping the Decline: Our Urgent Jobs Plan”. Speakers at that conference will reveal the adverse effects on employment (and on social relationships) emanating not only from  the current Fair Work regulatory arrangements and administration but the earlier regulations too. Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie will give the dinner address at dell’Ugo on Southbank.

Some evidence given (under oath) by “bagman” Ralph Blewitt to the Heydon RC has already received publicity. But it illustrates pointedly the powers unions have been able to exercise by promising minimal disputes – in return for “donations” to the supposed union cause. In effect, union leaders were able to exercise monopolistic powers over selected companies –and they appear to have retained those powers in certain areas.

Note that all major media sources have reported the opening of the Heydon RC, although The Age covered it only on page 6 and the AFR on page 10. The ABC also ran it but ensured its listeners were aware of Gillard’s claim that she was unaware of what the slush fund was used for.