Friday, August 14, 2020

Where else but Queensland?

How corrupt is Queensland? Yesterday they actually tried to ban journalists from exposing political corruption during election campaigns. Fortunately, today they changed their minds:

A day after introducing laws that would ban journalists from reporting corruption allegations during elections, the State Government has withdrawn the proposal in a spectacular backflip.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath proposed changes to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) Act in state parliament yesterday that would carry a six-month jail term for people who published CCC allegations about political candidates during an election period.

But this morning, Ms D'Ath released a statement announcing the laws would be withdrawn.

Queensland has had five state politicians convicted of corruption offences, not to mention Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen who was forced to resign as the result of a corruption inquiry. Its political system is institutionally corrupt and rotten to the core, with a nexus between property developers and politicians affecting all levels of government in the state. It is so obvious and blatant that the state government was forced to ban donations from developers in 2017 (which of course they simply try and circumvent). Yesterday's move therefore simply seems like a corrupt political system trying to protect itself from entirely justified public outrage and accountability. And D'Ath's repeated characterisation of corruption allegations as "baseless" and "being used to score political points" makes it clear that she is part of the problem.