by CAA | Feb 14, 2022 | Library, Uncategorized
14th February 2022
We have often written that Corruption is arguably the worst criminal malaise affecting our social fabric. Whether dismissed as Noble Cause, Tunnel Vision, Confirmation Bias or any attempt to justify or explain it, Corruption is Corruption. It impinges on every aspect of our lives and holds back reform and the many benefits it can bring.
However, the average person is somewhat immune to it until it directly affects them. Unfortunately, Corruption is deep-seated, and although usually perpetrated by a few, has catastrophic effects on all of us whether we are directly conscious of it or not.
Recent publicity of the slop, masquerading as food; that our aged must endure in care facilities: that term is used loosely, is an obvious case in point.
This begs the question; would they have to endure this? Had Corruption been dealt with appropriately and ICooks Foods (Slug-gate), the last major competitor to a government entity and the last significant supplier in this catering sector, had not been closed by Corrupt officials.
The sin of this company was success. The Government decided to establish a competitor and used its influence to drive all significant competition, including ICooks, out of the trade. With Local Government, the fix was in, and the demise of ICooks followed the other major suppliers in this area.
The vast majority of meal services in hospitals and elsewhere for those in need are supplied by external contractors to the service provider. Now without competition, the Government-run facility can charge what they like for whatever they like. Perhaps produce slop for exorbitant fees, and they are guaranteed the business. There is nobody else of consequence left to challenge them.
The ACCC has been conspicuously inactive in this matter, and as a result, we see our most vulnerable suffer.
Indicative of most Corruption, the impacts generally hit the most vulnerable and the least likely or capable to resist.
That Corruption and its pursuit cost the public purse millions upon millions each year should be cause enough for public outrage. The lack of backlash from the community can only be explained by a lack of knowledge.
Governments increase taxes to balance their books rather than addressing causes. Corruption would have to be up there as a major cause.
One of the problems is that many do not recognise certain behaviours as corrupt. That is particularly true of the very people we employ to manage and protect us from Corruption and are in the government employ, receiving the ‘Queens shilling’, who are supposed to ensure proper procedures are followed, and honesty prevail.
We believe that the bastions charged with protecting us from Corruption are, unwittingly and in some cases deliberately, acting corruptly themselves.
If the gatekeepers are corrupt, unwittingly, or not, what hope is there?
Awareness of Corruption will empower everybody and provide the basis for people power in an election cycle to use their weapon of empowerment, their vote.
Corruption extends past the ubiquitous brown paper envelopes stuffed with banknotes, or Bitcoin, the more modern equivalent. Still, it includes actions committed against society, often by misguided or incompetent individuals charged with addressing Corruption.
‘Noble cause’ or ‘Tunnel vision’ Corruption can be influenced by normal bias that all humankind is predisposed to.
The key, of course, is to understand that training or an odd prosecution alone will not protect us from these traits that lead to prosecutions and convictions of the innocent and equally protect the guilty.
‘It is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer’ – Benjamin Franklin.
It requires adroit supervisory and management skills, which is sadly lacking in Policing and corruption-fighting agencies.
Management accountability and effective supervisory skills with managers not distracted by internal administrative issues are precisely where the war needs to be won.
These are not nebulous concepts but real and devastating for those subjected to them or the victims whose dramas are manipulated.
The greatest examples of these corruption traits were on full display in the now infamous Gobbo Affair. Serious criminals responsible for horrific crimes are now starting to walk from jails because Police and others indulged in ‘Noble Corruption’.
Failure by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the predecessor of IBAC and the Office of Police Integrity (OPI) were not fully examined, so those responsible for failing to oversee have not been held to account. They failed to do their job, and without consequence, they will fail again time and again.
If you peek under the covers, many of the failed principal players of those organisations have moved long to even more powerful jobs. While responsibility and integrity are not essential dispositions to hold senior positions, the corruption cycle will roll along.
Where Corruption seems to be blatant and not pursued, accusations of political bias influencing the investigators or the agency are often raised. Maybe in part misguided (that of itself is corrupt) where it may be the ‘Tunnel Vision’ of Investigators or the ‘Groupthink Tunnel Vision’ of the agency management suffering the same malaise that fuels the political bias accusations.
To properly understand this subject, the Public Prosecutions Service of Canada have published an excellent piece on Understanding Tunnel Vision, and like afflictions and is worth a read at
The views in this article are a more eloquent version of the opinions of the CAA.
Understanding precedes change.
by CAA | Feb 8, 2022 | Library, Uncategorized
8th February 2022
A recent article in the Australian newspaper, ‘Tragic mayor: a second warning missed by IBAC’, highlights serious anomalies in the system that we use to manage corruption.
In short, this is a tragic story where an IBAC investigation has been dragged out for over two years into allegations of corruption within the council of the City of Casey and the relationship that some within the council had with a property developer.
Our opinions are based on the reporting of these tragic circumstances.
If the relationships were corrupt, then the perpetrators should be charged with the offences, and the courts can determine whether they are guilty as charged or not, as the case may be.
When the entity charged with investigating corruption becomes overzealous chasing shadows in their pursuit of ‘evidence‘, they are usurping the Courts’ role.
A common trait, bordering on Noble corruption, is where Investigators form an alleged crime hypothesis and blindly pursue an outcome based on their assumptions alone. Any evidence that may be contrary to their theory is rejected.
There is nothing wrong with an investigator forming a hypothesis; most good investigators do just that. It only becomes a problem when everything else is dismissed or not pursued should it deviate from the original theory. When that happens, a fine line appears, and Nobel corruption’s evilness sails into view.
In this story, it would appear the organisation itself has engaged in this practice.
Again, we see the use or misuse of the ‘public hearings’ weapon that IBAC possesses. Conducted like a ‘show trial’ in the public glare; witnesses are grilled even though they have already been subjected to the extensive coercive powers of IBAC in private.
If a suspect or witness has not provided the evidence that IBAC deems appropriate in a private hearing, the only reasonable conclusion is that the ‘show trials’ are revenge.
Parading people in an IBAC Public hearing is a version of modern-day stocks. Instead of throwing rotten tomatoes at the not convicted victim, they destroy the persons character. You can wash off tomato slop but never ever recover from the IBAC equivalent.
The basic concept of our Law is usurped by IBAC, which assumes the role of investigator, arbitrator of guilt or innocence and sentencing before the guilt or innocence is determined by a court. The sentence imposed is, their character is dashed beyond repair.
We emphasise they have not been convicted of anything when subjected to this humiliation, and irrespective of what they say, the outcome is the same – character assassination in the extreme with their guilt or otherwise apparently irrelevant.
It would be the same if Police investigating an alleged criminal act decided to incarcerate somebody without presenting them to a court. The community would be rightly outraged and should be equally outraged toward the IBAC’ ‘show trial’ process.
This process may be legal, but the legislation must be amended to eliminate the practice altogether. There has been no evidence that we know of that ‘show trials’ lead to improved conviction rates for IBAC. Not that it would be a reasonable justification if it exists.
Should a person be charged with an offence as a result of a ‘show trial’, then the option of a jury to determine their guilt or innocence is compromised as the public hearings have boundless potential of tainting any juror.
There are many disturbing aspects to this case as reported. If the Investigators could not obtain sufficient evidence in two years, that in itself is a disgrace and strongly indicates the likelihood of serious crimes being committed was substantially diminished. Flogging a lost cause, it would seem.
This lack of sound management decision making was compounded by the warnings of the impact on suspects on multiple occasions. This was further aggravated by the matters being brought to the attention of the Inspectorate responsible for overseeing IBAC.
It took the Inspectorate seven months to respond to the complaint and concluded that IBAC had no fault in a ten-page letter. It could have been twenty pages, but the facts remain the nexus between the death of the former Casey Mayor and the IBAC performance, and that of the Inspectorate must now be examined.
Whether the former Mayor was guilty of any criminal offences will never be tested or determined.
The actions of IBAC and the Inspectorate must be reined in, as nobody, irrespective of the crime, should pay the ultimate price, aggravated by the fact that the former Mayor was never convicted, so in the eyes of the Law is innocent, but that does not seem to apply to our corruption watchdog.
We regularly hear from the IBAC Commissioner that the lack of funds negatively impacts operations. Perhaps more reasoned and effective management decisions may alleviate some of his problems.
The adage of the farmer who thought a couple of scrubbers had gone rogue and jumped out of the cattle yard and headed bush is apt.
The farmer spent hours trying to find them to no avail. Returning to the yard, he finds the rest of the herd had escaped and headed bush. He had left the gate open. Most probably, the scrubbers walked out if they did at all? He would never find out.
We are aware that a specific Local Government Inspectorate is established to investigate corruption in Local Government that also has substantial powers. With the plaintive cry of IBAC over funding, perhaps if they had referred this matter to the Inspectorate responsible, this saga may not have been so drawn out.
Perhaps instead of chasing evidentiary ‘rabbits down burrows’, pursuing minor crimes and giving all the appearances of an organisation with a befuddled decision-making process and clearly incompetent investigation skills, a detailed independent examination of the whole Corruption administration must be undertaken as a matter of urgency because from what we have seen it just isn’t working for us, the ones that pay for the poor service and want corruption curtailed.
IBAC sent a draft copy of their investigation to the former Mayor, it would seem the contents contributed to her demise.
It is highly probable that this draft report was sent to elicit a response that could amount to admissions of guilt because they had insufficient evidence to charge her. It would make for an interesting read to see what put her over the edge.
These events highlight the need for an urgent independent review.
‘POWER ABUSED IS POWER THAT MUST BE REMOVED’.
by CAA | Feb 5, 2022 | Library, Uncategorized
6th February 2022
An anti-corruption probe has cast doubt over multiple convictions after a veteran police officer was charged with more than 80 offences, including lying to obtain a warrant. The Australian 2nd February 2022.
Did anybody else experience ‘Deja-Vu when reading this article?
The similarities between this case and the Gobbo affair cannot be dismissed save the size and length of time the crimes were committed and the ranks of the principal offenders.
This was another manifestation of Noble cause Corruption, arguably the worst type and the hardest to manage because it is being done for misguided ‘right’ reasons, or so the rationale goes. On that basis, often, the perpetrators gain misguided support from peers. Nevertheless, this corruption lowers the proponents of this strategy to the level of any other criminal, and that is generally a monumental fall.
“So-called noble cause corruption” is actually corruption of processes recognised and accepted by law and usually an attempt to pervert the course of justice – regardless of any standing or status of those who do it.
The other significant difference compared to the Gobbo matter is the upper echelons of Victoria police orchestrated the Gobbo affair. Still, according to the press statements, no senior Offices were involved in this case, at an operational level.
The investigation by the Professional Standards Command was effective, even identifying criminal activity by one of their own, and it is encouraging that both perpetrators have been charged with a raft of very serious crimes.
The Courts will now deal with the matter to ensure justice is done.
But the reports in the media did not indicate that the task of the investigators had not been completed as Noble corruption is a terrible blight on the organisation and needs to be eliminated. This criminal activity reportedly ran for three years, highlighting placid complicity or inaction by those responsible for supervising and managing the principal offender.
Victoria Police has a chain of command, and until the members in that chain take responsibility and are held to account for their actions and of their subordinate’s Noble corruption will rear its head again and again.
In this case, at least four ranks, including an Assistant Commissioner, superior to the perpetrator, were either inept or complicit by inaction.
They all have culpability and must be brought to account for their failures.
How can we, the community, expect to have faith in an organisation that does not make every effort to ensure these crimes are not repeated? A good place to start is the supervising function stream that will reveal the fault lines. Somebody would have to be aware of abnormal behaviour (excessive success rates compared to others) or have to authorise aspects of this perpetrator’s functions; if not, why not.
As reported, it would appear that Victoria Police did not find it necessary to seek independent legal advice before proceeding to charge the two police concerned. We would hope that this was not because of the lower rank of the perpetrators.
The crimes remain the same as those committed by many others in some of the recent high-profile cases, but it appears that if you have a higher station in life, your case is treated differently; that is not Justice.
That Lady Justice wears a blindfold is not accidental.
It is gratifying that perhaps Victoria Police have turned a corner, and in the future, it will not matter your station in life; if you have committed a crime, you will be charged.
The Courts will then decide your guilt as charged or your innocence.
Justice administered without fear or favour.
by CAA | Feb 2, 2022 | Library, Uncategorized
2nd February 2022
Media reports of Victoria Police launching a community-focused policing delivery model is heartening for the CAA. The CAA has advocated for this approach for many years.
Dating back to 2016, not long after the CAA was formed, we published the BluePrint document. https://caainc.org.au/the-blue-print-2/?doing_wp_cron=1643668280.3755130767822265625000
That five former executive Police published the document including no less than three retired Chief Commissioners, disappointingly the Police administration of the day did not even exercise the courtesy of an acknowledgement, let alone actioning the views of highly experienced former Police. They thought they knew best.
Like everything new, there are some identifiable shortcomings.
In the news, reference was made to reports that have to be submitted to, we assume measure effectiveness and participation.
Community Policing is mainstream policing and not a desirable accessory; the generation of more reports is the anthesis of community involvement effectiveness.
Making reports is not community policing and detracts from it. The time spent by Police in front of a computer screen must be addressed rather than added to, so Police have the time to engage with the community.
The introduction of information gateways will dramatically gift operational Police their most valuable resource, time to perform their proper function. The ability of contributors to the information malaise must be curtailed from hitting the send, ‘all’ button.
Micromanaging the program from on high is counterproductive when the only statistics that really matter are those already forming part of the quarterly crime statistics.
Inserting effective accountability at command levels will perform the task of ensuring the change in direction is embraced.
Victoria Police, to its credit, has announced and is implementing a Police schools program, but there is still another critical piece of the community Policing Model that has not been addressed.
One of the most successful Police community programs targeted directly at the youth cohort has been effectively knobbled by past police administrators.
The program was born in Victoria in 1976 and has been exported to all other States and Territories within Australia and a number of other countries. We invented something every other jurisdiction benefits from, except this State.
The misguided police administrations in Victoria that cancelled community Policing were not embarrassed, as they should have been, that the national program was embraced and nurtured in all other police jurisdictions except Victoria, where it started.
The program is Blue Light, and despite all efforts to close it down, it has survived against the odds.
That credit must go to the Blue Light Board.
But that is then, and now we must look forward and rebuild the Blue Light core function.
It will, however, fall to the Chief Commissioner to determine the effectiveness of the rebuild.
The incentives for Police to participate voluntarily must be reintroduced, and in return, Victoria Police will benefit from the positives that police-involved gain from this program as much as the community they serve.
There have been suggestions that Disco’s are no longer in vogue, but that is a myth, as any of the entrepreneurs in the Night Club industry will attest. Underage Disco is invariably booked out. Demand exceeds supply by a very large margin.
Give a child a chance to meet with their friends in a safe environment to enjoy their music and the social benefits (critical now in this post COVID era) and watch them flock to the opportunity.
Many of today’s youth had a parent who attended Blue Lights, so a favourable market exists ready for the opportunity.
The benefits to Victoria Police in a resurgence cannot be understated.
by CAA | Dec 16, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
17th December 2021
Two of the three entities created to control Corruption have given up.
That is the most generous interpretation that can be applied to the report in the Herald Sun, 15th of December 2021, MPs urged to clean up parliament from corrupt behaviour, detailing views allegedly expressed by the Ombudsman Ms Glass, who coincidently is well regarded by the CAA, and the IBAC Commissioner.
They are seeking help from Parliamentarians to clean up Corruption. It is a questionable assumption that politicians all know about Corruption or imply they are involved in it.
Firstly inferring that politicians are corrupt as a class is sure to raise the ire of decent, hardworking politicians being tarred with the same brush. Secondly, this admission is an admission that the two agencies have failed – it cannot be interpreted any other way- exposing, fighting and charging the corrupt is their job.
The plaintive cry of the watchdogs reported,
“…the agencies admitted that new laws introduced after Labor’s redshirt scandal had not done enough to stop political parties from misusing public money for their political gain.”
Perhaps the watchdogs have not done enough – they blame the political parties. Parties or entities do not commit crimes; people do.
This admission is unbelievable, and given the legislation that already existed before the redshirts debacle, this is a terrible indictment on the agencies and their relevance or capacity to undertake the tasks they are charged with.
Both agencies should refresh or extend their knowledge of the Crimes Act 1958. They will find all the Powers they should ever need within those annals.
It is pointless for politicians to take action to solve the problem because some are the problem, and others clearly cannot expect support from the watchdogs that have admitted defeat.
The watchdogs have become just observers, not functionaries in the corruption arena.
It was not that long ago a politician used his issued government car to deliver goods for his hardware business, and he was charged and convicted. Fast forward, still preceding the Redshirts, and a Politician used his government allocated transport to ferry his dogs and was never charged. Why not?
The Crimes Act 1958 can be applied in that and the Redshirts Rort. And what about the Common Law charge of Misconduct in Public Office?
There are many other examples of corrupt conduct by both Politicians and bureaucrats, where the watchdogs have demonstrated there is just an inability or unwillingness to act, and now we know why – they have given up.
These agencies’ primary role is to investigate and where the legislation has been breached lay charges. It is not up to them to second guess the Courts; it is the Court’s role to determine guilt or innocence, not the watchdogs.
Time for a Truth and Integrity Commission willing to act in the public interest.
by CAA | Nov 16, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
17th November 2021
Small Business Australia is currently undertaking a survey to gain a better and quantifiable understanding of community views on the COVID responses and the Political landscape. This non-partisan research is proudly supported by the CAA.
This research will help organisations like Small Business Australia and the CAA to better represent and understand the views of the broader community.
As an example, the survey has already identified that 90% of respondents support the CAA petition for the introduction of Recall to Victoria. 30,000 of your fellow Victorians have already put their signature to the issue at,
Additionally, the data this research will produce will enable us to quantify your views when we express the views of the broader community.
The survey will only take a few minutes and is anonymous.
You can also elect to receive the outcome of the survey.
The CAA encourages you to undertake this survey at,
by CAA | Nov 12, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
13th of November 2021
Recent events – recent in terms of Victorian history – have been ominous. A friend early on pondered whether the actions of the Andrews government threatened our democratic freedoms, and I naively thought not. But, upon reflection, I now share his concerns. Consider:
- We cannot get rid of even the worst government within less than four years.
- The Governor cannot sack the government without a recommendation by the Premier.
- Wartime-like restrictions, curfews, and lockdowns can be imposed by edict – supposed to be used only for stringent emergency and temporary use but actually imposed on us for world-record durations.
- Parliament, supposedly elected to represent us and protect us from tyranny, has been cut back by half. The government refuses to follow the laws and conventions on openness, accountability and honest dealing with the electorate.
- Public officials can conspire to injure citizens, throw them out of lawful employment and falsify “evidence” of criminal activity against them – without remorse, apology or explanation – and be protected by the organs of government.
- Members of the ruling elite can engage people at public expense to pursue those members’ private purposes in seeking election – and again evade the sanctions of the law under the protection of the organs of government
- Officials can spend $30 million of public money (for hotel quarantine) without any discernible record of who authorised this, what steps were taken to ensure the money went to a lawful supplier of the services sought, or even whether the supplier could reasonably be expected to do so.
- We can now – apparently – be compelled to get jabbed, twice, with chemicals we might personally object to, or be tossed on the scrap heap of social outcasts; locked out of work, milk bars, cafes, and footy grounds. (But judges are exempted.)
What has happened to what used to be perhaps the most liveable, most free, most robust society, with a Police Force that was renowned for Upholding the Right?
What has happened to our Democracy?
Actually, something like what happened in Germany between the first and second world wars – creeping tyranny.
The encroachments started in small ways as ours did; people stood quietly by, as we have. The despotic manipulators enjoyed adulation as “saviours” – and thus were perceived to be beyond accountability or scrutiny.
That, and worse, is what has been happening to Democracy in Victoria.
What is even more worrying than what has already happened is what is going to happen according to this government’s agenda.
Under a bill presently before the Parliament, the limitations of the temporary State of Emergency are washed away, and a new social management order would come into being.
The new bill is breathtaking in its grab for power, giving politicians the ability to quash dissention without any actual health issues, but merely the perceived threat – that is, perceived by those politicians.
And as reported in Lawyers Weekly this week (see ref. below):
“A damning letter opposing Victoria’s new pandemic legislation granting Premier Dan Andrews and the government “extraordinary powers” to rule the state without proper parliamentary oversight or the usual checks and balances has extended from 14 signatories out to 60, including Queen’s counsel and the Victorian Bar Association.”
Politicians, not public health officials, are to be given sweeping powers to declare pandemics and enforce public health orders for three months at a time, with “unlimited and practically unreviewable” power to rule the state by decree on a long-term basis.
The letter, circulated at the end of October, has since amassed support from another 46 Queen’s Counsel (QCs) concerned that the low threshold and extraordinarily broad definitions within the bill will make it “practically impossible” for an individual to challenge the merits of a public health order in court. Instead, if a person wishes to, they must reach a “very high bar” of establishing legal unreasonableness.
Under existing arrangements the emergency powers given temporarily to the Chief Health Officer are, at least theoretically, subject to checks and controls by elected officials, but it is plain that this government does not allow supposedly temporary and emergency powers to stand in the way of its casual, world-record, lockdown of the populace when it suits it.
Curfews are nothing compared to what faces us in the future.
“….we can expect a pandemic declaration to be in force for the foreseeable future. Thus, the minister’s power to make pandemic orders will remain in place for the foreseeable future,” the lawyers’ letter read.
Once a declaration is in place (the stroke of a pen) the only other requirement for the minister to make a public health order is that the minister must believe the order is “reasonably necessary to protect public health”. Not only is this threshold low, the QCs argued, but it is enough if the minister “subjectively believes that the order is reasonably necessary”.
This could allow orders that for the detention of persons, restriction of movement, regulating public or private gatherings, requiring the provision of information and requiring testing and medical exemptions of residents, say the lawyers.
THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING
The bill also provides “extremely broad and unchecked powers on authorised officers” that include taking any action or giving any direction “that the authorised officer believes is reasonably necessary to protect public health”. It could mean an individual authorised officer will single-handedly have the power to shut down a political protest if the officer subjectively believes it is reasonably necessary.
“It is, in our view, no answer to these criticisms to say that the bill contains more safeguards than presently exists for the emergency powers under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. The emergency powers are just that – extraordinary powers that are available to be exercised for only a very short period,” the letter said.
“It is one thing to allow temporary rule by decree to deal with an unforeseen and extraordinary emergency in circumstances of extreme urgency. It is something else altogether to entrench rule by decree as a long-term norm. In our view, this is antithetical to basic democratic principles and should not be allowed to happen.”
The CAA would also highlight what we understand is a substantial increase in recruiting activity for Authorised Officers, as the Government /Premier is building their own Political Police wing (under the guise of health) with extraordinary powers that police officers cannot and should not have.
Interestingly, this Health Police Force is predominantly managed in its current form by former airline cabin Staff who the Premier rescued from the crash of the airline industry, with no training or qualification for their new role.
It is fascinating to observe the Premier defending his new push for power on the grounds that it increases “transparency and accountability” at the same time as:
- the government resolutely refuses to release the existing health advice and modelling given to it, and
- the government cannot even remember who brought about the hotel quarantine disaster that led directly to 800 deaths.
This legislation must not be allowed to succeed. https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/32999-legal-bodies-qcs-oppose-new-victorian-pandemic-bill
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by CAA | Nov 10, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
10th November 2021
The re-emergence to prominence of the Red Shirts criminal artifice has come as quite a shock, mainly to the perpetrators, who had good reason to believe their crimes were well buried.
To the rest of us, guarded relief that the offenders involved in these crimes may, at last, be brought to justice.
That it has not happened thus far, reeks of corruption. gross incompetence or other impairments within the authorities designed to deal with corruption by those employed on our behalf to manage our State.
Strong suspects contributing to this inaction, apart from self -interest is warped ideology that spurs minions to not rock the boat and report corruption.
‘There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.’
The Red Shirt ruse is only part of this story.
The corruption that intervened in the proper application of the Law will, however, become the bigger story.
If as opinionated by Herald Sun reporter Kieran Rooney (9/11/21) is accurate, Robert Redlich, the IBAC Commissioners, ‘jaw hit the floor’, when disgraced Labor MP Adam Somyurek dropped the bombshell that the Premier was aware of the Red Shirts rort
We will have to look more closely at the role and function of IBAC and the Commissioner.
We are not suggesting the allegations against the Premier are true, but our concern is the reaction of the Commissioner.
Through our contacts, from eminent legal practitioners to former executive police who had worked with Robert Redlich, the evaluation of his character was consistent. His integrity is of the highest order and he and would not bend to external influences, yet paradoxically, it would seem he was shocked by the evidence.
It seems incredible that the majority of the community has long formed the view that the Red Shirts program was criminal. The close association between the Red Shirts and the Premier demonstrated by the proliferation of media photographs of him proudly interacting with the participating Red Shirts, was too blatant to miss.
For the Premier to deny any knowledge of the artifice is challenging to accept and that, he was allegedly interacting, should not be a surprising revelation for the Commissioner. To be surprised by the allegations suggests, in the absence of any other explanation, that he has led an insular existence that has created a lack of understanding that the rest of us have grasped.
I don’t think anybody other than perhaps blinkered supporters of the Premier would accept he did not know.
Whether that knowledge extends to criminality is doubtful; however, those directly involved in falsifying documents and other nefarious activities must be held to account for the crimes they have committed.
In a civilised society, criminality cannot be allowed to be airbrushed away, whether involving the elite political class or the ordinary citizen. Doing so condones crime and can destroy democracy, it is that important to quell.
Much has been said about the amount of money paid back to the State by the Labor party over this fiasco. That repayment is an admission of guilt no matter which way you slice or dice it, and we would suggest it never would have been repaid had it not been exposed.
That this repayment in some ways mitigates; criminality is one of the greatest fallacies ever reported.
To give an example to understand the misinformation that has been proffered over this Red Shirts crime is a recent example in the community that gives context by disparity.
Recently reported was the story of a suburban mum who committed substantial fraud on her employer over some time and when confronted pleaded guilty to the offending.
Ironically and consistent with the Red Shirts issue this mum and her family went to extraordinary lengths to repay the poor victim the thousands stolen; however, she was sentenced to a minimum of a two-year jail for her crime.
Using the Red Shirts paradoxically, she should not have been charged, let alone convicted, as she paid the money back.
A rationale that should never be countenanced by any stretch.
Is this another example of one set of rules for the first and second estates and another for the third?
Let’s hope that the IBAC Commissioner will see through this fog and go after not only the perpetrators of the Red Shirts artifice but, more importantly, the facilitators that conspired to stymie prosecutions are arguably the greater criminals and their deeds must be exposed.
If we are ever to reign in corruption it is the facilitators that must be prosecuted.
The impact of corrupt leaders is to generate more corruption, and when they err, they must be held to account because if they are not, the next layer down sees it as acceptable, as explained by the Somyurek evidence. The corruption permeates down through the organisation, in this case, the State, a situation that is now evidenced in Victoria.
Unless this rot is arrested then the consequences become more dire for all of us.
The IBAC Commissioner will be judged by how he deals with this matter; or is our IBAC only good for prosecuting perpetrators for ‘Pillow Talk’?
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by CAA | Nov 7, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
7th November 2021
There are some gross incongruities in the world of Police discipline; just ask some of the Police victims.
Over recent years one thing that has stood out in Police discipline meted out by either Vitoria Police Professional Standards Command (PSC) or matters investigated by the now-defunct Office of Police Integrity (OPI) or by the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) is the blatant contradictions.
Take just two examples.
Most readers will remember the photographing and subsequent distribution of pictures of a well-known football identity arrested for stalking, dressed as a female.
It was interesting how the privacy breach of the stalking perpetrator overshadowed the despicable behaviour of stalking an innocent female victim by the media, IBAC and Police Command, ‘wokeness’ trumps the crime of stalking. The impact of that crime was diluted dramatically except for the victims.
It is important to note that there were many Police tracked and identified as either having received the images or distributed them further.
A raft of sanctions were imposed on those Police, including criminal charges, dismissal, and other penalties. But notably, they were all of lower ranks.
The CAA does not excuse the behaviour but is critical of the disproportionate outcome to the conduct identified.
Particularly when you consider that the offensive material distributed by the police members was targeted and generally remained internal.
Contrast that with former Assistant Commissioner Bret Guerin, the Commissioner in command of the PSC responsible for internal investigations into corruption and other discipline issues distributing vile and offensive comments, a criminal offence, trolling over many years under at least three pseudonyms on public media sites.
Subsequently admitting his guilt publicly in the media after being exposed, not by the corruption watchdog, but the CAA, working with other victims, but he was never charged or disciplined.
It should also be noted that Guerin would have been the primary conduit between IBAC and Victoria Police, and he was involved in criminality, unbelievable.
Critically, however, the main issue is that the Police involved in the distribution of photographs of the stalker under arrest were apparently all identified by the footprints left in the stratosphere of the internet.
Compare that investigation and outcome with the Guerin matter where there does not appear that any effort was applied to track down who the audience of the Troll were, or was it an embarrassment to identify his supporters.
Guerin’s behaviour stands out, and his crimes were substantially aggravated on a number of fronts, not the least his rank in the Victoria Police and his role as the gatekeeper of police discipline.
- Guerin was committing the crime of using a Carriage Service for menacing, harassing or offensive purposes which attracts a penalty of up to three years in jail. He committed this crime on multiple occasions and potentially others like Misconduct in Public Office for somewhere north of six years (that we know about). A recidivist criminal. And we suggest not likely to avoid jail if convicted. But to be convicted, one needs to be charged.
- The first formal complaint that we are aware of was made to the Chief Commissioner VicPol early in 2016, identifying the Internet Protocol Address (ISP) of the computers used to commit the crimes. Guerin left clumsy internet footprints everywhere.
- He initially got to investigate his own complaint.
- We are also aware of other issues related to similar indiscretions by him that, on our estimates, put the cost to taxpayer’s emanating from his blunders in the region of half a million dollars. Still, he gets to keep his super and have all his legal fees covered.
- If he is charged with these offences, the State could not, in good conscience, fund his defence, particularly given the cost he has imposed on the State thus far.
- As distinct from the case of the football identity stalker, no effort was made to identify or track co-conspirators in these Guerin crimes.
- IBAC is satisfied that no influence of the values expressed by Guerin swayed his work. We assume they deduced that by asking the perpetrator, No doubt the perpetrator would be honest and frank on that point.
- He never showed contrition.
- He received no sanction for his offending.
- The exposure of the stalker’s photos was short-lived, but the Guerin matter spanned many years, and it would be unfathomable to believe that there was not an audience with parallel views who Guerin was servicing or to whom he was playing. Because it is without question, being deprived of positive reinforcement and encouragement, this behaviour would have ceased years ago.
- Further aggravating the culpability of Guerin and confirming that his behaviour was no whim, he used three pseudonyms that we are aware of over the years. Vernon Demerest, Clive Howlett-Jones and Grange Calendar the actions of an unrepentant recidivist offender, not just somebody getting ‘a bit excited on a keyboard’, as described by Chief Commissioner at the time, Ashton.
- These crimes required planning, and Guerin would be dealing with these types of offences regularly, making the crimes more egregious and would be well aware of the offences and the penalties. Still, presumably, he, like most crooks, did not expect to get caught, particularly when any complaints would come across his desk.
- It was unbelievable that it was his embarrassingly inane mistakes that led to his exposure. With at least one other deliriously inept misstep by Guerin not publicly exposed.
Perhaps that is because of the who, rather than the what was done.
The CAA has previously expressed concern that there is a real possibility that an enclave of like-minded individuals, his mates, a ‘Jedi Council’, exists in the upper echelons of Police and elsewhere, which is very concerning.
The integrity of the many good officers in the upper echelons needs to be cleared of any suspicion that must indeed exist, that they are tarred with the Guerin brush.
A skilled detective will always rely on the OTT about crime and criminals.
There is no such thing as a coincidence.
Once – It could be a rush of blood, an opportunistic crime, or a random error of judgement. (categorising many of the members distributing the photograph)
Twice– It is not a coincidence; it is a pattern.
Thrice– Entrenched habitual recidivism(categorises Guerin).
It would appear that Guerin can turn on a very effective ‘charm offensive’, which he exercised at IBAC and was noted in their report. It clearly worked for him there. They were conned.
Another experience from practised Investigators,
Criminals invariably use the ‘charm offensive’ for two significant reasons.
Firstly- it may make the process tolerable, and if they can win over the Investigators, there is every chance they will put a good word in for them at court.
Secondly- they hope the investigators will only focus on the crime to hand, and the other offending may not be looked at. Their rationale is that it’s better to go down for what they (the investigators ) know rather than what they find out, as that will cause a whole heap more pain.
It makes you wonder about what Guerin may have been hiding.
The CAA calls on the Government to appoint a special investigator to examine the Guerin matter and determine why he was not charged with a series of criminal offences and whether there is a like-minded enclave.
According to the IBAC report, they seized and gained access to electronic data, so the evidence still exists.
A court should decide his innocence or guilt, not bureaucrats with a vested interest to limit damage or protect others.
by CAA | Oct 27, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
27th October 2021
The latest Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) Special Report of Operation Turon into the activities of former Assistant Police Commissioner Brett Guerin is an extraordinary paradox.
Operation Turon lives up to its name, ‘Sliced bananas or other fruit rolled in a thin layer of pastry and deep-fried, served as a dessert or snack’ an apt description of the outcome of this investigation as far as Guerin is concerned, but leaves the victims wondering, ‘what does somebody have to do to be held to account?’
In his response to the IBAC report, Guerin showed little contrition for his behaviour. Throughout the report, as in his response, the Victims of this despicable behaviour did not receive any acknowledgement, let alone an apology from IBAC or, more pointedly, the Victoria Police.
That no criminal charges were laid is very concerning. At the time of his worst trolling, he was the Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Police Professional Standards Command (PSC) responsible for Police internal investigation. This certainly aggravated the behaviour substantially.
At the very least, a clear-cut breach of
Section 474.17(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) (“the Code”), a person commits an offence if they use a carriage service in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive. The “service” can include a fixed or mobile telephone service, an internet service, or an intranet service.
Additionally, there would seem to be another clear-cut case of,
Misconduct in Public Office applicable to at least the first reported complaint.
But of gravest concern to the CAA is the apparent lack of application of investigative skills to this Operation that is neither explained nor addressed. And the continued references to Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin throughout the report is disingenuous.
Guerin lost his title the day he resigned. It is clear he would rather resign than face the humiliation he deserved. He ran to avoid accountability, and he should never have been allowed to retire.
It’s probably more interesting to look at what the investigation did not discover or what was not reported.
Guerin’s behaviour came to official notice when a complaint was lodged with VicPol and referred to IBAC in 2017.
We understand that a complaint was made by a Blogger who had identified the ISP numbers from a number of trolls by the Guerin pseudonym Vernon Demerest.
The blogger had identified one of the numbers as registered to Victoria Police Centre (VPC) and the other to a private address we presume to be Guerin’s.
VicPol, in the referral to IBAC, would indeed have included this information, or did they? Surely competent investigators would have spoken to all complainants and discovered the ISP addresses, if not passed on, or did they?
However, instead of investigating the matter, IBAC referred the case back to VicPol and surprise, surprise, it was referred to the then Assistant Commissioner Guerin, the head of Police Professional Standards (PSC). He could then investigate himself.
A response was sent to the complainant that there are hundreds of computers in VPC, and it would be impossible to identify who uses which computer.
That little gem we would have thought crossed the line into criminality, Misconduct in Public Office by Guerin, but not according to IBAC.
The not insignificant point that all police computers have to be logged on with a user ID escaped the detecting minds of those charged with that responsibility.
That IBAC did not find evidence that Guerin’s trolling and the vile racist, homophobic, etcetera trolls affected his decision making is extraordinary; obviously, they didn’t look too hard.
Reference was made to an incident that severe racially motivated rants at a police station abusing a senior sergeant’s ethnicity was somehow okay because Guerin said that it was. Guerin said it was taken out of context.
Somehow self-serving statements by a perpetrator are acceptable to be reported and relied upon – IBAC was conned.
That incident ended up with a substantial civil settlement to the Senior Sergeant.
Reading the report, other omissions are unbelievable.
There was the matter of a venue operator of ethnic heritage who was publicly shamed and libelled by Guerin on mainstream media. A Court in that case found in favour of the venue operator against the State (Guerin).
CAA is also aware of another settlement where racism was alleged by an applicant before a selection panel where Guerin was the convenor. Evidence was forwarded to VicPol that showed dishonesty and unprofessionalism by Guerin in the conduct of the selection. A human rights complaint was made. Again, this resulted in a significant settlement that VicPol had to pay.
So, there we have three non-Anglo’s suffering at the hands of Guerin’s decision making, coincidence? I don’t think so. It is a pattern of demonstrated criminal behaviour obviously ignored by IBAC.
The involvement of the CAA in this matter was that we identified the troll as Guerin. Not IBAC or VicPol.
Pilloried by former Chief Commissioner Graeme Ashton, Guerin, and another former Assistant Commissioner Fryer, the rhetoric espoused by Fryer in relation to the CAA and its Chairman Kel Glare appeared in written form under the name of Brett Guerin on our Facebook page.
The diatribe lasted only a short time before it was deleted when Guerin realised his mistake. Recorded by us before deletion, we were amazed to find another post within minutes with the identical diatribe, but under the name of Vernon Demerest, Guerin had blown it. What an idiot,
We had already advised Demerest that we knew it was a Police member and warned the author that the name would be blocked if the trolling continued.
With Guerin’s absurd behaviour, we delightfully responded to Demerest,’ We know who you are. It is a matter of professional standards. We doubt that Guerin would have been too concerned as he had already dodged the bullet once and would be confident his position would protect him.
This exposure was followed by a series of letters to the Chief Commissioner reporting the extent of the trolling, given that we had contact with a number of victims.
Had the CAA not identified Guerin, the trolling would have doubtless continued
Our correspondence of the 12th of April 2017 fell on conveniently deaf ears. We didn’t even receive acknowledgements, let alone any comfort the matter was being addressed.
With apparent inaction by authorities, working with investigative journalist Cameron Houston of the Age, who in turn Neil Mitchell of 3AW, the Chief Commissioner, was asked about the trolling on air, and his response was to dismiss the matter as trivial. Somebody was getting a bit excited on a keyboard.
Guerin was then exposed and came onto the Mitchell Show to admit his trolling and dismiss it as trivial.
The following day Houston wrote a detailed article exposing the extent and the content of the vile trolling. All the significant media mastheads ran the headline about Guerin’s exposure.
The next day Guerin resigned.
The IBAC investigation looks very ordinary when the facts are disclosed, particularly those omitted in their report.
The other glaring anomaly in the IBAC report is the gloss over of the length of time Guerin was trolling for the better part of a decade.
IBAC expects the people of Victoria to accept that a person can troll for that long, espousing the most vial references without them being what the perpetrator thinks? Does it seem IBAC may be accepting that the Guerin ultra-ego is somehow a different person?
Very convenient for the perpetrator and very concerning that this stuff can perhaps sway our Corruption Watchdog.
The other great anomaly in this investigation is that no real or reported effort was made to track down the other players in this artifice.
We are expected to believe that Guerin did not have other sympathisers, barrackers or willing recipients of his work egging him on. We are not that naive.
It is beyond reasonable belief that others were not identified given IBAC had access to all Guerin’s electronic devices, and each transmission sent or received leaves a footprint. Maybe IBAC investigators need some internet training.
It gives us no comfort at all as we have never discounted a theory of an ultraright wing enclave within VicPol fed by Guerin’s rants.
The reality is there is every chance of a ‘Jedi Council’. It has certainly not been discounted.
We have drawn the obvious conclusion that our so-called Corruption Watchdog is lucky to come up with a whimper, but we note they are pretty good at getting a conviction for pillow talk.
Unfortunately, the IBAC is largely a paper tiger when it comes to matters of substance, such as the ICook Foods, Slug-Gate fiasco
by CAA | Oct 20, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
20th October 2021
The Opinion piece by Deputy Police Commissioner Rick Nugent in the Herald Sun on the 19th of October 2021 sets out the extraordinary and successful efforts that Victoria Police is applying to Youth Gang crime.
In so far as the effort is targeted from when a young person first comes to police notice, the work is very commendable but disappointing in its sphere of influence.
The CAA has long argued that by the time a child comes to police notice irrespective of the resources that may then be applied, for far too many, the prognosis for that child is that they will become a recidivist. The cycle is entrenched in them.
In short, ‘The horse has bolted’.
For every young person targeted and effectively removed from a gang either by sanctions or otherwise, a long line of willing aspirants anxiously waiting to fill the voids created.
Understanding and accepting that all young people are and quite properly aspirational is the key. It is a matter of guiding or influencing those aspirations characterised as ‘achieving social prestige and or material success’.
Therefore, the efforts of the Victoria Police in this context are too late. The more significant effect will be achieved if the contact is with the young people before entering the scene and coming to Police notice. We do not encourage the lessening of the operational efforts currently underway; they are essential.
The problem with the gang issue is cultural, and we do not mean culture based on ethnicity, although that may appear to be the case. The point is the culture of misdirected aspirations. And the solution, police having positive interactions with young people before aspirations influence their negative behaviours.
This will reduce the gang culture dramatically by addressing the supply side. It will also positively impact the crime and antisocial behaviour of teenagers more broadly.
We accept that the resource drain on Victoria Police during the Covid pandemic has been astronomical. Therefore, we understand the need not to pursue the Police In School Program (PISP) previously announced by the Chief Commissioner. It would have been pointless as schools went in and out of lockdown. However, as we come out of this pandemic, we would be encouraging the Chief Commissioner to re-establish that commitment so schools can plan their involvement.
While a PISP adequately resourced will have a positive influence, this will not occur overnight; the original programs influence after the closure took a number of years to bleed out of the system; similarly, the reintroduction will take time to have an effect. If past experience is any guide, the time frame of impact by the reintroduction will be relatively short.
Although the PISP was the cornerstone of Police influence on young people, many of the programs that have been mothballed also need to be revisited and built-in support of the schools’ program to increase its effectiveness.
Examples like the Blue Light Program have a role to play. Although there is some argument the core activity is not as popular as it was, that assumption is incorrect as the commercial sector, before Covid, had developed a market for underage Disco’s that they had trouble accommodating due to their popularity.
Blue Light Disco’s support and coordination with the PSIP program will have a dramatic and positive effect.
by CAA | Oct 20, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
20th October 2021
The premier, Daniel Andrews, announced a new law recently – all those on a long list of private and public employees would have to be vaccinated or lose their jobs. The list included those employed in our courts.
Promptly the Chief Justice, Anne Ferguson, announced that judges (among many others) were not bound to obey that law, and the Premier agreed.
The judge’s ruling was not preceded by any complaint, hearing, or other process. It was not a ruling of the Court. So was she saying that judges are above the law? And did Premier Andrews then agree with that?
That would be absurd, of course. It has long been well known that our judges are not above the law. So we are left with the obvious conclusion that Dan Andrews’ “law” is not actually the law at all. He severely overreached himself – and he has agreed. In what other ways has the Premier overreached himself, announcing “laws” on the whim of himself or some faceless fool?
One example may be the curfew that has locked Victorians in their homes, to no apparent good effect (and even while the trains kept on running)! When a legal challenge was mounted the curfew was quietly abandoned, but so far as we know no apology was issued for the poor victims who had been fined in the meantime under the “curfew laws”. Outrageous unlawful “laws” that purportedly have been reinstated at the time of writing.
Much of what the beloved leader has done during this pandemic has been overreach; the deadly “hotel quarantine disaster” of 2019, which led to the deaths of 800 Victorians, reminds us of how the implementation of government policy can sometimes be neither sound nor sensible.
Some policies, becoming de facto “laws”, just go too far to be countenanced. Ask Justice Ferguson.
Mandatory vaccination policies might be seen as just going too far. The Premier’s “laws” have already wreaked economic havoc and saddled us with debts that our great-grandchildren will continue to bear. Deliberately putting even more people out of work to satisfy the drive for uniformity, as opposed to individuality, goes too far to be countenanced.
Ever heard of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? We Australians have signed up for that; which means we signed up of the right to refuse to undergo medical treatments if we so choose. The writer, along with most of his friends and colleagues, is vaccinated. That was our choice. But we call the mandated vaccination program – and the policy to force people out of work if they choose to not be vaccinated – simply abusive and outrageous overreach.
by CAA | Oct 16, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
17th October 2021
The Parliamentary Inquiry into the closure of ICook Foods, ‘Slug-gate’, has released its second report into this fiasco. As expected, it weighed heavily into the Health Department and Greater Dandenong Council. Adding substantial weight to the CAA call for Recall petitions for Government and Local Government at https://chng.it/R8HJ8Hk8
The report and all documents referred to in this article can be viewed at https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/1001-lsic-lc/inquiry-into-the-closure-of-i-cook-foods-pty-ltd
The report produced fourteen findings and made five recommendations, and they are in addition to the findings and recommendations of the first report.
The Inquiry wisely steered away from delving into the alleged criminality in this matter. Doing so could compromise due process and risk the success of prosecution; however, they were clear on who should be addressing these issues. A view often expressed by the CAA.
Referring to a leaked Police Briefing Paper the Inquiry recommended-
“It recommended further investigation by Victoria Police to ‘identify any alleged corruption or misuse of office’. However, at the time of the brief, Victoria Police did not pursue the investigation further.
The concerns probed in the police brief are serious allegations which should be fully investigated. As stated in the first report, allegations of this nature call into question the integrity of Victoria’s food safety framework and the processes undertaken by regulatory authorities. “
The Chief Commissioner has announced a further Investigation after this initial Briefing Paper. However, the Victim is less than confident that this investigation is proceeding as he has only been advised that the new Investigators are compiling another report – not an investigation.
The area’s where we believe the Inquiry erred or was misled were-
In relation to the actual closing of ICooks by the Chief Health Officer.
A reference to ‘temporary closure’ of ICooks was, at best ‘disingenuous. The mechanics and processes adopted by Health Department and Greater Dandenong Council ensured that ICook Foods, no matter what ICooks did to address the claimed failures, many spurious; the closure Order was not lifted until well after the period that all current contracts held by ICooks moved into default and clients were forced to move to an alternate supplier decimating the ICooks business.
That process, by any measure, is corruption.
Ironically, and surprise, surprise, there was only one supplier left in the market capable of dealing with this influx, the Government-sponsored and dramatically financially inept basket case, called Community Chef.
Other businesses that would have been capable of dealing with the influx of work due to the closure of ICooks had previously ceased to operate in this space as a result of the entry into the market of Community Chef and their anti-competitive advantages and preferential treatment gifted them by Government making competition against them fraught.
Many of ICooks clients had previously moved to Community Chef after the fanfare of their entering the market but had moved back to ICooks before the Closure Order. This, in part, explains why the Community Chef was only operating at 25% capacity and bleeding rivers of cash.
It is where that river runs that is the key to this issue.
Although the Inquiry report referenced the Auditor General, why the Auditor General wasn’t tasked with examining the money trails of Community Chef when it is clear the motive of this artifice called Community Chef, cost us millions that are unaccounted for defies comprehension.
Where did the money go?
There is the matter of the not insignificant, not far short of $10 Million they borrowed from the ANZ Bank, which we the taxpayers have to repay.
Where did that money go?
How any Bank could possibly countenance a loan of that magnitude to a company with a nine-year track record of failure and as financially inept as Community Chef is again beyond comprehension. The circumstances of this loan and its disbursement need to be examined very closely.
Given the hoops, legitimate borrowers have to go through to get a few thousand dollars, let alone millions, raises some very serious questions as to the propriety and processes around that loan.
The stench of corruption lingers on this transaction.
Accounting trickery identified in the Pitcher Partners Report into the entity’s finances exposed the habit of annual depreciation being manipulated to lessen the annual losses.
The insolvency bullet was dodged by Community Chef by a $1m letter of comfort supplied to the entity by the Health Department- again, our money.
Accounting chicanery? Where was the Auditor General?
In fairness to the Inquiry, we do not believe the ANZ loan was adequately exposed to the Inquiry, and there is perhaps a very good if nefarious, reason to play this down by the bureaucrats involved.
Intelligence that we have been gathering as to the identity of suspected beneficiaries of this artifice is not inconsistent with other matters currently being scrutinised elsewhere; however, there is only one sure way to discover the truth. A Forensic Audit of the financial transactions of the companies that make up Community Chef, and a thorough investigation without fear or favour by Victoria Police.
IBAC may also have a role to play to examine allegations of Police corruption in this matter.
The air needs to be cleared, with the cards to fall, where they may?
That audit, we believe, will expose the true culprits and beneficiaries of both individuals and or other entities.
The unpleasant smell that lingers around this issue is that of something rotten.
The CAA will not be satisfied until the whole issue is properly investigated, and not just the offences committed against ICooks, but also those against the State of Victoria.
by CAA | Oct 15, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
We have learned that the Andrews Government has appointed Mr. Graham Ashton to inquire into reported failings of the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority – the 000 call takers. Surprising that they did not ask Ms Coate, who did such an outstanding job of finding out who was responsible for setting up the deadly Hotel Quarantine shambles last year.
Which reminds us of Mr. Ashton’s stellar performance record – the only qualification he brings to his new task:
He presided over the decision to NOT prosecute anybody arising out of the Red Shirts Rort. This was the infamous saga in which the Ombudsman, Ms. Deborah Glass found “Labor had created an artifice by paying casual electorate officers to work as part-time campaigners instead of carrying out electorate duties”. But under Mr. Ashton’s supervision and control Victoria Police said “no charges will be laid against any person” – a “very sad day for democracy in Victoria, (and) …a very sad day for the justice system”. (The Age, 15/10/2019);
He was in charge when the Victoria Police dismembered an honest police investigation into the “I Cook Foods” plot. Honest coppers have reported that before they were “re-assigned” under protest, they had found and reported upon clear evidence that several public officials had grossly misused their positions;
We remember also the awful, deadly, implementation of Hotel Quarantine “oversight” by untrained, unqualified and unsupervised so-called Security Guards – a decision that most fifth year constables would have recognised as doomed to failure from the outset and which constituted greatest single policy failure in the State’s history. According to The Guardian (9/10/20) then Chief Commissioner Ashton texted a message saying this was “a deal set up by the Department of Premier and Cabinet” but he reportedly could not remember, and he did not keep a diary – right?
Oh, and perhaps we should also recall the Lawyer X affair – this was not commenced while Mr. Ashton was Chief Commissioner, but certainly the disgraced Office of Police Integrity was closely involved in it – the OPI where Mr. Ashton was Director of Operations. Nothing wrong with the regulator being involved in the operations they were supposedly auditing is there? No conflict there? That affair has been officially labelled, by Vicpol, “a profound failure of policing” and Mr. Ashton fought for years to have it covered up while he WAS Chief Commissioner. That is to say, he was in charge of the multi-million-dollar effort to prevent the disclosure of “reprehensible conduct… and …. “atrocious breaches of the sworn duties imposed on every police officer” (High Court of Australia AB v CD; EF v CD)
We are confident Mr. Andrews will find Mr. Ashton’s ultimate report satisfactory.
by CAA | Oct 12, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
13th October 2021
It seems that if you are a victim of a crime, you can no longer rely on authorities to protect you and hold the perpetrators to account.
Or have we entered a new social phase where it’s not the crime but who committed it that determines whether the offenders are investigated and prosecuted.
This new and developing social order has historical equals.
You have to look no further than the French Revolution for a comparison. After suffering years of oppression, the Third Estate (us) revolted in a violent struggle resulting in many of the first Estates heads parting company with their bodies courtesy of the guillotine. Barbaric as that was, the modern metaphorical outcome for many may be just as humiliating and decisive and we would argue the process has started.
So, what to do when the ‘system’ is stacked. The team assisting Ian Cook, the victim of the Slug-gate affair, are vigorously exploring alternatives.
The team is currently discussing strategies with eminent legal practitioners who believe that the ‘system’ has failed.
As CAA has delved further into the Slug-gate debacle, where a family business, ICooks Foods, was the victim of criminal acts perpetrated by the ‘system’, we have been shocked at where the tentacles of this unlawful activity reach and into which bastions of our society it seems to have corrupted. Health Department, Victoria Police, Politicians, a raft of local governments, and the Government funded, Community Chef Board and management.
Evidence is constantly emerging, and that evidence now clearly implicates some very senior people. Conflict of interest, incompetence, conflicted relationships, and downright dishonesty, lying under oath, manipulating legal processes and suspected bribery are there to see for those willing to look.
The complete failure of these bastions is very perplexing and draws us towards the conclusion of a cover-up of more dire criminal proportions.
The complete failure thus far, by those charged with protecting us from corruption, have failed the Cook family and their employees in the first instant, but arguably on a higher plane the people of this State who pay the wages of those who are supposed to protect us. We also pay handsomely the people responsible for criminal acts against us; we pay for the privilege.
No wonder many Victorians feel reamed.
It is now two years since this egregious behaviour when Mr Cook lost his business and his employees their livelihood, perpetrated by Government officials and bureaucrats was reported to Police by Mr Cook, and a whistle-blower independently reported the corruption to IBAC.
Mr Cook, the victim, has no more confidence now than when the nightmare started that a proper investigation is being undertaken. He has lost count of the various investigators that the matter has been shuffled through.
This process is a bit like doctor shopping – eventually, somebody will achieve an outcome that comforts the Police hierarchy directly involved.
There are two documents currently available on the Parliamentary website that we would encourage you to read. Go to https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/lsic-lc/inquiries/article/4807
The first, a report from Pitcher Partners, sheds light on motive and gives an insight into how our taxes are used and abused.
The second is a report from the Detectives that undertook the first ICooks investigation and perhaps indicates why some in Victoria Police would like to see this investigation buried, presumably because it may expose them.
The report details the criminality of the ICooks affair and was submitted to VicPol hierarchy in June 2020 sixteen months ago and still no action against the suspects, as far as the Victim knows.
That lack of action is inexcusable particularly given that many of the offences are straightforward and most of the Police work has already been done by retired Police.
It certainly gives the impression that a ‘cover-up‘, is afoot.
That VicPol is vigorously trying to block a Freedom of Information issue relating to ICooks through VCAT lends strength to the theory. The Government Model Litigant Rules seems to have been ignored in this matter.
On that point, you would have thought that within Victoria Police, they would have learnt that cover-ups rarely succeed, and when exposed, cause more pain than coming clean in the first instance, think Gobbo.
The evidence is so strong in the ICooks matter that the chances that a prosecution may fail are extremely low, and that takes into account prosecutors ‘running dead’.
And we are not referring to ‘Jay walking’. The offences we identified are all very serious and carry substantial jail time on conviction – we contend, nobody is above the law. The various agencies must pursue the perpetrators without fear or favour.
Whether the Police have some difficulty in pursuing the matter because of the victim’s alleged connection at the Parliamentary Inquiry to the death of an eighty-nine-year-old (89) patient at Knox Private Hospital is not known.
However, the inference was put to the Parliamentary Inquiry by multiple bureaucrat witnesses in an attempt to paint ICooks as the perpetrator without any conclusive proof. The poor lady weighed 38 kilos and was 185cm (Over 6 ft) tall, and she had a blood-born infection when presented at the hospital and other very serious health issues.
This patient was clearly in the ‘end of life phase’ at 98 and the alleged listeriosis infection, an easily treated pathogen, that can be cured in a hospital environment in a matter of a couple of days at most, would have had no influence on her ultimate demise which occurred many days after she was admitted to the Knox Hospital.
Conspicuous by their absence was the medical records and pathology reports routinely done in any Hospital that would have supported the bureaucrat’s assertions. With months to prepare for the Inquiry and unlimited resources this omission is significant.
A competent investigator would easily have found no connection between ICook Foods and the unfortunate death if they cared to look.
Evidence also exists, which is also irrefutable, that a number of people made false affidavits (Perjury) in an attempt to prosecute the victim – the malicious prosecutions all failed, not without substantial cost to the innocent victim and the public purse.
The investigations carried out by the ICooks team have established the truth within CCTV footage that shows that the perpetrators committed Perjury and attempted to Pervert the Course of Justice supporting the general thrust of the original investigators report.
The current work of the ICooks team will potentially spawn a new speciality within the Legal profession representing victims who have not received justice through bureaucratic interference, corruption, dishonesty, or ineptitude.
The ‘bureaucratic system’ is geared to protect itself and use the depth of its resources to protect perpetrators and to avoid accountability of those within. Ironically the people who decide to use these resources, our money, are generally seriously conflicted and are commonly the suspected perpetrators.
Thought must be given to how these decisions to dip into the public purse can be done without conflicted people making or influencing these decisions.
ICooks is exploring a new legal strategy and the perpetrators, which stretches into double figures, will now become quite twitchy as the metaphoric rope tightens its grip.
The ballot box is not the only weapon available.
You will be held to account.
You can count on it.
by CAA | Oct 12, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
12th October 2021
The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. Calls for Action.
Disgraced former Labor Minister, Luke Donnellan, must immediately resign from Parliament. Donnellan said, “I don’t believe it is possible or appropriate to maintain my ministerial responsibilities given these rule breaches.” The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. (CAA) agrees but simply resigning as a Minister is not acceptable. Donnellan must go.
Donnellan has been named on oath at the current IBAC Inquiry as being involved in rorting of the public purse and in ‘branch stacking’ which strikes at the heart of our democracy.
Former New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, resigned as Premier and as a member of Parliament when simply faced with an announcement she was to be investigated. This is right and proper under our Westminster System of Government. Donnellan must do the same to preserve our ethical standards of government that have been so damaged by the Labor Government of Victoria.
The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. (CAA) has proposed that legislation be introduced in Victoria to allow a corrupt, inept, unaccountable government to be forced to an early election. The details of the proposal for a ‘Recall Petition’ are on the CAA website (caainc.org.au) and this has already attracted over 22,000 signatures.
Recall Petition legislation is in use around the world to restrain governments and local governments and public officials from improper behaviour. Signing the CAA Petition will exert pressure on every government, of whatever persuasion, to introduce legislation to ensure accountability in future. Accountability sadly lacking in Victoria at present.
The public interest must be served and be seen to be served.
And Donnellan must go.
by CAA | Oct 12, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
12th October 2021
Misconduct in public office is broadly defined. It can be any conduct by a public sector employee which is unlawful or fails to meet the ethical or professional standards required in the performance of duties or the exercise of powers entrusted to them.
Misconduct generally occurs when a public officer abuses authority for personal gain, causes detriment to another person or acts contrary to the public interest.
Following the notorious “Red Shirts Rort” heavily criticised by the Ombudsman where Labor paid back $388.000.00 of money rorted from the public purse, and where no criminal charges were brought, we are now faced with another major Labor scandal involving Branch Stacking.
Counsel assisting IBAC, Chris Carr SC, told the current inquiry there was evidence of systematic rorting of taxpayer resources in the Labor Party, and Branch stacking which strikes at the very heart of our democratic system of government.
Carr’s direct quote: “One would not have expected that the misuse of public officers for political purposes would have continued after the Ombudsman’s report was published in March 2018, “he told the inquiry.”
Federal Labor MP Anthony Byrne told the inquiry his staff were performing factional work during the day, while they were being paid by the taxpayer.
A claim that this is not unlawful fails any test. Clearly those engaged are prima facie guilty of misconduct in public office under the definition set out above.
Are those responsible for this rort to be again excused? Surely time to put those responsible before a court of law. Or are politicians a protected species to whom the law does not apply?
The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. demands that no, “Get out of jail free” card be played in this matter and that prosecutions be brought against those involved in the public interest.
by CAA | Oct 7, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
7th October 2021
The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. (CAA) has been highly critical of the sentencing practices of Victorian Courts where judges persistently impose less than maximum sentences, which are set by Parliament, on habitual criminals.
The Herald-Sun of 3 October 2021, an article by Rebekah Cavanagh, describes the criminal career of one John Lindrea, a criminal who has been in jail for all but four years of his adult life and is currently awaiting sentencing for a violent armed robbery where a firearm was held to the head of an innocent victim. The terror of this for the woman victim can only be imagined.
Lindrea has prior convictions for a double murder, bank hold-ups and escaping from prison. When arrested for his latest armed robbery, Lindrea refused to identify his co-offender or disclose what happed to the firearms involved. The firearms were found hidden at the scene of the robbery seven months later.
On 4 October 2021, John Lindrea was sentenced to eleven and a half years jail with a minimum of eight years and nine months before being eligible for parole.
The maximum penalty for armed robbery in Victoria is 25 years’ imprisonment. However, the most common imprisonment length for armed robbery from 2014–15 to 2018–19 was three to four years. Why?
What is going on in our courts? Where are the rights of victims being addressed? What regard did the court have to the terror of the victim in Lindrea’s case having a loaded shotgun put to her head and expecting to be killed?
Lindrea is a double murderer and a convicted armed robber with a long criminal history. Surely we can expect our courts to impose maximum sentences, as set by Parliament, in cases like that of Lindrea. Only a maximum sentence could keep us safe from this habitual violent offender.
If judges continue to ignore Parliament, the CAA calls on Parliament to create a Commission of Judicial Performance Review with the capacity to sanction judges who consistently ignore Parliament and act as a law unto themselves.
by CAA | Oct 3, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
4th October 2021
The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. (CAA) has consistently criticised the present Victorian Government for its inability to prevent its bureaucrats from acting corruptly. The ICook Foods fiasco is a classic and ongoing example.
Now we have Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) facing 58 charges brought by WorkSafe, alleging the DHHS endangered the lives of its workers, security guards and hotel quarantine guests (not the bureaucrats) when it failed to provide a safe workplace for its employees and failed to ensure people were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.
Departments are not the decision makers – it is bureaucrats within those departments who make the decisions. At the heart of these issues is that no one is held accountable. The Coate Inquiry was unable to determine just who made the critical but flawed decisions. A plethora of, “I can’t remember” responses from Ministers and officials was a plague of a different kind.
What is certain is that DHHS mistakes in hotel quarantine drove the state’s deadly second wave of COVID-19.
The effort to stop Covid 19 spreading was doomed from the moment already established protocols for dealing with disasters, including pandemics, were ignored by the Government and they set off on a frolic of their own proclaiming they knew best. They did not.
The Coate ‘snowflake inquiry’ into the failed system linked 768 deaths during the second wave back to the hotels.
WorkSafe alleges the DHH failed to appoint people with infection prevention and control expertise at the hotels, failed to provide security guards with appropriate infection control training and did not provide, at least initially, written instructions on how to use protective gear.
In all charges, the health and safety regulator said the DHHS employees, the government’s authorised officers and security guards were put at risk of contracting COVID-19 and serious illness or death.
The Coate Inquiry linked ninety-nine per cent’ of Victoria’s second wave cases to the hotel quarantine fiasco.
The maximum penalty for each of the charges is irrelevant as any fines imposed are returned to the State’s coffers.
The charges are listed to go before a Magistrates Court for a filing hearing on October 22. Of course, ultimately a plea of guilty would assure only a summary of the evidence would be given to the court again ensuring the guilty politicians and officials are protected.
Coate’s inquiry found poor infection prevention and control measures were the genesis of outbreaks that seeded in the community from the Rydges on Swanston and the Stamford Plaza.
The then Health Minister, Ms Mikakos, resigned a day after Premier Daniel Andrews’ evidence to the Inquiry, in which he accepted he was ultimately responsible for Government decisions.
The CAA now asks, if Premier Andrews was ultimately responsible, why has he not been charged by Work Safe? Why have other Ministers and Department Officials involved in these shambles not been charged? Those responsible for the decisions that led to this tragedy of hundreds of deaths and thousands of serious illnesses must be charged and held to account.
The failure of Work Safe to bring charges against the individuals involved cannot remain unchallenged.
by CAA | Sep 28, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
28th September 2021
Why do we have a Police Force? So that by and large we can live together as a community in peace and harmony. Police Forces have no intrinsic merit of their own. They exist solely for the service they can provide to the community.
In providing that service we could reasonably expect high ethical standards, transparency and accountability. Are we seeing that with the Victoria Police?
The Lawyer X scandal dates back years and the Victoria Police fought tooth and nail, at the cost of millions of dollars, to keep Nicola Gobbo’s name from public disclosure. VicPol took the case all the way to the High Court, which found in December 2018 that Victoria Police’s conduct in using Gobbo as a confidential informer was “reprehensible” and had corrupted prosecutions.
The outcome of this sorry saga is yet to be played out. Some of the police involved could end up in jail.
Following this debacle, one could expect that the lessons have been learned. But have they? It appears not.
There is currently a case pending before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) where leave is being sought to call as witnesses four members of VicPol who were engaged in the first police investigation of the ICook Foods scandal. An investigation that has been moved several times for reasons that have never been disclosed. No transparency here, even when questions have been asked as to why the case was moved.
Who made the decisions to keep moving the case? Why? Who is accountable for these decisions? Certainly no one at ICooks has been given any idea. Victims of alleged corruption were ignored. No accountability here.
One could expect that if there is nothing to hide then VicPol would be more than willing to accede to the request to call these police at the VCAT hearing. Such is not the case. VicPol is again taking every step possible to thwart the appearance of these three at VCAT. Why?
There is an old legal adage, “Innocence demands the right to speak. Guilt invokes the right to silence.”
A public body like VicPol should honour the “Model Litigant Rules” that apply to all Government Departments. Why not in this case?
Ethical conduct, transparency and accountability must be embraced if we are to have faith in the integrity of the Victoria Police.
by CAA | Sep 26, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
26th September 2021
Things have been really tough for Police over the last eighteen months or so when they are regularly dragged away from what they know is essential work to deal with the Covid Crisis.
The hard part of Policing is that the Police share many of the views of the broader community, so it is not surprising that there is disquiet in the ranks and that disquiet is growing.
Additionally, they are subject to a constant barrage of views, statements and questions by the Public demanding answer to questions that the Police do not have answers for because the Government has failed to inform the public and the Police adequately.
The Police are copping the brunt from the people, not the Government who made the decisions; they are ensconced well away from the conflict they have caused.
The most significant frustration for both the public, and the public who are Police, are the inconsistencies and double standards exercised regularly by the decision-makers. A set of rules for them and another for us promoting the concept that the ‘them’ are somehow immune from this disease.
The lack of clear direction in the management of this Pandemic and the use of blatant scaremongering has damaged the credibility of the managers of this Pandemic.
We have all been exposed to ridiculous pessimism of dire outcomes by the euphemism for information – modelling. Whether modelling ever gets it right is problematic as we have seen this now-discredited process fail over and over with climate change and now Covid.
We have all been exposed to misinformation, sometimes appearing as rationale material on the Web. Noting so-called reputable critics are former employees of vaccine producers, but we are never told the circumstances as to why they are ex-employees, as this may destroy their credibility.
We are entitled to be sceptical about these comments, along with a lot of other rubbish masquerading as fat on the internet.
Therefore, it is unsurprising that this disquiet is now manifesting into a movement or organisation of proportions sufficient to raise some interest and concerns.
To each of the many Police members involved in responding to the protests and expressing concern, the CAA empathises with your views. Many of us experienced similar pressures during our police service; however, as it was then, and is now, the proud and resilient Victoria Police will weather this storm.
The bottom line is that you have each taken an oath that must take precedent over your personal views, whether political or otherwise.
Most of the CAA are vaccinated, but we were fortunate to receive the jab when it was not overshadowed by inducements and other strategies to remove freedom of choice.
Most of us concluded it was a wise move partly because of age and, more importantly, the actual on-ground raw data showing the vaccine’s effectiveness.
We saw through the fog.
We also rationalised that having these vaccines processed by the same authority that processed all the other vaccines we are exposed to is reliable.
The list of vaccines that have not raised community ire are;-
So much of the hyperbole has been created by misinformation.
But we are concerned, and while understanding the angst of some Police members, when you signed on to this proud profession and took that oath, your life rules changed, which is a distinction that only Police share.
The vast majority of Police and Police Veterans share this common bond, and although when you cease to be employed (retire) from VicPol, you are never de-oathed, and that oath or its values will stay with you forever.
To all the members who are concerned, the correct way to deal with your stress is to, in the first place, do your sworn duty and ensure your Association acts on your behalf. That is what you pay your union dues for.
Your anger must be directed at the Government, in this instance, not command; remember, they have little choice as they are hamstrung by the ‘Sate of Disaster’ and the Health Orders.
We know they have made mistakes, but we have also seen them learn. Just compare the command and control of the earlier demonstrations in this tranche to the Shrine demonstration.
Please do not take any action that will risk your integrity because you can never get it back once compromised, and do not create additional load on your colleagues; that is not the police way.
We do not judge or criticise you as we have been to a similar place but encourage you to ‘Uphold the right’ because not doing so means anarchy.
by CAA | Sep 26, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
26th of September 2021
A commonly agreed definition of corruption—albeit a narrow one—is ‘the misuse of entrusted power for private gain’.
Forms of corruption vary but can include bribery, dishonest lobbying, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement.
Corruption erodes trust, weakens democracy, hampers economic development, and exacerbates inequality, poverty, and social division.
However, exposing corruption and holding the corrupt to account can only happen if we understand the way corruption works and the systems that enable it.
Corruption has no limits, status, level of education, heritage, wealth, social, political views, cultural divides or what football team you follow.
There is just no limit to which sector of the socio-economic divisions where corruption may be spawned or who the purveyors might be.
Corruption per se, is also not a criminal offence of itself but a description applied to a raft of very serious criminal offences.
The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) defines corruption in the public sector as
- Taking or offering bribes.
- Dishonestly using influence.
- Committing fraud, theft or embezzlement.
- Misusing information or material acquired at work.
- Conspiring or attempting to engage in the above corrupt activity.
There is also a raft of Criminal Offences that can be applied to many alleged corrupt activities currently occurring in Victoria within the public sector disappointingly not seen by the IBAC definition,
- Perverting the Course of Justice.
- Misconduct in Public Office
- Malfeasance In Public Office
- Multiple conspiracies to commit these offences and a raft of lesser dishonesty crimes.
We strongly suspect that many people in the public sector will be horrified to know that they are unwittingly being used to commit such serious crimes.
Their station within the bureaucracy or the nature of their work across the whole of the government sector, including all the independent agencies- anywhere where the public purse is the employer, whether executive management or the lowest level of the sector we should not allow them to escape the consequences of their unlawful actions.
Corruption has a unique capacity of being exposed no matter how careful or deceptive the perpetrators are.
Often, perpetrators foolishly believe that their superiors will protect them because they are only doing what they would want – absolute rubbish.
History is littered with those who suffer the consequences of doing illegal acts believing that is what the boss would want. The most striking of examples were exposed in the Hague War Crimes Tribunals. A cold cell is often the consequence.
At the first sign of trouble, the perpetrator’s subordinates go under the bus. If you are a friend of the perpetrator, you are guaranteed to be the first to go under well ahead of the subordinates.
Why is Victoria so corrupt?
The Government of the day has to take a fair amount of responsibility, but it matters little the Government’s political persuasion but most importantly, the example they set.
Rife corruption is an extension of behaviour and tolerance by executives within a system.
Corruption becomes a cycle and is normalised to such a degree; many do not realise they are corrupt or their unlawful behaviour.
Ironically, the purveyors of corruption are punished by corruption as much as everybody else. They are shooting themselves in the foot; how stupid is that?
The impact of corruption defined by IBAC is,
Corruption erodes the trust we have in the public sector to act in our best interests. It also wastes our taxes or rates that have been earmarked for important community projects – meaning we have to put up with poor quality services or infrastructure, or we miss out altogether.
How do we break this cycle and bring this State back?
The CAA proposes a Judicial body to deal with the current and historical corruption issues and, in the first instance, offer immunities to government employees from all sectors and levels who have witnessed, are aware of, or have been involved in corrupt practices.
The targets of the Inquiry are the leaders who perpetuated the corrupt evolution. To those people, the CAA warns you should be very concerned.
This Inquiry will allay a lot of concerns from employees who fear they have been unwitting participants either through coercion or ignorance in illegal activity and should be allowed to come forward without retribution.
Although the Inquiry will require powers to conduct in-camera hearings, the function of the Inquiry will be to allocate any investigations to the appropriate agency with the capacity to monitor and make directions to the agency as required.
A corruption buster that will remove the shackles of corruption from the many who have been burdened with the crimes by the unscrupulous is essential.
We are confident that the vast majority of people relying on the public purse to service their mortgage and lifestyle are basically honest and dedicated – they should not be put in the positions many find themselves in, just to retain or curry favour with a boss.
It is the boss that must be held to account.
by CAA | Sep 24, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
25th September 2021
Equipping Police with Water Cannon equipment can be a vexed question, with those that would seek to see demonstrators whose lawless behaviour should be ripped into line on one side, and tunnel-visioned liberationists, with a, how dare they, attitude and the ‘Police State’ mantra on the other.
We would argue that if you focus on somewhere near the centre, the water cannon should be an essential tool for Police.
Many of the issues driving community angst to demonstrate are driven by Government decisions, so while there is an imperfect government with a ’Tin ear ‘to the community, we will always have unrest irrespective of the partisan bent of the Government of the day.
Riots, in general, are spawned by extreme elements hijacking and riding on the back of genuine community concern to promote their extreme ideologies and ideals. In many cases, their ideals may not be supported by the majority of demonstrators.
As with most of these conflicting issues, the Police are left to pick up the pieces and suffer injuries and abuse at the hands of rabble.
Moreover, the Police are always relentlessly scrutinised for innocuous reactions that can be portrayed adversely.
It would be interesting to see how these critics would fare standing in the police shoes. According to some, the Police are supposed to just stand there and be spat on, jostled, assaulted and abused and not react.
That is a moot point; as we already know, the critics would not be brave enough.
So, Police need the support of appropriate resources to minimise their risks, improve their effectiveness and reduce resource demands.
The protestors, however, have an alternate problem, how do they avoid being swept up in the fervour created by agitators and fall foul of the Police doing their job. The Police can’t possibly know which demonstrator spitting and abusing them is a genuine protestor pushed over the line or an agitator.
So, we need to increase the protection against serious harm and legal consequences for the genuine.
It seems to us that the issue is a bit of a ‘no brainer’ really.
A very wet demonstrator is likely to withdraw from the action and is a better option than an injured or arrested demonstrator losing their liberty for a cause and tying up Police resources.
Water Cannons used properly after appropriate warnings are issued, seek only to saturate the crowd in the first instance. Continued insurrection and the water jet will move any crowd and may lead to injuries but that would be a last resort and entirely at the discretion of the perpetrators.
A saturated demonstrator has a trip home to worry about, so the consequences of not obeying a lawful direction by Police will be a very uncomfortable and perhaps embarrassing ride home.
The alternative of being trampled by a Police horse, arrested, pepper-sprayed or hit with rubber bullets or tear gas, again makes the Water Cannon the best worst option.
The water cannon only converts to the jet stream for those who continue to defy the lawful directions.
The CAA calls on the Chief Commissioner to request the Government to urgently supply multiple Water Cannon crowd control vehicles with supporting legislation. At least two are required for refill overlaps and riotous behaviour on multiple fronts.
Any disputes as to the propriety of using this equipment should be fought in the Courts, not on the streets .
As a former Commissioner of an interstate Police Force once said, “We had a Sarrison six-wheel-drive ex-Military Personnel Carrier, water cannon in the shed and never used it.”
Maybe having it, was why it was never needed?
by CAA | Sep 23, 2021 | Library, Uncategorized
23rd of September 2021
We have heard many unsavoury machinations surrounding Slug-Gate and the shocking treatment meted out to the Cook family by State bureaucrats and officials that we all employ to administer our State.
A thorough Police investigation will undoubtedly uncover substantial corruption in the treatment of this family and their forty-one staff.
And thorough it must be, as anything short will reignite the Red Shirt saga where apparent blatant crime was never proceeded with
There are allegations that previous police investigations into Slug gate were not completed when the matter was removed from investigators on the cusp of an outcome and handed on to others to start again. This allegedly happened five times.
That process and the decision making around this process is open to the allegation of inappropriate interference in an investigation, corruption, or put more bluntly, Perverting the Course of Justice, and or Misconduct in Public Office, very serious criminal offences.
Particularly given the politically charged environment around these issues, we must be satisfied that the work of Victoria Police was conducted without fear or favour.
The confidence of all of us in our Police Force is at stake.
These alleged behaviours of Senior and Executive Police need to be independently investigated to determine whether it was corruption or poor management. Either way, we need to be reassured everything is above board, and a proper investigation is proceeding free from partisan political influence.
This investigation cannot be allowed to ‘fall of the truck’ as the ramifications of this whole scenario goes to broader questions of corruption in public office, and the honesty and ethics of our employees, the State bureaucrats, as well as the Senior and Executive Police.
The experience of Police in dealing with a matter like this requires not only knowledge of the criminal law but an understanding of business which may explain some Police resistance, but that only means the Police need skilled resource support, that is no excuse not to pursue this matter.
The issues of Slug Gate have been well ventilated. Still, little attention has been publicly given to ‘Community Chef’, the company established by the Government and sixteen Municipal Councils destined to monopolise the prepared food sector of the catering market.
After ‘Community Chef’ with its raft of concessions caused many other competitors to close the last major competitor and an impediment to a market monopoly, ICooks was also eliminated, completed by a Health Order on spurious grounds.
The question of corruption and perhaps other illegal activities is ‘writ large’ over ‘Community Chef.’
From a variety of sources, the following is known or suspected about ‘Community Chef’,
- Their land, a fully equipped ‘State of the art’ factory and $500,000.00 cash start-up was gifted to the company from Government coffers without a business case. All up over $19m.
- A gift to an independent business with no obligation to repay is obscene.
- Now a moot point. If they did make a profit, where would it go?
- Government or semi- Government entities that used the ‘Community Chef’ were exempted from competitive tender, a substantial competitive edge over the competition—possibly breaching anti-competitive law.
- They were exempt from some State taxes and charges—another competitive edge.
- ‘Community Chef’ creditors were given a Letter of comfort of $1m, perhaps to obscure liabilities.
- They were allowed to continue to operate for nearly ten years in technical insolvency—an obscene competitive edge.
- They never turned a profit for any of the (annual) reporting periods during their existence.
- They continually received cash injections from their owners, Local Councils. It is best described as manna from heaven to the tune of $3m on top of the $4m in interest-free Government loans, which we are not sure if they were ever serviced or just written off.
- They also charged higher rates than the market had previously enjoyed.
- There has never been any reasoning or justification, based on empirical data, as to why this facility was needed in the first place or why the privileges and benefits should be provided to a non -Government entity.
- Their finances indicated substantial drawdowns towards its end. These drawdowns, $100’s of thousands of dollars, seem to have miraculously evaporated.
- How the ‘Community Chef’ incurred a six-million-dollar debt that appears never to have been serviced is astounding.
It is irrefutable that this business had significant shortcomings.
To understand the depth of the issue, you need to understand that the operations and corporate governance of ‘Community Chef‘ was overseen by,
- Sixteen Council owners and over two hundred elected councillors would by necessity be required to vote and agree to the financial top-ups for their business on numerous occasions during its existence.
- There were sixteen Council Chief Executives and countless council subordinate staff intimately aware of the’ Community Chef’ o
- The ‘Community Chef’ Board of directors, including council appointees rotating through the Board, should also be required to answer awkward questions like, please explain?
- The Health Department had multiple Officers engaging with the ‘Community Chef‘ operations.
There is also a raft of regulators that have allowed this calamity to flourish, and they are all, perhaps not surprisingly, now the fiasco has been exposed, very obvious by their absence.
It will be interesting to see which of these entities commits to their charter to come out now and address this issue to ensure it does not happen again and bring perpetrators to justice.
The list is impressive, but performance to date is very ordinary.
- The Auditor-General (AG)
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
- Victoria Police
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- The Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
- The Local Government Inspectorate.
Hans Christian Anderson best summed up this disaster in his tale of ‘The Emperor has no clothes.’ The weaves are the perpetrators who promoted and maintained the charade, and the Emperors are those listed above adorned in their invisible clothes.
With an abundance of corporate oversight, we ask the following questions,
- How was this apparent basket case of a company allowed to continue to trade when no other comparative company would legally be permitted to do so?
- How was this company that was ‘Community Chef’ permitted to breach anti-competitive laws with impunity?
- How is there not one recorded case exposing the sham company by the hundreds of people who had oversight until very recently?
- Over the life span of this company, why was there no Government intervention given the enormous financial burden that was building?
- Why was the ‘Community Chef’ purchased for $1.00 by the Government that also accepted the company’s liabilities of $6-7m?
- Why was the business not offered to the market to be sold for the $6-7m current valuation at the time of closing to minimise the financial impost on the State?
- Was the sale of ‘Community Chef’ legal?
On finances, by the time ‘Community Chef’ was sold to the Government for $1, it absorbed somewhere around $28m and passed a $6m debt to the Government to settle liabilities. These figures do not account for the many other millions that were generated by the company’s operations. Where did that money go? It is a reasonable question.
At the end of the day, this exercise in futility at operating a business will possibly end up costing taxpayers circa $100m when civil and criminal litigation is concluded.
And this is where the duck comes in.
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. This duck is called corruption.
The only plausible explanation for the lack of intervention is that all the identified people were either utterly incompetent or directly or indirectly lied to. On the balance of probabilities, the latter would be our pick.
The investigation into this issue will need to expose the ‘who’, not the ‘what’; that is already known, and given all the player’s identities are known, it may be a big task but not a difficult one.
As the interest in this matter continues to escalate within the community, this whole sorry saga may end up the touchpaper for further backlash from the Le Tiers État (French) or The Third Estate.
To say this estate is currently angry would be understating the obvious but, unless there are some circuit breakers, the inevitable outcome, as the French discovered in 1789, will be insurrection, and heads will metaphorically roll, predominantly from the First Estate.