On 5th January in an article titled: Closer checks urged after bridge collapse the Canberra Times ACT Assembly reporter Noel Towell reported that:
The ACT Government has been told to keep a closer watch over builders working on government projects in the wake of last year’s bridge collapse in Canberra’s north.
An official report into the oversight of the job, a bridge span of the Gungahlin Drive Extension over the Barton Highway at Mitchell, has found that claims by subcontractors that the design work for the collapsed structure was safety compliant were taken at face value.
“Taken at face value”; really what does that mean? It means that another ACT Public Servant has not done their job properly and the people paying for this corruption are the residents of the ACT and every taxpayer in Australia.
Sub-section 22 (10) (b) of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 (ACT) (the Act) includes public wastage in its definitions of corruption.
The Act defines Public Wastage at Section 3 to be:
…conduct by a public official that amounts to negligent, incompetent or inefficient management within, or of, a government agency resulting, or likely to result, directly or indirectly, in a substantial waste of public funds, other than conduct necessary to give effect to a Territory law.
Taking a safety issue at face value resulting in the collapse of a bridge and the hospitalisation of a number of workers, some with serious injuries must fall into the category of negligent, incompetent or inefficient management. Where is the investigation into the individual public servants who took the word of a contractor at face value resulting in a substantial waste of public funds? My guess is that there will be no investigation and no accountability because of the entrenched and systemic corruption to be found in the public service in Canberra.
These Canberra based public servants are the very same people who asked the government on a daily basis to increase their powers, vis-a-vis you and me while at the same time shirking any concepts of accountability, not to mention the increased accountability that should flow from an increase in powers. This is ludicrous, absurd even!
My concern with the public service in Canberra is the level of racism that can be found within its ranks. Racism is another form of corruption; corruption that is running unchecked, corruption that is hitting the hip pocket of every taxpayer in Australia, every day of the year. Perhaps we should ask the government how much of the current budget deficit relates to corruption and accountability, or should I say a lack of accountability issues.
The public service that oversaw the collapse of the bridge over the Barton Highway, the main route into and out of Canberra, is the same public service that has systematically failed to carry out even the most menial of its tasks – the efficient collection of rates and land taxes in the ACT.
Every dollar that corruption costs because of a lack of accountability in the public service probably costs you and me, the Australian tax payers two dollars.
What I find most interesting about the lack of accountability within the public service in Canberra is that the more overtly racist the staff in a Department are the worse the measurable outcomes for that Department become.
The case in point is ACT Treasury, the Department that continues to harbour racists within its ranks, the Department that thinks that it is OK for one of its employees to dishonestly use its resources to illegally gain access to information that the employee would otherwise not have been able to gain access to and to use that information to further a racist agenda and to save his arse from legal action seeking damages and findings for his racist and corrupt conduct.
It is also the same department that can’t account for all the monies in the home loan portfolio, a scheme established to assist low income earners buy a home. Again the people forced to wear the cost for this corruption are you and me.
If we leave ACT Treasury and move to the Department of Defence, where should we start there? Perhaps the Collins Submarines or the Seasprite helicopter programme which has cost you and me about $1,100,000,000.00 and counting. Or perhaps we should look at the roof insulation and school hall projects. Shit, a lot of the government’s deficit is sitting there.
While each of the departments I have mentioned above have cost you and me millions if not billions of dollars through incompetence and corruption, who has been held accountable? No one! How much time and money has been spent by these departments in rooting out Aborigines because racists don’t want to work with them? Quite a bit.
A question for Prime Minister Gillard and Chief Minister Stanhope: are Aborigines in your view citizens or not? If the answer is yes, how about treating us as such and dealing with the racism and corruption that is costing the Australian community so much in wastage and outright theft.