Barry O’Farrell

Corrupt, dodgy ALP ratbag set to have his millions reefed back

Eddie Obeid the ALPs virtual mafia don is set to have a good chunk of his ill-gotten millions reefed back by the NSW government.

The state government is set to pass extraordinary laws to strip corrupt former Labor minister Eddie Obeid and his family of at least $30 million in profits from a coal deal at the centre of a historic corruption probe.

A day after Premier Barry O’Farrell announced the government would pass special laws to tear up three corruption-tainted coal exploration licences, Mr O’Farrell said it was also working on laws to confiscate the proceeds of corrupt activity by former Labor figures and businessmen.

He said on Tuesday the laws to cancel the licences would be introduced in state Parliament next week, while additional laws to claw back proceeds of corrupt coal ventures from Mr Obeid and others were still
in development.

“I’m told that it will take a little bit longer,” Mr O’Farrell said.

A premier with balls

Barry O’Farrell is the NSW Premier and he has announced that if there is any mischief involving his ministers then off to the Independent Commission Against Corruption you go.

Ministers who breach the code of conduct will be answerable to the Independent Commission Against Corruption for the first time after Premier Barry O’Farrell announced support for the regulator’s recommendations.

Following inquiries involving former Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald over the allocation of lucrative coal licences, the ICAC advised the government to adopt several anti-corruption measures.

One was that the NSW government’s ministerial code of conduct becomes ”an applicable code” for the purposes of the ICAC Act, meaning serious breaches could amount to corrupt conduct.

Additionally, ICAC recommended that the government overhaul the way mining licences were issued in NSW.

The scandal rolls on in NSW, ratbags still in denial

Eddie Obeid and his corrupt ratbag pals are still denying they have done anything wrong. Meanwhile the media, long threatened by Obeid and his family, are going to town.

Top law enforcement and money-laundering officials will examine the Obeid family’s complex finances using Australia’s Project Wickenby tax evasion taskforce.

The serious non-compliance unit of the Australian Taxation Office and specialists from the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission will explore whether action should be taken against former ALP heavyweight Eddie Obeid.

The revelation comes as the Independent Commission Against Corruption prepares to release a report into an allegedly corrupt deal between disgraced former minister Ian Macdonald and former union boss John Maitland.

The costs of the investigation are enormous and Premier Barry O’Farrell has had to make special provision for the prosecution.? Read more »

It’s cheaper to fly to the United States and back to buy some of Adobe’s software there than it is to buy it here

Adobe’s software pricing is outrageous…I know all about it too, running a newspaper using their products, just how much their licensing is.

When their CEO went to?Sydney?to open a new office he was ambushed and failed to answer specific questions regarding their software pricing.

Read more »

Bazza comes good, delivers hard out sledge on dodgy Labor ratbag

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell hands out a serious sledge?against dodgy Labor ratbag Craig Thomson after his arrest and the subsequent whinging from Thomson’s lawyer:

Craig Thomson’s lawyer has threatened to sue Barry O’Farrell if the NSW Premier does not withdraw comments he made about allegations against the federal MP.

On Friday, Mr O’Farrell dismissed claims by Mr Thomson’s lawyer, Chris McArdle, that his client was stripped naked and searched by court officers after his arrest on the NSW Central Coast in an attempt to intimidate him.

Mr Thomson faces 150 charges of fraud related to the alleged misuse of entitlements when he was national secretary of the Health Services Union.

Mr O’Farrell told reporters that standard procedure was followed by the corrective services officers during Mr Thomson’s arrest.

“I’d only be concerned if there was special treatment meted out to any member of parliament,” he said.? Read more »

More Dodgy Union Scum

The unions in Aussie are getting a goodly dose of negative press, and here is another, who curiously, backed down from their no smoking stance after some serious entertaining.

Coincidence, or another union leader with his nose buried in the trough?

THE secretary of the NSW hospitality workers’ union, Mark Boyd, was entertained by the Crown casino lobbyist Mark Arbib at an exclusive AFL grand final event weeks after he signed an agreement with James Packer’s company over its proposed hotel and casino at Barangaroo.

Mr Boyd, the state secretary of United Voice, was Mr Arbib’s guest at a function at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 29 during the grand final between the Sydney Swans and Hawthorn.

Dignitaries present included the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell and the NSW Sports Minister, Graham Annesley.

On September 4 a memorandum of understanding was signed between United Voice and the Packer company Crown Ltd, which saw the union drop its opposition to smoking in high-roller gambling rooms.

The agreement says smoking by high rollers would be a ”commercial necessity” at the Barangaroo complex, which would target the lucrative Asian gambling market.

It was a radical departure from the union’s position in June, when it accused the NSW government of ”gambling with the health of casino workers” by not supporting an opposition push to ban smoking in the high-roller room of the Star casino.

Thanks to the Hipkins Standard this won’t happen here

? Sydney Morning Herald

Thanks to the diligence of Chris Hipkins and his Hipkins Standard we won’t be having the problem ever again of cronyism being ignored:

The ”jobs for the boys” network under Labor was an endless source of irritation for the Liberals in opposition. Labor staffers who wore a second hat as a local councillor were worthy of detailed media briefings by O’Farrell’s minions. I know this because I wrote a story about how every Labor councillor in Penrith had worked or was working for the state government.

Freedom of information requests by O’Farrell’s office revealing whose snouts were double-dipping in which trough were also showered around the press gallery.

If you listened to the pre-election rhetoric of O’Farrell, March 26, 2011 would mark year zero for cronyism. The new Premier banned any family members of MPs serving in ministerial offices.

But it hasn’t stopped…politicians just can’t help themselves:

Issa has been forced to defend himself in the local press against claims he is the Liberals’ ”Graham Richardson in western Sydney” after deputy lord mayor Andrew Wilson was rolled for preselection in favour of Issa’s candidate, Jean Pierre Aboud.

Liberal Party NSW president Arthur Sinodinos has confirmed he is investigating preselections for the Holroyd Council also linked to Issa.

Across at Hawkesbury Council, Kevin Conolly, party sources say, has been working hard to get his son Patrick preselected to take his seat. Patrick Conolly works in the electorate office of a fellow hard-right Liberal, Tanya Davies, the Penrith MP.

Another one of her staffers, Mark Holmes, will run for Blacktown Council while Kevin Conolly’s electorate officer Nathan Zamprogno is also seeking a spot on Hawkesbury Council.

This newspaper revealed last year that at least 10 Liberal councillors were working in electorate offices, adding as much as $66,000 a year to their pay packets. Fairfield City councillor Zaya Toma is the chief of staff to Smithfield MP Andrew Rohan.

Greedy little troughers.

Warning union thugs

? Sydney Morning Herald

The NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is staring down union thugs. Be nice of our government did the same. The unions, of course, are living in lala land:

THE Premier, Barry O’Farrell, has warned the union movement that taking industrial action will lead the state government to consider outsourcing public sector jobs, saying there will be ”consequences” for ”industrial thuggery”.

Mr O’Farrell attacked the public sector in a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, saying it had failed to improve services, and cited Sydney Water as one organisation where efficiencies might be made.

”Public providers have been shielded from the reality of markets and of people’s expectations,” he said.

Later at a news conference, he issued a warning to Sydney Water workers, who are engaged in a dispute with management about their new enterprise bargaining agreement and have threatened strikes.

”What I’m saying to them, what I’m saying to others, is be careful about what you’re doing because if the private sector can deliver it at a better standard, or the same standard, at a cheaper price we are duty-bound as a government to consider that,” Mr O’Farrell said. ”Don’t engage in industrial thuggery and think there are no consequences.”

The secretary of the Australian Services Union, Sally McManus, said it was the Premier who was engaging in ”thuggery”.

”For the NSW Premier to threaten workers’ jobs just because they’re standing up for their basic rights and the community’s vital services is disgraceful and he should apologise to the workers for his comments,” she said.

House burns as NSW firefighters strike

? Sydney Morning Herald

NSW Firefighters let a house burn as they went on strike in Australia. I imagine, all sympathy for striking firefighters went up in smoke with the house they refused to save:

NSW firefighters have decided to return to work after striking between 1pm and 6pm today in protest at the state government’s?WorkCover reforms.

Emergency services, enlisted to cover for the firefighters, were put to the test when a house at Campbell Street, Ramsgate, caught fire.

Father and son Andrew and Freeman Arbuckle, who were collecting scrap metal in the area, saw smoke from the building, the?St George and Sutherland Shire Leader?reported.

“We were driving past and we both jumped out. My dad told me to check if anyone was inside,” Mr Freeman said. ”There was a lady and her grandson. She was obviously distraught.”

Andrew Arbuckle phoned triple-0 and police arrived first. By the time firefighters came, the house was engulfed in flames. Police said they ”well and truly” arrived before any fire services.

A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said one crew from Air Services Australia and two from Rural Fire Service put out the fire.

Responding to an opposition call to suspend question time and meet striking firefighters, Premier Barry O’Farrell said the union had missed its chance.

“The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union lost their opportunity to meet with me when they took a decision this morning to go on strike,” he said.

“That is one of the most irresponsible actions I’ve ever heard of from a public sector union in the history of this state,” an angry Mr O’Farrell told question time.

“As we sit, for the next five hours, people across Sydney, the Illawarra and the Hunter are without fire services.

So why doesn’t National do this?

? Sydney Morning Herald

You really have to wonder why National went along with Simon Power’s sneaky back room deal on electoral finance reform. In?Australia?politics is a game you play for keeps.

Since losing office in March the corporate donations the Sussex Street machine had come to depend on have dried up. Barry O’Farrell’s electoral laws will also destroy our party’s ability to raise funds from trade unions. The only way NSW Labor can raise the money required to fight, and win, future election campaigns is to vastly increase contributions from members and individual donors.