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Vicki Dunne must resign

By Steven Bailey 11 August 2015 40

legislative-assembly

As the theme of abusing political privilege continues to permeate from side to side and state to state, let us focus the lens on the ACT.

With the departure of Australia’s fair-minded, unprejudiced, and graceful Speaker of the House, Bronwyn Bishop, Australian politicians of all stripes are holding hands, bunkering down, and bracing for a long night of long knives.

Bishop rose to the public fore in the nineties through orchestrating an onslaught of politically motivated witch hunts against public servants who, according to Bishop, were burdens on the public purse. For her long-toothed enemies, it was undoubtedly a sweet irony that her demise was the very echo of her creation.

For the rest of us, it was a relief to know that someone who so besmirched the people’s place had irrevocably, and rightfully, fallen.

It is fortuitous for Canberra’s MLAs that many of the current Assembly’s spending scandals came to the public’s attention about a year ago… and it seems that everyone has been on their best behaviour ever since.

Labor’s Mary Porter exhausted the entire $24,000 of her travel entitlement in one fell swoop on an excursion to Europe. The purpose of Porter’s trip was to investigate issues relating to voluntary euthanasia.

Porter’s husband Ian De Landelles, a highly paid ACT public servant, tagged along for the trot. Serendipitously, Porter’s expenditure of $14,871.77 and that of her husband totaled $9,128; a neat sum of $24,000 to the cent.

One of the greatest waste of public funds was undoubtedly a one-day trip to Sydney by the entire Liberal Opposition – Jeremy Hanson, Alistair Coe, Steve Doszpot, Vicki Dunne, Giulia Jones, Brendan Smyth, and Andrew Wall for ‘media training’, at a cost of $10,000.

Some chose to take their spouse, while others chose to bring along a few staff as well. Notwithstanding the fact that media training comes in handy only when the media pays attention to you, no self-respecting political figure should expect the public to pay for it.

Media training is the artless exercise of evading questions, repeating rehearsed lines, hiding the truth, and appearing to be someone you are not. It’s not rocket science – people just want politicians who are themselves. Why should we pay for media training for politicians?

Of course, the grand prize for frugality goes to a joint effort of Vicki Dunne and Giulia Jones for spending $35,000 on a trip to France, Sweden, and Germany. The study tour was designed to allow the pair to investigate laws which prohibit people from paying for sex. Both have penned a detailed report of their European tryst – worthy of a self-appointed gold star but unworthy of legislative consideration.

In my opinion, there was no purpose for this travel. There was no legislation relating to sex work before the Assembly. There was no enquiry or public debate that could have possibly warranted such a jaunt by non-ministerial staff.

Speaker Vicki Dunne defied the advice from the Assembly Clerk by allowing Giulia Jones’ senior adviser to travel with them – another unprecedented travel arrangement for a non-ministerial MLA.

Speaker Vicki Dunne also traveled with her husband on a trip to Malaysia in April notwithstanding the fact that taxpayer-funded spousal travel is no longer permitted for Canberra’s MLAs.

These are not the actions of a representative of the public whose primary purpose is to uphold the dignity of the ACT Legislative Assembly. These are the actions of the ACT Legislative Assembly’s very own Bronwyn Bishop… Speaker Vicki Dunne.

What’s Your opinion?


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Vicki Dunne must resign
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rommeldog56 7:11 am 18 Aug 15

rubaiyat said :

You talk like the Liberals actually were better and actually offered an alternative.

The property developers who are the real manipulators behind the scenes must be laughing at you and your tribal support of the alternate “snouts in the trough”.

Here u go again. I have consistantly advocated to give another party/alliance a chance – whether that be the ACT Lib’s or some sort of minority Government with a true independent or minor party sitting on the cross benches holding the balance of power in the Legislative Assembly and voting on a case by case basis. As opposed to the Greens holding the balance of power & having a Minister inside the Government.

Your comments about property developers – implying that they will have a better go if the Lib’s or some other alternative form Government in the ACT has no basis. Who do you think really is, or is taking advantage of & encouraging – the Tram & the development/infill in Canberra ? Nah, surely not developers. To try to turn that back what is clearly happening under ACT Labor/Greens as a fear campaing against the ACT Lib’s or an alternative ACT Gov’t, is absurd.

rommeldog56 8:12 pm 15 Aug 15

Maya123 said :

And the alternative to the Labor party? That group of Liberals sure don’t offer one.
(By the way, before you say something like, that’s because I am a rusted on Labor voter, I am not, as I have voted for different parties over the years, including Liberal, but there’s no way I would vote either locally or Federally at present for the Liberal party. They have gone far too right wing with the religious extremists. They need to lose them and come back towards the centre, before I will even consider them again.)

True – the ACT libs dont exactly fill me with a great deal of confidence either + they voted for the “snouts in the trough” expansion to the ACT Legislative Assembly/massive increase in the $ per vote they get at elections/uncapping of political donations.

However, potential incompetence as displayed by the federal Liberals in opposition, didnt stop them gaining Government there.

Its simple really – vote Liberal or independent (a true independent – not one that will join the Libs/Labor to give them Government – like the Green’s Rattenbury did) or a minor party. If that doesn’t work – vote them out in 4 years time – like what will probably happen to the fed. Liberals.

In any case, you just might get surprised if you give someone else other than Labor/Greens, a go. Quite frankly, things can not get any worse in the ACT than they are now under this hopeless & inept ACT Labor/Greens ACT Government (the only bright light on that horizion is that Corbell will be leaving at the next election. What’s the betting that he then turns up on the board of a renewable energy corporation, a tram contsortium, or both ?).

Maya123 10:50 am 15 Aug 15

rommeldog56 said :

Jordania said :

And let me take this opportunity to wax disgustedly on the matter of the increase in the number of members in the Assembly. I refer again to the shallowness of the political gene pool in both the Assembly and the wider ACT. If the current crop of members (and, if we’re being fair and honest, a very large number of those who preceded them) are the best that Canberra has to offer then it would be pie-eyed optimistic, not to mention downright illogical, to expect the next eight to be elected to be any improvement. After all these years of self-government, the bottom of the political barrel has been scraped bare and holey. It’s not going to get any better, people.

Totally correct. But, the numb skull ACT voters keep on putting this ACT Labor Gov’t back (with an assist from the Greens of course) because they are rusted on Labor supporters and apparently can not differentiate between Federal & ACT LA issues. It will, I fear, be more of the same when the results of the 2016 ACT LA election are known.

So, its the voters here that are the problem as they merely let this ACT Gov’t almost do what they like – then make limp excuses for them.

ACT political parties, candidates and Labor/Greens MLAs just take advantage of that.

And the alternative to the Labor party? That group of Liberals sure don’t offer one.
(By the way, before you say something like, that’s because I am a rusted on Labor voter, I am not, as I have voted for different parties over the years, including Liberal, but there’s no way I would vote either locally or Federally at present for the Liberal party. They have gone far too right wing with the religious extremists. They need to lose them and come back towards the centre, before I will even consider them again.)

rubaiyat 7:47 am 15 Aug 15

rommeldog56 said :

Jordania said :

And let me take this opportunity to wax disgustedly on the matter of the increase in the number of members in the Assembly. I refer again to the shallowness of the political gene pool in both the Assembly and the wider ACT. If the current crop of members (and, if we’re being fair and honest, a very large number of those who preceded them) are the best that Canberra has to offer then it would be pie-eyed optimistic, not to mention downright illogical, to expect the next eight to be elected to be any improvement. After all these years of self-government, the bottom of the political barrel has been scraped bare and holey. It’s not going to get any better, people.

Totally correct. But, the numb skull ACT voters keep on putting this ACT Labor Gov’t back (with an assist from the Greens of course) because they are rusted on Labor supporters and apparently can not differentiate between Federal & ACT LA issues. It will, I fear, be more of the same when the results of the 2016 ACT LA election are known.

So, its the voters here that are the problem as they merely let this ACT Gov’t almost do what they like – then make limp excuses for them.

ACT political parties, candidates and Labor/Greens MLAs just take advantage of that.

You talk like the Liberals actually were better and actually offered an alternative.

That’s why Labor is sitting unchallenged.

Wait till after the next election now that the Labor and Liberals have conspired to split the seats between them and won’t even be constrained by the 3rd force of the Greens.

The property developers who are the real manipulators behind the scenes must be laughing at you and your tribal support of the alternate “snouts in the trough”.

rommeldog56 6:47 pm 14 Aug 15

Jordania said :

As ability is not a matter that should detain us for long, let us turn to the question of occupation for these eight new members. Seventeen members have barely enough to keep them gainfully occupied (or occupied enough to justify their generous salaries and allowances). So, what, pray tell, is going to keep 25 members busy and productive for the 13 or 14 sitting weeks and the minute amount of committee time they currently manage? And the old saw about ‘constituent and electorate matters’ cuts no mustard in this matter whatever. In multi-member electorates there are more than enough members now to deal with these things, not that I imagine they are ever remotely inundated. The expansion of the Assembly is a huge waste of public money.

No – I don’t think it is a waste of public money, Jordania.

After all, they will be very busy replicating & repeating the party line & spin over and over and over (with never an original unscripted thought between them), dropping self promotional publications in my letter box, dreaming up new ways of extracting more and more $/Annual Rates out of residents & ratepayers whilst supporting an increase to the GST, reducing municiple services (unless its in an election year of course !), expanding the unaffordable tram line, redecorating their offices, hiring more staff, scratching around for more public assets to sell off, planning their overseas study tours, issuing endless numbers of press releases so ratepayers think they are actually doing something worthwhile & most importantly, inventing more & more red tape/regulations & nanny state laws.

Talk about over governed ! And some people have even bought the ACT polies spin (from both parties) that governce will improve ! That representation will improve ! Good grief. Pink elephants will fly before that happens.

It’s just more snouts in the ACT ratepayers funded trough.

rommeldog56 6:30 pm 14 Aug 15

Jordania said :

And let me take this opportunity to wax disgustedly on the matter of the increase in the number of members in the Assembly. I refer again to the shallowness of the political gene pool in both the Assembly and the wider ACT. If the current crop of members (and, if we’re being fair and honest, a very large number of those who preceded them) are the best that Canberra has to offer then it would be pie-eyed optimistic, not to mention downright illogical, to expect the next eight to be elected to be any improvement. After all these years of self-government, the bottom of the political barrel has been scraped bare and holey. It’s not going to get any better, people.

Totally correct. But, the numb skull ACT voters keep on putting this ACT Labor Gov’t back (with an assist from the Greens of course) because they are rusted on Labor supporters and apparently can not differentiate between Federal & ACT LA issues. It will, I fear, be more of the same when the results of the 2016 ACT LA election are known.

So, its the voters here that are the problem as they merely let this ACT Gov’t almost do what they like – then make limp excuses for them. ACT political parties, candidates and Labor/Greens MLAs just take advantage of that.

Deref 4:03 pm 14 Aug 15

The exposure of these troughsnouts and the resulting outrage is one of the singular benefits of the Web. What a pity that Bronwyn Bishop’s punishment is merely a minor reduction in salary.

Well said, Steven.

HiddenDragon 6:02 pm 13 Aug 15

Before an overseas, or even a boring old inter-state, study tour is undertaken, I assume there is a thorough check of the detailed and well-maintained registers of all federal state and territory study tours to ensure that some other servant of the public hasn’t already investigated the same, or a very similar matter?

And even if the answer is no, we do have these new-fangled things called phones (which can apparently connect us to other countries), and the InterWeb, which can apparently do much the same.

Around the country, significant amounts of public money are surely being spent re-inventing and re-investigating the (metaphorical) wheel.

Jordania 5:58 pm 13 Aug 15

Ms Dunne resigns as Speaker and then what? Has anyone taken a look at the shallowness of the political gene pool in the Assembly? Who will replace her? There’s the question of ability or, rather, that would be a matter for discussion if there were much evidence of ability; and there’s the thornier question of the balance of the Assembly. The only person there who could do the job is Mr Rattenbury, who has done it before, reasonably competently, but because of the numbers can’t be spared to do it now. Leave Ms Dunne there covering herself with ignominy until next October and let the others get on with the real business of ‘governing’.
And let me take this opportunity to wax disgustedly on the matter of the increase in the number of members in the Assembly. I refer again to the shallowness of the political gene pool in both the Assembly and the wider ACT. If the current crop of members (and, if we’re being fair and honest, a very large number of those who preceded them) are the best that Canberra has to offer then it would be pie-eyed optimistic, not to mention downright illogical, to expect the next eight to be elected to be any improvement. After all these years of self-government, the bottom of the political barrel has been scraped bare and holey. It’s not going to get any better, people.
As ability is not a matter that should detain us for long, let us turn to the question of occupation for these eight new members. Seventeen members have barely enough to keep them gainfully occupied (or occupied enough to justify their generous salaries and allowances). So, what, pray tell, is going to keep 25 members busy and productive for the 13 or 14 sitting weeks and the minute amount of committee time they currently manage? And the old saw about ‘constituent and electorate matters’ cuts no mustard in this matter whatever. In multi-member electorates there are more than enough members now to deal with these things, not that I imagine they are ever remotely inundated. The expansion of the Assembly is a huge waste of public money.

dungfungus 4:36 pm 13 Aug 15

Antagonist said :

Matt Watts said :

Steven Bailey said :

In reflecting on this article, I wish to apologise, by my own volition, to Mary Porter MLA and her spouse Ian De Landelles. The reason I wish to apologise is because of the following:

Mary’s travel was within the rules and for a matter of extreme public relevance; I personally believe that her partner’s profession and income should not be a matter of public discourse, and I wholeheartedly apologise to you, Mr De Landelles; I admire Porter’s integrity as a representative of the people of the ACT.

I believe it is an all-too-common weakness of those who engage in robust public discourse not to apologise when their hearts tell them to do so.

I unreservedly stand by my comments that now is the time for the people of the ACT to question the integrity of Speaker Vicki Dunne, and that she should resign.

Sounds like Ian got to you…

At least Mr Bailey apologised. Unlike Ms Dunne 😉

Mr Bailey cast aspersions on two people – Vicki Dunne has bagged no one so why should she apologise.
If she needs to resign why aren’t the Labor/Green minority government members passing a no-confidence motion against her?
We all know the answer to that.

Antagonist 3:52 pm 13 Aug 15

Matt Watts said :

Steven Bailey said :

In reflecting on this article, I wish to apologise, by my own volition, to Mary Porter MLA and her spouse Ian De Landelles. The reason I wish to apologise is because of the following:

Mary’s travel was within the rules and for a matter of extreme public relevance; I personally believe that her partner’s profession and income should not be a matter of public discourse, and I wholeheartedly apologise to you, Mr De Landelles; I admire Porter’s integrity as a representative of the people of the ACT.

I believe it is an all-too-common weakness of those who engage in robust public discourse not to apologise when their hearts tell them to do so.

I unreservedly stand by my comments that now is the time for the people of the ACT to question the integrity of Speaker Vicki Dunne, and that she should resign.

Sounds like Ian got to you…

At least Mr Bailey apologised. Unlike Ms Dunne 😉

Rustygear 2:58 pm 13 Aug 15

Its pretty clear that this is shameless rorting. I guess because these people are at the top of the heap, scrutiny very rarely comes their way. ‘Being within the rules’ is a waste of breath, the rules were made by them, for them (over a long period, and little by little no doubt, not in one fell conspiracy). Plus some groupthink culture of entitlement at the very top, and voila, you have people who totally believe they are justified and entitled to European pleasure cruises ‘to investigate the integrity of love locks on Parisian tourist bridges’ or whatever stupid and implausible excuse they give to steal public money – and get away with it. The best solution would be to bring back the wooden stocks, lock ’em in and let the rotten tomatoes fly. Anything less than physical humiliation won’t actually prick the bubble that these people have, that they are genuinely just better and simply more entitled to privilege than the rest of us.

Matt Watts 1:35 pm 13 Aug 15

Steven Bailey said :

In reflecting on this article, I wish to apologise, by my own volition, to Mary Porter MLA and her spouse Ian De Landelles. The reason I wish to apologise is because of the following:

Mary’s travel was within the rules and for a matter of extreme public relevance; I personally believe that her partner’s profession and income should not be a matter of public discourse, and I wholeheartedly apologise to you, Mr De Landelles; I admire Porter’s integrity as a representative of the people of the ACT.

I believe it is an all-too-common weakness of those who engage in robust public discourse not to apologise when their hearts tell them to do so.

I unreservedly stand by my comments that now is the time for the people of the ACT to question the integrity of Speaker Vicki Dunne, and that she should resign.

Sounds like Ian got to you…

Steven Bailey 1:19 pm 13 Aug 15

In reflecting on this article, I wish to apologise, by my own volition, to Mary Porter MLA and her spouse Ian De Landelles. The reason I wish to apologise is because of the following:

Mary’s travel was within the rules and for a matter of extreme public relevance; I personally believe that her partner’s profession and income should not be a matter of public discourse, and I wholeheartedly apologise to you, Mr De Landelles; I admire Porter’s integrity as a representative of the people of the ACT.

I believe it is an all-too-common weakness of those who engage in robust public discourse not to apologise when their hearts tell them to do so.

I unreservedly stand by my comments that now is the time for the people of the ACT to question the integrity of Speaker Vicki Dunne, and that she should resign.

dungfungus 10:41 am 13 Aug 15

Antagonist said :

dungfungus said :

The resettlement allowance was actually $31K but outrageous nevertheless considering she didn’t suffer any financial hardship from changing jobs (everything was pre-arranged).
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/katy-gallagher-receives-31000-resettlement-payout-20150310-140snb.html

I actually agree with dungers here (hell must have frozen over last night). If we look at the antiquated origins of these allowances we find that they come from EXACTLY the same place as the allowances abused by Ms Bishop et al. This extravagance has to end.

I have also heard the fallacy that politicians become unemployable at the end of their elected terms. All of our former Chief Ministers have gone on to cushy, well-paid jobs … including Kate Carnell of all people! The list of former MPs and MLAs that have gone on to great jobs is a very long one. Unemployable my foot!

“(hell must have frozen over last night).”
Geez, you people can’t leave climate change out of anything can you? ha ha.

Antagonist 10:05 am 13 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

The resettlement allowance was actually $31K but outrageous nevertheless considering she didn’t suffer any financial hardship from changing jobs (everything was pre-arranged).
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/katy-gallagher-receives-31000-resettlement-payout-20150310-140snb.html

I actually agree with dungers here (hell must have frozen over last night). If we look at the antiquated origins of these allowances we find that they come from EXACTLY the same place as the allowances abused by Ms Bishop et al. This extravagance has to end.

I have also heard the fallacy that politicians become unemployable at the end of their elected terms. All of our former Chief Ministers have gone on to cushy, well-paid jobs … including Kate Carnell of all people! The list of former MPs and MLAs that have gone on to great jobs is a very long one. Unemployable my foot!

dungfungus 8:47 am 13 Aug 15

rommeldog56 said :

Alexandra Craig said :

I got a bigger payout than Katy did when I lost my job once.

Katy Gallagher did not “lose” her job. She resigned and jumped ship. She went to a high paying job with incredible taxpayer funded lerks & perks + a very generous superannuation scheme – not to mention that $300K “resettlement allowance”.

Thats different to people who get a payout under legislation because they become or are made, redundent, are fired, etc.

What ever way u try to spin it, the $300K “resettlement allowance” that Katy Gallagher allegedly received, is scandelous.

The resettlement allowance was actually $31K but outrageous nevertheless considering she didn’t suffer any financial hardship from changing jobs (everything was pre-arranged).
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/katy-gallagher-receives-31000-resettlement-payout-20150310-140snb.html

rommeldog56 11:14 pm 12 Aug 15

Alexandra Craig said :

I got a bigger payout than Katy did when I lost my job once.

Katy Gallagher did not “lose” her job. She resigned and jumped ship. She went to a high paying job with incredible taxpayer funded lerks & perks + a very generous superannuation scheme – not to mention that $300K “resettlement allowance”.

Thats different to people who get a payout under legislation because they become or are made, redundent, are fired, etc.

What ever way u try to spin it, the $300K “resettlement allowance” that Katy Gallagher allegedly received, is scandelous.

rommeldog56 6:50 pm 12 Aug 15

Alexandra Craig said :

I don’t think it was a moving allowance. It was a resettlement payout. She would have been technically unemployed for a few months there, and would have had to go and buy a new car and phone presuming that Chief Minister’s get this provided to them in office. These things add up. I have no problem with Chief Ministers receiving that sort of payout.

Huh…..a “resettlement payout” ? you have to be kdding.

She ramains in Canberra so it must of been a “resettlement” from the ACT Legislative Assembly to the Senate.

This payout is truely appaling and exactly why the voting public has lost confidence in politicians – they all have their snouts in the trough. This is a planned move from the ACT LA to the Senate. It is not a redundancy or any other sort of payout/allowance. Katy Gallagher knew she would get that payment for those few months she was without paid work.

If she had any creditability at all, she would not have accepted that payout or only accepted a much, much lesser amount. Oh well, I suppose she will now be cashed up to pay those avg.10% increasse in Annual Rates pa for the next 20+ years that she and the Chief Minister replacement, Andrew Barr have foisted on ACT ratepayers.

And no, I’m not part of the Katy Gallagher glee club – I see her reign as ACT Chief Minister + that of Andrew Barr, as disasterous for the ACT. But at least with Katy Gallagher, it was more sugar coated than it is with Barr.

No_Nose 4:53 pm 12 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

No_Nose said :

gooterz said :

Its a pitty we can’t have an order of monks representing us.

Umm…have you seen the current federal Liberal government?

We are closer to being ruled by bronze-age religious beliefs than many middle eastern countries are.

They were elected by a democratic majority even though you didn’t vote for them.
Perhaps you can move to the middle-east then?

Actually I did vote for them. In over 40 years of voting in elections there have only been two occasions where I have not given my first preferences to the coalition…and one of those occasions was in a city council election so it doesn’t really count.

They won’t be getting my vote now or in the future until they get rid of the majority of their religious right and out of touch leadership team. I know many, many other normally coalition voters who feel the same about the current embarrassment of a government.

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