If the need for an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in NSW was obvious when it was established in 1989, a report released in 2010 showed why it is absolutely indispensible. This was an ICAC study of registered lobbyists that found there were 272 individual lobbyists listed in NSW. They included 22 former state or federal MPs and 112 staffers and advisers — about half of all lobbyists.
The charmed run before the courts enjoyed by John Gay, former chairperson of Tasmanian timber company Gunns, may soon be over. Gunns became insolvent in 2012, owing investors more than $1 billion. The company had been in serious financial trouble since February 2010, when a director’s report detailing its falling revenue was made public. Two months before the report was released, Gay used his inside knowledge of the company’s financial position to sell Gunns shares worth more than $3 million. He avoided what was thought at the time to be a loss of $800,000.
China’s Second Continent: How a million migrants are building a new Empire in Africa Howard W French Knopf Published May 20, 2014 304 pages www.howardwfrench.com In his 2009 film Rethink Afghanistan, director Robert Greenwald suggested that the US should not try to control the world through military means, but by building schools and hospitals in the countries it wishes to invade. Journalist Howard French's book China's Second Continent shows how such a model can work in practice.
Premier Mike Baird’s apology to the people of NSW, delivered after the resignation of two Newcastle Liberal MPs, is about as sincere as Treasurer Joe Hockey’s mea culpa to the poor. Baird’s statement that the Liberal Party would not contest the byelections caused by the resignations — “we strongly believe we have forfeited our right to represent those electorates” — is also a political ploy. The only reason the Liberals are not standing is to avoid the humiliating loss they knew was coming.
In recent weeks, the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has managed to add a number of prominent Liberal Party politicians and apparatchiks to those of the Labor Party who are accused of complicity in corrupt practices. The commission is set to suspend its current inquiry on May 16 and resume again in August. This will allow ICAC officers to conduct further investigations into the affairs of the former Liberal police minister Mike Gallacher, who resigned in early May in the wake of ICAC allegations against him.
When the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) found that former union official, John Maitland, and former NSW ALP minister for primary industries, Ian Macdonald, had engaged in corrupt conduct over the granting of a coal exploration licence at Doyles Creek, they said the licence was tainted by corruption and should be declared void.
The hottest show in Sydney has an unusual setting, a hearing room on the seventh floor of 133 Castlereagh Street. This is where the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is investigating affairs involving former Labor state minister Eddie Obeid and his family, and former Labor minister for resources Ian Macdonald. Obeid is accused of benefiting from buying farmland over which MacDonald allegedly approved a coal mine, in return for receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks.
Billionaires and Ballot Bandits Greg Palast Out September 18 www.gregpalast.com If you really want to understand the forthcoming US presidential election, read this book. Former corporate fraud investigator Greg Palast previously showed how the 2000 US election was rigged through "purging" black voters off the electoral rolls. He showed how the 2004 election was rigged the same way. In 2008, the same thing happened again, yet Barack Obama still managed enough votes to get in.
Why Are We The Good Guys? David Cromwell Zero Books Out September 28, 2012 www.zero-books.net As a child, David Cromwell got an invaluable insight into the way the corporate media skews the news. Scattered around his family's Scottish home were "mainstream" newspapers like the Daily Record and Glasgow Herald. But among them was also the non-corporate Daily Worker, later to become the Morning Star, which his father not only bought, but sold.
Wollongong developer Frank Vellar has been charged with four offences under the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Act. More than two years have passed since theICAC released the third of its reports into corruption in Wollongong City Council. In October 2008, the commission recommended charges be laid against 11 people for 139 criminal offences. Most of those named were either ALP members or political donors. Vellar was among them. At the time, ICAC commissioner Jerrold Cripps QC described the corruption found to be “without precedent”.
US-NATO command and their puppets in Kabul are pushing ahead with lower house elections in Afghanistan on September 18. This is despite civilian casualties rising by 31% this year, a surge of occupying troop numbers and new evidence of widespread corruption emerging. A scandal surrounding the country’s largest commercial bank, Kabul Bank, has implicated one of Afghan President Hamid Kazai’s brothers. Mahmoud Karzai, when head of Kabul Bank, is said to have made millions from risky investments in the collapsing Dubai property market.
“An inquiry into the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, a corruption finding against a NSW Maritime lawyer and, to top it off, the resignation of a cabinet minister who admitted accessing adult and gambling websites on his parliamentary computer. “Even by the standards of the eternally scandal-ridden Labor government, yesterday was a bad day for public administration in NSW.
The world of international cricket has been rocked by allegations of a betting scandal involving players in Pakistan’s national cricket team. British tabloid News of the World published allegations that Pakistan players had bowled “no-balls” at an exact moment in the game in return for money from bookmakers. The scandal has also raised speculation of Pakistan players being involved in match-fixing on behalf of bookmakers. Three Pakistani players have been suspended from international cricket and charged by the International Cricket Council over their alleged role in the scandal.
I have been a fan of many sports for a very long time. I have especially followed the game of cricket for more than 50 years and I have to confess to having spent more time watching, listening and reading about it than almost any other topic.