The lure of the bureaucrats golden pen tick is set to distort democratic processes as we read today in Minister’s $10,000 dinners:
Planning Minister Matthew Guy helped to approve applications made by Melbourne property developers who had attended secret dinners with him and the then chief of the Baillieu government’s urban renewal authority after paying a Liberal fund-raising arm $10,000 each.
Plausible deniability was ensured by the $10K donation falling under the $11,500 declaration threshold. However, Premier Baillieu had banned ministers attending fund-raising events.
Liberal Party Planning Ministers have a habit of golden pen ticks that land them in hot water. Former Planning Minister Ian Maclennan was behind the controversial Philip Island re-zoning row that sent Matthew Guy quiet last year.
It would be remiss not to mention the golden pen tick in light of the NSW ICAC Inquiry, where former Minister for Mineral Resources Eddie Obeid saw during his tenure the millions to be made in re-zoning land from rural to mining. Now tipped as the biggest corruption inquiry since the Rum Rebellion, we see that Liberal insiders have also been caught up in the scandal.
For those outside the game, we can only watch in wonder at the secret world of deception that continues to push ‘democracy’ as a healthy process for decision making. The 1% can hide in private dining rooms but must realise that the awakening of the people cannot be too far off.