Underbelly, Al Grassby, and Canberra.

johnboy 23 February 2009 75

[First filed: February 16, 2009 @ 14:28]

In today’s SMH Paul Sheehan is tying in events from the wildly successful Underbelly 2 show on TV to our very own, very expensive statue of Al Grassby here in Canberra.

    “And yet we have, in the foyer of a public gallery in Civic Centre, Canberra, a life-sized bronze image of a smiling Grassby, paid for by the taxpayers, via the ACT Labor Government, at a cost of about $72,000. It commemorates Grassby’s role as the “father of multiculturalism” in Australia.

    When the Chief Minister of the ACT, John Stanhope, successfully championed this statue, the evidence of Grassby’s corruption and treachery was both abundant and widely known. For many years, Grassby had acted as an agent of influence for the Calabrian criminal network known as the ‘ndrangheta, which continues to thrive in Australia’s illicit drug trade.

    In the report of the Nagle special commission of inquiry in 1986, John Nagle, QC, found that Grassby had engaged in a smear campaign to protect the real murderers of Donald Mackay. He wrote that “no decent man” could have propagated “the scurrilous lies” that Grassby distributed about the Mackay family. He described Grassby’s performance as a witness as “long-winded, dissembling, and unconvincing, constantly driven to uneasy claims of defective memory”.”

The photo above is from the website of Canberra’s very own Member for Fraser, Bob McMullan. That’s Bob on the far right.

UPDATED: In the Canberra Times Mr Hargreaves has railed against the pygmies who question the wisdom of his beloved sculpture. The Minister is at pains to point out that no court ever convicted Mr Grassby of anything. By which standard almost no federal politician has ever done anything wrong.

There is, at the very end, a slight admission that an appreciation of Al Grassby needs to be selective:

    ”We have celebrated a certain segment of Al Grassby’s life as the father of multiculturalism.”

What's Your Opinion?


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75 Responses to Underbelly, Al Grassby, and Canberra.
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Pedros Pedros 10:14 am 02 Apr 09

What an absolute joke.

cranky cranky 3:29 pm 27 Feb 09

Oh that the Feds still rooled over us.

Todays CT has Kate Lundy, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital & External Territories, explaining how public debate around the proposed (Immigration) bridge had prompted an inquiry into the building of it.

Pity Hargreaves & Co have no ides what she’s on about. Consultation? Listening to the electors? Fat chance.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 2:45 pm 27 Feb 09

Yes. Steve did the anti-statue position proud with a speach invoking an inteview Sonic did on radio on March 16 2007. In this interview Sonic says Hargraves pretty much acted alone in commissionin the statue and while he supports Hargraves, he may well have not endorsed this decision. Basically the statute is a taxpayer funded homage to hargraves personal hero.

Steve also read into record a letter printed in the CT on 25 Feb (wednesday this week) advising grasby’s attenpt to smear the Mackay family by insinuating teh family was involved in his murder. This letter also makes the point that grasby’s succesful appeal against conviction was based on points of law and the fact that he may have been let off the hook somewhat Parliamentary priviledge.

Hargraves response was to say that Steve is at risk had going down in his estimation.

I’m not a traditional liberal supporter by any means – but I continue to be impressed by Steve’s performance in his new job.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 1:47 pm 27 Feb 09

jakez said :

Deadmandrinking said :

Get together the petition, VG, I urge you. If there’s a significant amount signatures on it, then I’d be happy to accept it being sold.

My signature, however, won’t be there.

What is a significant amount?

More than a few randoms on the internet, that’s for sure.

jakez jakez 11:37 am 26 Feb 09

sepi said :

Don’t melt it down – i love it.

How about moving it to a more symbolic location

– entry to the tip?
– or entry to the multistorey carpark?

See! This is why I think it should be sold instead of melted down. Melting it down will only waste money and not recompense the victims.

willo willo 11:15 am 26 Feb 09

sepi said :

Don’t melt it down – i love it.

How about moving it to a more symbolic location

– entry to the tip?
– or entry to the multistorey carpark?

hmm…entry to the new prison?

sepi sepi 11:10 am 26 Feb 09

Don’t melt it down – i love it.

How about moving it to a more symbolic location

– entry to the tip?
– or entry to the multistorey carpark?

jakez jakez 9:08 am 26 Feb 09

Deadmandrinking said :

Get together the petition, VG, I urge you. If there’s a significant amount signatures on it, then I’d be happy to accept it being sold.

My signature, however, won’t be there.

What is a significant amount?

Crikey Crikey 8:36 am 26 Feb 09

Apparently Doszpot and Hargreaves had some very heated moments in an Assembly debate yesterday over Al’s statue but I can’t find anything on the Assembly website.

Anyone else hear anything?

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 8:21 pm 24 Feb 09

Get together the petition, VG, I urge you. If there’s a significant amount signatures on it, then I’d be happy to accept it being sold.

My signature, however, won’t be there.

vg vg 6:07 pm 23 Feb 09

Perhaps the statue could be pulled down and inserted in Hargreaves’ behind. It could replace his head which is currently inserted there.

Run a snap poll on Big Al’s popularity John. You’d find he’s as popular as you are at a teetotaller’s convention

Granny Granny 6:03 pm 23 Feb 09

It’s not about whether people are convicted criminals or not. It’s about whether they’ve conducted their lives with sufficient integrity for a community to respect and look up to. A statue is a great honour and should reflect the values and sensibilities of the community it serves.

I think it’s clear that this statue is about as popular with the people of Canberra as a statue of Belinda Neal would be – maybe less.

jakez jakez 5:52 pm 23 Feb 09

I don’t think it should be melted down. I think it should be auctioned. Those who think the statue is worth celebrating can pool their resources together, purchase the statute, and display it where they see fit. They can also accept the criticism that the statute brings.

The revenue raised can be returned to the victims of this fiasco; the ACT taxpayers.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 5:49 pm 23 Feb 09

… but I for one am saying that putting a statue of him in a public place is in poor taste, given his reputation.

Don Bradman may have been a half decent cricketer but he was an out-right maggot when it came to business dealings in his life away from the game … that hasn’t stopped statues of him going up.

To describe former PM John Gorton as incompetent would be polite, but there’s still a bust on public display in the old Administration Building in Parkes.

mutley mutley 5:35 pm 23 Feb 09

I’d personally be happy to spit on the petition and lament the bearer about their blatant disrespect for the laws and the courts of this land. Al Grassby was never found guilty and convicted. Maybe he was dodgy…but I’m not going to support port-mortem kangaroo-courts.
How about a statue of big Russ Hinze or Joh?

imhotep imhotep 4:38 pm 23 Feb 09

Deadmandrinking said :

(DMD)”I’d personally be happy to spit on the petition… Al Grassby was never found guilty and convicted. Maybe he was dodgy…but I’m not going to support port-mortem kangaroo-courts.”

Nobody’s conducting a kangaroo court DMD, but I for one am saying that putting a statue of him in a public place is in poor taste, given his reputation.

“maybe he was dodgy”

Attempting to cover up a murder by casting suspicion on the victim’s wife is more than ‘dodgy’. Words like sinister are more appropriate.

Either way, given the controversy surrounding him, a statue is hardly appropriate.

.

sepi sepi 4:24 pm 23 Feb 09

I’ve always like Amanda Vanstone ever since she described sticking a really sharp pencil into John Howard’s eye and spiking it around. (Explaining how silly it is to ban butter knives on planes). I have heard little Johnny was a bit scared of her. I also saw her at Maccas once at the airport – despite being a liberal, she does seem like a normal person.

Not a fan of quite a few of her decisions, but overall I didn’t mind her.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 4:18 pm 23 Feb 09

Interesting…

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/23/2498914.htm

Doesn’t matter though. I guess Amanda Vanstone’s image will be forever tarnished by the Howard government’s decision to give her the immigration portfolio as a means to stifle her speaking out about the rights of female politicians. Her politics might have stunk overall, but at least she had the guts to say some things that needed to be said (about women’s rights, of course).

I’d personally be happy to spit on the petition and lament the bearer about their blatant disrespect for the laws and the courts of this land. Al Grassby was never found guilty and convicted. Maybe he was dodgy…but I’m not going to support port-mortem kangaroo-courts.

54-11 54-11 4:03 pm 23 Feb 09

Agreed, Avy. Well, will we see this petition? Sounds like a real goer.

Avy Avy 3:24 pm 23 Feb 09

I would definitely sign a petition. The statue is vile and always has been.

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