Tuesday, 25th March 2014


Craig Thomson has been sentenced to 12 months' jail with nine months suspended for misusing union funds.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg said Thomson had shown "blatant dishonesty", and his misappropriation of funds for personal benefit, including paying for sex, was brazen and arrogant.

"Nothing has been put to me to suggest these matters were not committed for anything other than personal greed," Rozencwajg added.

For both the ALP and the unions, the Craig Thomson affair has been damaging for such a long time that they will welcome closure of the matter. They may need to wait a little longer: Thomson's legal team has indicated it wishes to appeal.

The Coalition government will appreciate the public reminder that many of the recent corruption scandals originated with Labor Party figures – even the one that involves its man Sinodinos. 

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Cormann retreats on financial advice changes

"The Abbott government has frozen plans to immediately implement changes to laws banning commissions for financial advisers, prompting calls to scrap the changes altogether. Following the loss of assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos, who had carriage of the changes to Labor’s Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) laws, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said there would be a freeze to give him time to respond to growing criticism from stakeholders."

Sinodinos was warned 'company may be dishonest'

"Liberal Party heavyweight Arthur Sinodinos was warned by top public servants to be careful of the company he was keeping as chairman of Obeid-linked company Australian Water Holdings because ''they may be dishonest'', a corruption inquiry has heard."

George Brandis defends 'right to be a bigot' amid Government plan to amend Racial Discrimination Act

"Attorney-General George Brandis has defended the Government's plan to amend a key part of the nation's racial discrimination laws, saying people have "a right to be bigots". The Abbott Government has promised to amend the Racial Discrimination Act by repealing section 18C, which makes it unlawful for someone to publicly "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" a person or a group of people."

Asylum seekers describe boat turn-back at centre of burns allegations

"An asylum seeker whose boat was turned back to Indonesia by Australia has given the ABC a detailed first-person account alleging he was deliberately burned by Australian military personnel while in their custody."

AlsoManus Island negligence may have financial costs (The Drum)

Plea from the edge of the climate change abyss

 "The government plans to abolish the Climate Change Authority. While not disputing the science, it shows no interest in lifting Australia's emissions reduction target. It wants to remove the carbon tax and is prepared to underfund the Emissions Reduction Fund that will replace it. It wants to axe the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and wind back the renewable energy target. If it believes the science - and it says it does - its thinking is unaccountably short term, unless you consider the three-yearly electoral cycle."

AlsoCult of Anzac hero worship weighs down progress (John Hirst)

AndLabor firms in latest polling (AFR)