6th of August 2021
How does Slug-Gate relate to Recall?
Your Rates and State taxes have been squandered on the alleged criminal endeavours perpetrated on ICook Foods, a long-standing family catering business in Dandenong South, by a conglomerate of Local Governments, sixteen of them.
ICooks were forced to close down due to a number of alleged criminal conspiratorial actions by bureaucrats putting over forty workers out of a job just because the bureaucrats wanted to have no competition to their business and to get their hands on technology owned by ICooks.
The story of Slug Gate centres on the establishment by the sixteen councils of a competing catering business called Community Chef established as a private company with a Board of Directors. We will be publishing more detail at caainc.org.au soon.
This was no ordinary business, established with Government grants and access to Government catering contracts with extraordinary life spans, without the nuisance of tendering, exempted from some taxes and fees usually attracted by these businesses, Community Chef was a dead cert to be a huge success, and a model governments could replicate in other industries.
The concept would be attractive to many who despise small businesses, particularly successful ones, and killing off the theory of free enterprise would be the ultimate ideological prize.
No small business and even some larger ones that contract to Government were at risk of similar treatment.
But it didn’t work out well for the architects. It was a disaster.
They didn’t account for Ian Cook in their criminal plans. The tenacity with which Ian has stood up to these bullies at huge personal cost has probably prevented many more businesses from being taken over by Councils.
After ten years of operation propped up by Government funding, the company, Community Chef, never achieved a profit in any of those years. It was an absolute basket case and was eventually sold back to the Government with its liabilities running into the many millions.
Why it took ten years for the Board of Directors to stop the million-dollar cash bleed is a question they will have to answer.
One councillor of one of the sixteen council owners was quoted as saying to the effect that the financial exposure of all councils is not yet known but selling the entity of Community Chef to the Government for $1.00 (with the multi-million-dollar debts) was still the best option, really?
Running the company properly and paying down debt would have been a better option.
That exposure he referrers to, we suspect, is a civil action by ICook Foods. Still, the exposure many public servants at State and local levels and employees of Community Chef do not comprehend yet is the consequence of their alleged behaviour, which is, without a shadow of a doubt, criminal, and very serious criminal offences at that.
Ironically it will be prophetic if many of them end up working in a jail kitchen.
As the Police investigation proceeds and they get a knock on their door at five in the morning greeted by a Detective, arrest warrant in hand, the penny may drop.
The offences these people are exposed to are all severe, with maximum penalties ranging from ten to twenty-five years jail time, and some may be exposed to multiple offences in that order.
That this type of abhorrent behaviour is allowed to happen is the responsibility of our elected officials who cannot be allowed to avoid accountability, the buck stops with them.
We the tax and ratepayers who fund this bureaucratic flight of fancy, have no power to force elected officials to take responsibility for this failure to manage our Government bureaucracies effectively.
That is where Recall comes in – even in this shameful artifice, a Recall instigated against the sixteen councils elected councillors and the responsible Government Ministers would send a strong message that we will not tolerate corrupt behaviours by governments, and elected officials must take responsibility.
We, the other victims of this bold artifice, which will eclipse in both the number of perpetrators and the ultimate cost to tax and ratepayers, the other most egregious abuse of power thus far, the Red Shirts corruption scandal.
It seems that our corruption watchdog IBAC is asleep at the wheel as it was with Red Shirts (notice any similarities?) but thankfully our new Chief Commissioner is up to it and we can at least thank VicPol for the action they are taking.
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It is long overdue that there should be accountability and charges laid all the way to the top of the Government. There have been too many instances of the current Government getting away with highly suspect actions, as you mentioned, Red Shirts, and more recently the Hotel Quarantine fiasco, and the forgetful Honourable members of Parliament
The ICook scandal has been going on far too long and needs to be brought right out in the open and names named, not withheld, or lost due to memory loss.
The Premier should show true leadership and not resort to His normal action of prepared spin.