Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Canberra insurance broker
of choice since 1985

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?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
40 Responses to
Vicki Dunne must resign
No_Nose 6:39 am 12 Aug 15

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.

gooterz 9:38 pm 11 Aug 15

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

If you take away most of the entitlements you end up with a job that’s only desirable to those who want to do it. However the current state of politics is a sticky business which most want to avoid.

All in all, Canberra is a bit small. We really need to expand out empire and get a mix of different communities and leaders. Its very hard to be all north or south when you include places like Queanbeyan and Cooma.

The current lot seem root-bound in an ever filling fishbowl of angst.

HiddenDragon 5:28 pm 11 Aug 15

“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.”

If such travel is no longer permitted, then how could public payment (if that’s what happened) have been authorised?

Now that we are going to be so much better represented…..with an almost 50% increase in the number of MLAs (all doing an saying much the same thing as each other, but let’s not dwell on that right now), perhaps a trade-off for this significant extra expense could be a very serious curtailment of all the extra little lurks and perks which apparently go with four years secure employment and a pretty decent salary (even by Canberra standards). It’s not as if there’s any shortage of people putting themselves forward as potential MLAs.

Steven Bailey 3:38 pm 11 Aug 15

Now is a time for people to really question the integrity of Australia’s parliaments. Speakers must embody the highest principles of democratic representation and if they don’t, they should remove themselves. Australia’s parliaments are rife with elitist and prejudiced Speakers who refuse to discern between facilitating the democratic process and their own sense of grandeur.

rubaiyat 3:28 pm 11 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

No chance of a Liberal doing in the ACT, (they will never be elected again)

Now that I do find THAT hard to believe.

There are people who vote for their politicians because they can’t imagine any possible alternative.

They just “need” to.

rubaiyat 3:23 pm 11 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

Alexandra Craig said :

dungfungus said :

As ridiculous as those examples of waste are, none tops the $30000+ “moving allowance” that Katy Gallagher received from the ACT Government when she resigned to take up a seat in the Senate.
That money was to cover the cost of moving from Canberra to, well Canberra.

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.

Unbelievable!

Unbelievable as it may seem, I actually agree with you on this one dungfungus.

dungfungus 2:35 pm 11 Aug 15

watto23 said :

Alexandra Craig said :

dungfungus said :

As ridiculous as those examples of waste are, none tops the $30000+ “moving allowance” that Katy Gallagher received from the ACT Government when she resigned to take up a seat in the Senate.
That money was to cover the cost of moving from Canberra to, well Canberra.

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.

And he wouldn’t have mentioned it if it was his favoured LNP doing it.
Reality is politicians get far more in allowances than they should in reality. Anyone throwing stones at their preferred party they love to hate, probably should be very careful they don’t come back.

No chance of a Liberal doing in the ACT, (they will never be elected again)

Alexandra Craig said :

dungfungus said :

As ridiculous as those examples of waste are, none tops the $30000+ “moving allowance” that Katy Gallagher received from the ACT Government when she resigned to take up a seat in the Senate.
That money was to cover the cost of moving from Canberra to, well Canberra.

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.

Unbelievable!

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

It wasn’t a payout like a redundancy or termination, it was a big, fat relocation/moving/resettlement allowance on top of everything else.

Alexandra Craig 1:03 pm 11 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

Alexandra Craig said :

dungfungus said :

As ridiculous as those examples of waste are, none tops the $30000+ “moving allowance” that Katy Gallagher received from the ACT Government when she resigned to take up a seat in the Senate.
That money was to cover the cost of moving from Canberra to, well Canberra.

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.

Unbelievable!

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

Postalgeek 12:51 pm 11 Aug 15

JC said :

“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.”

By my caculation that is actually 23 cents short of $24,000.

I guess they didn’t want to seem greedy…

watto23 12:49 pm 11 Aug 15

Alexandra Craig said :

dungfungus said :

As ridiculous as those examples of waste are, none tops the $30000+ “moving allowance” that Katy Gallagher received from the ACT Government when she resigned to take up a seat in the Senate.
That money was to cover the cost of moving from Canberra to, well Canberra.

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.

And he wouldn’t have mentioned it if it was his favoured LNP doing it.
Reality is politicians get far more in allowances than they should in reality. Anyone throwing stones at their preferred party they love to hate, probably should be very careful they don’t come back.

dungfungus 12:47 pm 11 Aug 15

Alexandra Craig said :

dungfungus said :

As ridiculous as those examples of waste are, none tops the $30000+ “moving allowance” that Katy Gallagher received from the ACT Government when she resigned to take up a seat in the Senate.
That money was to cover the cost of moving from Canberra to, well Canberra.

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.

Unbelievable!

Alexandra Craig 12:36 pm 11 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

As ridiculous as those examples of waste are, none tops the $30000+ “moving allowance” that Katy Gallagher received from the ACT Government when she resigned to take up a seat in the Senate.
That money was to cover the cost of moving from Canberra to, well Canberra.

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.

JC 11:26 am 11 Aug 15

“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.”

By my caculation that is actually 23 cents short of $24,000.

dungfungus 10:49 am 11 Aug 15

As ridiculous as those examples of waste are, none tops the $30000+ “moving allowance” that Katy Gallagher received from the ACT Government when she resigned to take up a seat in the Senate.
That money was to cover the cost of moving from Canberra to, well Canberra.

Richard Fox 10:43 am 11 Aug 15

I was writing something very similar last night for my piece this week!

The difference I see is that Mary Porter’s trip and the Liberals’ trip to Sydney are within the rules. Whether those rules should be changed is a matter up for discussion, but they are within the guidelines allowed.

Dunne, however, has twice defied official advice regarding trips. And these aren’t Peter Slipper-esque vineyard trips either, they are large overseas trips with minimal relevance to current legislation. I think there’s a good reason for her to leave the position.

1 2 3

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site