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.”

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75 Responses to Underbelly, Al Grassby, and Canberra.
vg vg 5:07 pm 16 Feb 09

I will add, personal, not professional opinion as well

Braggs Braggs 5:21 pm 16 Feb 09

All this denigration of our long departed Mafioso friend Al. Surely there’s a ‘statue of limitations’. 🙂

uniqueusername uniqueusername 5:22 pm 16 Feb 09

Braggs said :

All this denigration of our long departed Mafioso friend Al. Surely there’s a ‘statue of limitations’. 🙂

Just wait until they start on Frank Sinatra!

Mr Evil Mr Evil 5:23 pm 16 Feb 09

Are we infringing his human rights?

el el 6:31 pm 16 Feb 09

That’s Bob on the far right.


rugbyskier rugbyskier 7:05 pm 16 Feb 09


One of the family is a friend of mine and has lived in Canberra for a number of years. The family is totally disgusted with Stanhopeless.

cranky cranky 7:30 pm 16 Feb 09

Sonic is guilty of allowing this bastadry to come to fruition. The principal mover was the arogant inebriate, who should be shot for his total lack of respect for the McKay family.

‘All this denigration of our long departed Mafioso friend Al’. Didn’t depart anywhere near early enough.

imhotep imhotep 8:15 pm 16 Feb 09

Imagine the outcry if a future Liberal government put up a statue of Robert Askin in NSW.

Never convicted, nevertheless accused of many ‘slip-ups’, Askin could be called ‘The father of the gaming industry’ and was a trusted friend of many colorful racing identities. He has about as much credibility as Al.

Only in Canberra.

anon1972 anon1972 9:08 pm 16 Feb 09

Maybe could flank Al with a statue of Sir Joh and Big Russ. Both never convicted of anything either so all as pure as the driven snow.

poptop poptop 11:35 am 17 Feb 09

Sadly, neither were members of the correct political party.

Granny Granny 11:39 am 17 Feb 09

I think the statue is in exceedingly bad taste and very insensitive. There’s at least a thousand more deserving ALP people they could have chosen to publicly honour.

poptop poptop 11:49 am 17 Feb 09

Hmmmm – I think putting up statues apparently for people doing the job they have been well paid for is a bit rich.

At least Alexander Downer’s dad (Alex senior) paid for and wisely chose a subject other than a family member whan it was time to have an official Downer statue in Canberra.

Granny Granny 12:04 pm 17 Feb 09

Is that the fountain in Garema Place?

poptop poptop 12:45 pm 17 Feb 09

Yep – the Father and Son sculpture, donated by Alex senior to honour his dad – John Downer.

Snoopy Snoopy 12:46 pm 17 Feb 09

peterh said :

oh, is that bob?

What ever happened to Bob? Does he still represent us?

Snoopy Snoopy 12:53 pm 17 Feb 09

barking toad said :

The obscenity of having a statue acknowledging this vile person will confirm stanhope’s place in ACT history as Worst.Mayor.Ever.!

This slimy politician, whose seat was bought by the grass castle kings of Griffith, contributed nothing to Australia. The myth of him “fathering multicultalism” will only be propogated by the faithful from the labor party and blind ideological hippies, aka stanhope.

Recall his denigration of the McKay family at the behest of mafia masters.

If anyone deserves the epitaph it is this worm:

“death becomes him”

If Grassby were a sporting personality the statue would be knocked back due to bringing “disrepute to the Game”. It seems in politics it’s easier to let things slide.

Footloose Footloose 1:38 pm 17 Feb 09

“I think the statue is in exceedingly bad taste and very insensitive. There’s at least a thousand more deserving ALP people they could have chosen to publicly honour.”

I completely agree.

I’d be interested in knowing exactly who’s fantastic idea it was to have this statue made because that person is a complete idiot who should not be in office/ the ps due to their lack of education/knowledge about the darker side of life or a smug f*cker with no respect for victims of crime and probably an associate of people that crawl in those circles.
There are so many more worthy people to erect statues for; why, oh why, is this thing standing in Canberra?
Seriously, I’d rather have Bob Hawke sculling a yard glass.

cranky cranky 6:51 pm 17 Feb 09


Hargreaves is the originator and pushy proponent of this abomination.

It is dificult to understand how any rational person could overlook the criminal leanings of Grasby and his libilous treatment of the McKay family, but laud his supposed ‘multicultural’ efforts.

But we have seen that Hargreaves is hardly the epitome of rational, particularly after lunch.

vg vg 7:29 pm 17 Feb 09

If I start a petition objecting to the statue who will sign it?

cranky cranky 7:32 pm 17 Feb 09


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