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‘I’m told you’re the Brian Burke of Canberra’

Ari 1 March 2008 12

For once the lounge-bar bore of the Canberra press gallery Alan Ramsey has bestirred himself to actually write a story that doesn’t consist entirely of huge slabs of cut-and-paste Hansard … and it’s a good read.

He delves into lobbying at federal level over the Tralee development proposal near Queanbeyan that RiotACT has covered before.

A small excerpt gives the flavour of Ramsey’s lengthy piece:

Winnel was upset he had not been invited. What Whalan wanted when he phoned two days later was to arrange a meeting for his client. Heffernan took the call. The first thing he said to Whalan, in his usual blunt if affable manner, was: “I’m told you’re the Brian Burke of Canberra.”

While lobbying can be a grubby business, at least there’s a positive in that some of the events described involved a formal Senate committee rather than private meetings bought at auction to fill the coffers of the NSW Labor Party.

The Premier’s dinner date auction, held at the beachside Lagoon Restaurant in North Wollongong, was arranged by Ms Hay, who Mr Iemma yesterday stood down from her role as parliamentary secretary for health.

This latest example of Mr Iemma selling appointments to the highest bidder follows the Herald’s revelations yesterday that private lunch dates with him and the Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, were respectively auctioned off to a licensed club and a developer for thousands of dollars at a fundraising event at Parliament House in September 2005.

Given the detail contained in Ramsey’s story, however, it becomes harder for the airport management to deny that they are leaking material damaging to Bob Winnel.

Winnel has said:

“Canberra Airport have tried to stir things up to try and link us to the corrupt developers in Wollongong and that isn’t the case.”

This itself is disingenuous since he is linked to the Wollongong shenanigans:

The company, run by Bob Winnel, has also donated thousands of dollars to Wollongong City councillors – including independent Mayor Alex Darling – and more than $10,000 directly to Police Minister David Campbell, who has already been dragged into the ICAC sex-for-development scandal.

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12 Responses to
‘I’m told you’re the Brian Burke of Canberra’
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Skidbladnir 2:19 pm 04 Mar 08

Oh, and no money to the Greens.

But almost half of the 06-07 Disclosed Receipts for the Greens come from the CFMEU.

Is that envy colouring your comments, or just your party line?

Roland GRNS 2:12 pm 04 Mar 08

Which we put on our website last June, and for which we were truly grateful.

And which isn’t relevent to the issue of the Tralee development. The Liberal Party took money from cigarette companies by the way. But that’s not relevent either..

Crikey 2:00 pm 04 Mar 08

And the CFMEU gave lots of money to the Greens.

Roland GRNS 12:09 pm 04 Mar 08

Worth noting that Bob Winnell’s Village Building Co has given appreciable donations to NSW Labor and to the Canberra Liberal of late. Significantly less to NSW Lib and ACT Labor….

neanderthalsis 10:32 am 03 Mar 08

Now now thumper, you’re being far too cynical.

We all know that a developer donating DIRECTLY to the planning and infrastucture minister would in no way encourage him to ignore his planning committee recommendations and allow the development of a housing estate in a semi rural area under a flight path…

Thumper 8:47 am 03 Mar 08

Independent advice said don’t build it.

The government in it’s wisdom chose to ignore this device.


Would money have anything to do with it?

shauno 12:42 am 03 Mar 08

“Bottom line – Tralee would get 1/10th the noise of the northern suburbs.”

Not so sure about that independent enquiries have recommended not to build there. But the govt went ahead and approved it due to corrupt payments which should if it hasn’t all ready get referred to icac

cranky 9:15 pm 02 Mar 08

Inaudible says pretty much what I intended to say.

I can hear aircraft taking off from home in Woden early in the morning, considerably louder than aircraft on glide to land from east of the airport. I have also said that aircraft taking off to the east can also be heard.

I believe you are from the northern suburbs, and therefore get the noise on the 9 days we don’t get it.

Bottom line – Tralee would get 1/10th the noise of the northern suburbs.

sepi 9:01 pm 02 Mar 08

Do you mean the noise at Hume is not objectionable during the day while you are at work?

Cos aircraft noise at night or very early morning is a different story.

cranky 7:52 pm 02 Mar 08

I would love to see the Dilemma Gov crash and burn, and hold no candle for Winnel, but I firmly believe that the development of Tralee will be almost totally unaffected by aircraft noise.

The residents of Jerra are directly under the current flightpath, not the empty fields of Tralee, and Hume, about 1-2K south.

We get aircraft noise at Hume when the wind is from the east, and aircraft take off in that direction. About every 10th day. Not objectionable. Normal landings from the east are practically inaudible.

I can understand the Airport’s argument, but think their position has been overegged.

Of far greater import would be the traffic ramifications of the Tralee development. With the ACT gov and Qbn council already dmonstrating a lack of cooperation with Jerra traffic into the ACT, I would hold out little hope for a forward traffic management plan for Tralee.

A less antagonistic ACT gov would help.

shauno 6:45 pm 02 Mar 08

The fact they even approved development at Tralee confirms corruption because no one in their right mind would build or buy houses there with jets 100m above the houses lol.

Zilog 7:11 am 02 Mar 08

Sorry, the bosses daughter, rather. Though they’re probably equally ugly if they’re related to the staggeringly ugly bastard Snow.

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