Tuesday, 29th April 2014


In a new inquiry, ICAC heard yesterday that the Liberal Party is alleged to have received donations of at least $165,000 from property developers, who have been banned from donating to any political party in NSW since 2009, by funnelling cash through established party fundraising entities.

Established in 1988 by the incoming Coalition government of Nick Greiner to inquire into recent Labor governments, it was assumed that ICAC would operate as a star chamber into the ALP. But its major scalps have been Liberals: premier Barry O'Farrell, assistant treasurer and former John Howard chief of staff Arthur Sinodinos, and Greiner himself (though ICAC's finding was overturned in court*). As a result, ICAC is now being heavily criticised by conservative commentators, though they were cheering when it was investigating former NSW ALP minister Eddie Obeid.

The Greens are calling for the ICAC model to go national. As Victorian premier Denis Napthine this week faces questions over a land transaction involving a businessman with whom he co-owns a race horse, that proposal surely deserves consideration.

(*An earlier version claimed that Nick Greiner had been "cleared". This has been corrected. See a summary of events here.)

Russell Marks
Politicoz Editor

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Scott Morrison backs down from guaranteeing safety of asylum seekers in PNG detention

"Scott Morrison said on February 18 ‘I can guarantee their safety when they remain in the centre and act cooperatively with those who are trying to provide them with support and accommodation’… But when asked by Four Corners whether he could guarantee the safety of asylum seekers within the Manus Island centre, Mr Morrison said it was ‘difficult’ to ensure safety at all times."

AlsoFresh details revealed of growing tensions before deadly Manus riot (Oliver Laughland, The Guardian)

AndJust because the news moves on, let’s not forget Manus Island (Michelle Grattan, The Conversation)

Tony Abbott says all Australians will be asked to help rein in deficit

"A day after failing to rule out a new tax to pay off the nation's debt, the Prime Minister will tonight describe next month's budget as not for the ‘rich or the poor’, but ‘for the country’."

AlsoDeloitte report predicts federal budget cuts won't be as bad as feared (Gareth Hutchens, The Age)


Would increasing the pension age be fair and effective?

"Increasing the pension age potentially has an adverse effect in equity terms. An increase in the pension age reduces the pension wealth of lower-income groups proportionately more than it reduces the pension wealth of higher-income groups."

AlsoGovernment policy to blame for rising cost of pension, not ageing population (Peter Martin and Gareth Hutchens, Sydney Morning Herald)

AndPlan to end $10bn superannuation fee ‘sting’ (Jacob Greber, Australian Financial Review)

Three Northern Territory MPs join Palmer United party

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Also: Could Clive Palmer spark a constitutional crisis? (Anne Twomey, The Conversation)

Victoria's Premier Napthine faces 'grants for mates' conflict

"Premier and racing minister Denis Napthine faces major conflict of interest questions over a $1.5 million government grant to a leading Warrnambool business and racing figure with whom he co-owns a thoroughbred racehorse."

AlsoICAC spotlight on Liberal party political donations (ABC News)