Nothing could better clarify the need for a change of government than Mark Vaile's criticism of the timely release of the Auditor-General's report on the misuse of regional grants for political purposes (The Age, 17/11). The report, by an independent officer of the Crown, goes to the heart of the Government's accountability on significant public expenditure.
Yet Vaile's response belittles the Auditor-General as an "unelected individual" and calls for a reassessment of the rules controlling when such reports can be made available. In essence, damaging, if factual, information that can now be released before an election might then be released after an election. Ring any bells?
Vaile's arrogant attitude underpins not only the politically motivated dispensing of regional largesse, but the concealment of the true circumstances of the Tampa incident, the decision to go to war in Iraq, the AWB scandal and, more recently, the disgraceful treatment of Mohamed Haneef. That he can so openly call for a change in the rules to better conceal inconvenient truths speaks volumes. This election is an opportunity to lift the Vaile of secrecy.
Monday, November 19, 2007
I hope as many people as possible read Mark Vaile's comments cricitising the release of an Auditor-General report into the Coalition's political abuse of regional grants. That's because I believe the arrogance of his reaction signals the need for a change of government. Today The Age published 'Vaile's attitude proves the point', my letter responding to the article in which Vaile's comments were reported: