An insider tells how Vic TAFE got rolled and the damage it’s done

By Geraldine Toner 17th January 2013 MARGO: @Fluffula tweeted that if she had a blog she’d write the truth about TAFE policy, so TurnLeft and AFHP offered her a spot.I feel that citizen journalists should, like other journalists, put their name to their words, and she has had the courage to do so. So here is the debut citizen journalist piece by Geraldine Toner. She worked in the Victorian Public Service from 1992 to 2011 as an IT Project manager, mainly in labour market & training programs to help the disadvantaged into employment. From 2004 she worked in Government Funded Training Programs that managed the TAFEs and Private Registered Training Organisations and […]

A Bugg in the farce of the Reith Telecard affair

By Margo Kingston Source: Webdiary SMH November 22, 2000 Every year Senators get to quiz bureaucrats and statutory officers on their performance and the success or otherwise of government policies. It’s called “Senate Estimates”, is designed to ensure that public money is well spent and is one of many reasons why the Senate is the last hope for Parliament, representing the people, to get answers not spin doctored by the executive (the Prime Minister and his ministers). Freedom FROM information is the executive’s motto but in Senate estimates, evidence is under oath, so those under the gun have to be more careful than politicians are with the truth. Today, the […]

The small matter of prosecution on the Telecard Affair.

By Margo Kingston Source: Webdiary SMH October 16, 2000 To fill you in on DPP Damian Bugg to date. His brief statement of last week made no mention of whether he would charge anyone apart from Reith and son but the Prime Minister’s office advised us today that Mr Bugg had decided not to prosecute anyone, including X and Y. Solicitor-General David Bennett QC, briefed by John Howard to advise on civil liability, has reserved his position on whether Miss X or Mr Y are civilly liable. He says Miss X’s actions ”would, at first sight, give rise to an action against her for unjust enrichment”. She could also be […]

More on the Reith Telecard affair

By Margo Kingston Source: Webdiary SMH Date: October 30, 2000 On Friday, October 20, the pollies perks minister Senator Chris Ellison awoke to the Herald’s publication of an explosive document which raised yet more questions about his administration during the Reith Telecard blowout. We obtained the document on Thursday, and on the same day, I wrote to him as follows: Senator Chris Ellison, Special Minister of State, Canberra Dear Sir, RE: PETER REITH’S TELECARD. I request answers to the following questions by close of business today. (1) When did you first become aware that present or former staff of Mr Reith had been using Mr Reith’s Telecard? (2) What action […]

Tracing the Telecard affair

By Margo Kingston and Mike Seccombe Source: Webdiary SMH Date: October 22nd, 2000 DAY ONE Tuesday, October 10 The Canberra Times reveals a Federal Police investigation into Peter Reith’s $50,000 phone bill after he gave his number and PIN to son Paul for private calls. Howard says Reith revealed the fraud to him in May, nine months after Reith was told, and that he accepted legal advice from Attorney-General Daryl Williams to send the file to police. Howard says he wouldn’t give his Telecard to a family member but “I certainly don’t regard that as a hanging offence”. Howard says he doesn’t know how the fraud went on for five […]

Why Tony Abbott should never be PM.

By Margo Kingston Source: Independent Australia January 3rd , 2013 AFTER THE PUBLICATION of my book Not Happy, John! in 2004, former Liberal Party staffer Christian Kerr, then political correspondent for Crikey, told me the ʻAustralians for Honest Politicsʼ chapter was dynamite, ʻthe most importantʼ in the book. “But it wonʼt get followed up,” I asked him, “will it?” “No,” he replied. Christian did his best in ʻTony Abbott’s unholy dealings with the AEC’ — but Abbott is something of a protected species in Australian politics. When push comes to shove, press gallery heavies circle the wagons around Tony and our supposed electoral watchdogs file him away in the bottom drawer. As recently as December 17 […]

Margo Kingston: My welcome to Twitter.

By Margo Kingston Source: New Matilda December 11, 2012 I blame the ABC for my initiation to Twitter. Or rather, I thank them, because the experience has been refreshing for this disillusioned ex-journo and long-time internet refugee. I happened to be watching ABC News 24 when Tony Abbott again confronted Julia Gillard about her role in the AWU affair on the last day of sittings for 2012. He was repeating his sole claim, that she was a criminal for allegedly misleading a Western Australian government body by letter. It was a question of character, he said. She was unfit for office. However, he didn’t have the letter in question, so there was no evidence for his claim. […]

Tony Abbott’s Slush Fund

By Margo Kingston Source: NewMatilda 11 December 2012 This week New Matilda is republishing journalist Margo Kingston’s investigation into Tony Abbott’s own slush fund. Here she explains why the story needs to be pursued as strongly as the AWU case against Julia Gillard I blame the ABC for my initiation to Twitter. Or rather, I thank them, because the experience has been refreshing for this disillusioned ex-journo and long-time internet refugee. I happened to be watching ABC News 24 when Tony Abbott again confronted Julia Gillard about her role in the AWU affair on the last day of sittings for 2012. He was repeating his sole claim, that she was a criminal for allegedly misleading a […]

Abbott faces questions over Hanson slush fund

Source: The 730 Report ABC TV 26 August 2003 KERRY O’BRIEN: Welcome to the program. A political furore has erupted over revelations that one of the Howard Government’s most senior ministers, Tony Abbott, set up a slush fund to pay for legal challenges to Pauline Hanson and her party, One Nation. Despite repeated denials back in 1998, Mr Abbott last night acknowledged to the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ newspaper he’d raised almost $100,000 in an attempt to fund actions against One Nation. While he and his colleagues were refusing to make any comment today, the admission is a setback for the Government. It clearly suggests Mr Abbott did not tell the […]

A question of character?

by Margo Kingston Source: Independent Australia.net 30th November, 2012 My mouth fell open when I heard Abbott’s final flourish in Thursday’s speech denouncing Gillard as unfit for office. I remembered, suddenly, vividly, Tony Abbott’s very own slush fund. Could he too have forgotten? It’s ancient history now, Abbott’s slush fund ― but less ancient than the slush fund now in the news. And there’s many unanswered questions about it, and him. In 1998, Abbott privately agreed to bankroll Terry Sharples, a disaffected One Nation member, to take legal action against Pauline Hanson. Less than 2 weeks later, he categorically denied to the ABC that he had done so, and 18 months later […]