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August 22nd 2012 print

Philippa Martyr

News from a parallel universe

Calls for an inquiry into the Reserve Bank are all very well and good, but isn’t there another target whose dirty laundry is worth a public washing?


I see the Greens are asking for a Royal Commission or equivalent into the Reserve Bank of Australia and a possible bribery scandal. The original story in The Australian by Lanai Vasek is here, but I have done a little bit of editing, indicated in red text. So here’s how this story could have read. (Well, we can all dream, can’t we?)


THE Greens have called for an inquiry with royal commission powers into the Australian Labor Party amid allegations linking senior officials to a cover-up of bribery by its union subsidiaries.

The ABC reported that allegations of bribery and corruption within the HSU and AWU were withheld from police for years.

The ALP denies the reports and in a statement said the allegations were “ill-founded” and not based on facts.

Greens MP Adam Bandt said it was important the public had complete confidence in the standards of governance within the ALP.

“I will move in parliament for the establishment of a full independent inquiry into the scandal. The inquiry should have the powers of a royal commission,” Mr Bandt said.

“Given the new claims that the ALP knew about alleged criminality within its subsidiaries as far back as 2007 but failed to go to the police, the Coalition should now back the Greens’ call for a full-scale inquiry.

“This scandal touches the key institution in this country, as well as other arms of government. We need a full-scale inquiry to clear the air and remove the cloud hanging over the ALP.”

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon told The Australian he would move a motion in the Senate today calling for the release of all documents connected to the affair.

“Clearly there are unanswered questions here,” Senator Xenophon said.

The ALP said the documents outlined in the reports were currently part of evidence before the courts and so could not be released.

“The ALP is prohibited from disclosing it or its contents pursuant to the normal rules of court and an order of the Supreme Court,” the party said.

“Whether it will become part of the public record as current committal hearings progress will be a matter for the court.”

The scandal was first exposed in the media in mid-2009.

The ALP said the document was also not a secret memo but instead a statement by an employee who had requested it remained confidential.”

Philippa Marytr blogs at Transverse City