28th November 2018

The State elections are over and some folk are tempted to rule a line and say the Labor government has a mandate to move ahead – even to the extent of “ignoring” the past.  But there remains the unfinished business of the infamous Red Shirts Rort.

Since that disgraceful episode burst upon the public consciousness there has been a decided stench of corruption and cover up surrounding it.

  • The celebrated IBAC refused to properly investigate – to its undying shame.
  • The Ombudsman did a good, but very limited job in the face of powerful government opposition.
  • And even after the Ombudsman’s report was released the Victoria Police refused to do its obvious duty until forced to take some action by public opinion.
  • Even then the police did not treat all suspects equally, but showed clear favouritism towards members of the Parliament who were said to be involved – and the Chief Commissioner could not explain this when asked.
  • The delay in completing what seems to be a fairly simple fraudulent misappropriation (theft) of taxpayers’ money and falsification of public accounting records is inexplicable.

The elections are over but the stench lingers on.  There was always a possibility that if the conservatives had won the election any subsequent action against the suspected politicians in the Rort affair, would be painted as some sort of pay-back.  That is no longer possible – the conservatives did not win.

To remove the stench there needs to be firm and deliberate, and open action to bring the matter to a conclusion and show Victorians that the law has been applied.

That is what an investigation means – discovering the truth in accordance with legal specifications, in the interests of justice.

CAA again calls upon Mr. Ashton and our public authorities to demonstrate that the Red Shirt Rort affair has been thoroughly investigated with complete integrity.