26th May 2023

 In the Herald Sun of 25/05/2023, there is an article referring to the charging of a former Police Sergeant, Mark Sims, with Misconduct in Public Office and other offences for writing a message on a whiteboard at Kyneton Police Station in November 2020, “beware of the rats”.

Ultimately the charge of Misconduct in Public Office was withdrawn, and the only remaining charge was dealt with when Sims admitted to a single charge of causing disaffection among police officers.

While in no way condoning the actions of Sims, the fact of Sims being charged with Misconduct in Public Office is a cause for concern.

Over the past eight years, the Community Advocacy Alliance Inc.(CAA) has continually referred to actions of members of the Government that, in our view, clearly constitute Misconduct in Public Office only to hear that this offence was too difficult to prove for charges to be laid.

If writing “beware of the rats” on a police station whiteboard was considered sufficiently serious for the laying of a Misconduct in Public Offence charge, how is it that no politician has been similarly charged?

Incidents warranting such a charge range from the notorious Red Shirts Rort to the treatment of Ian Cook and ICook Foods, with many instances in between. In particular, the issue surrounding the Quarantine debacle, which allegedly resulted in the death of over eight hundred people. Nobody was held accountable, let alone charged with any offence.

Clearly, double standards are being applied. Those authorities who have repeatedly failed in their duty to the public to hold politicians and Public Officers to account should themselves be considered to have committed Misconduct in Public Office.

For how long are we expected to tolerate these double standards?