March in March

Today’s Guest Contributor is This Little Black Duck, with a photo essay of his March in March in Canberra (and yes, PM Blood Oaf, we knows it’s St Pat’s day – so what was your mob doing marching yesterday? Can’t read a calendar yet?).

Mille remerciements, Monseigneur le Duck …

(What’s even better – it happened on Saint Patrick’s Day …)

480 thoughts on “March in March

  1. Remember all the gushing from the Liberals when Sinodinos became a senator? He was touted as a star in the making, a rising politician, definitely a future cabinet minister, maybe a future treasurer or even leader if he could make the transition to the lower house.

    John Howard had a lot of praise, saying his mate Arthur should certainly get a cabinet position.

    Abbott, who had previously made sure Sinodinos had been elected unopposed as President of the NSW Liberal Party, immediately gave the newly-arrived senator a job heading a task force looking at ways to cut red tape. He piled on the praise with words he might now regret saying.

    “No one knows where the bureaucratic bodies are buried better than Arthur Sinodinos,” Mr Abbott told a NSW Business Chamber function in Sydney on Thursday.

    “No one knows how to keep government honest better than Arthur Sinodinos.”

    It didn’t take long for the shine to wear off, by March last year Sinodinos was facing accusations of dodgy dealings and ‘forgetting’ to mention interests.

    Abbott, despite his earlier praise for Sinodinos, and against expectations, did not give Mr S that cabinet position when he announced his ministry last year. Did he know a lot more about Arthur’s business deals? Is that why he relegated Arthur to the outer ministry? Did Abbott hope it would all just go away?


    Arthur Sinodinos ‘warned about AWH’
    MARK COULTAN and LEO SHANAHAN The Australian March 21, 2014 12:00AM

    ARTHUR Sinodinos was warned that the cashflow and costs of Australian Water Holdings were out of control months before he took the chairmanship at the privately owned firm.

    Rod De Aboitiz, whose family invested in the business, told the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption yesterday he met Senator Sinodinos, who was then out of politics and an AWH director, in May 2010 to warn him about the financial position of the company and voice his concerns about its solvency.

    At the time the company was in financial trouble, with no revenue but its 10 employees were paid huge salaries and living extravagant lifestyles including expensive meals, such as $900 dinners at Sydney’s upmarket Rockpool restaurant, and trips.

    Mr De Aboitiz, who is a former chief financial officer of investment bank Rothschild, invested $1 million of his family’s trust in AWH through his relationship with the company’s chief executive Nick Di Girolamo, who was an old school friend.

    But after seeing an extract of the company’s accounts, he realised that its costs were out of control and became concerned about his investment.

    He went to see Senator Sinodinos at his then National Australia Bank offices. “I wanted to make sure that there was no doubt, at the executive level of the board and the non-executive level of the board, there was a clear understanding that they needed to get their affairs in order,” he told the commission.

    He said he told Senator Sinodinos: “Arthur, you know that solvency’s a big issue for a director. You’re a director. You’re an experienced person. This is silly. I understand Sydney Water may be playing hard ball with you with respect but surely, surely you are in control of your own cashflow.”

    “He assured me the board was on top of it and it was taken care of,” Mr de Aboitiz said.

    (more in the article – just google the title or URL)


  4. How can the Abbott government NOT back a call for an investigation into Sri Lankan war crimes? Easy – Abbott needs Sri Lanka on his side if he’s to keep on sending back asylum seekers.

    Australia resists pressure on Sri Lanka war crimes probe

    The government is resisting a push by its closest allies to establish a United Nations investigation into war crimes and human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.

    In the past 18 months, Australia has sent more than 1000 failed asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka. A draft UN resolution, obtained by Fairfax Media, calls on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct the probe into ”alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights” in Sri Lanka.

    This leaves open the possibility it could lead to prosecutions, including members of the current government.

    Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, confirmed that Australia had not co-sponsored the resolution, and wanted a motion to reflect ”progress” in ”reconstruction and rehabilitation” in Sri Lanka.

    Australia has previously co-sponsored resolutions at the UN’s Human Rights Council, expressing concern about Sri Lanka’s record.

    But it is thought to have exasperated the US, Canada, Britain and the European Union by not yet backing this one, which for the first time calls for an independent and comprehensive inquiry into the allegations.×2.html

    Australia is fast running out of credibility thanks to Abbott and his miserable, corrupt, morally bankrupt government. We are becoming international pariahs.


  6. Another free article from AFR on Sinodinos. Thy are certainly being generous with the freebies when it comes to Arfur.

    Arthur Sinodinos’ Greek tragedy
    A charitable explanation for Sinodinos’s lapses of judgment came from colleague Neil Chenoweth in yesterday’s Financial Review.

    “Sinodinos’s account of his three-year stint from 2008 [first as a director and then as chairman of AWH] can be summarised as fathomless ignorance,’’ Chenoweth wrote.

    What is certainly “fathomless’’ is how Sinodinos could have imagined his reputation would remain untainted by his association with the sorts of scoundrels involved in what has all the appearances of a public utility scam.

  7. Joe Hockey denies everything. Getting a bit worried, by the sound of it. Funny that his office says they have repaid the money that Joe says has never been received and so could not have been repaid. Someone is lying, Joe.

    To save scrolling back, the story that has upset Mr Eleventy.


  9. If anyone ever doubted Campbell Newman has completely lost the plot then his ‘Plan B’ should convince them he has gone completely mad. Doctors from other states and New Zealand have already been warned by their associations not to consider moving to Queensland.

    Trying to portray doctors – doctors, for heaven’s sake! – as union heavies is insane. The AMA, hardly a hot-bed of rusted-on Labor supporters – says Newman is the one flinging the petrol.

  10. MH370 announcement from PM Abbott may have come too soon

    PRIME Minister Tony Abbott yesterday grabbed the attention of the world when he told Parliament of satellite images which had been in confidential circulation for four days, but suddenly raised hopes the fate of the Malaysian Airlines plane would finally be explained.

    However the absence of immediate confirmation and the increasing speculation that whatever the satellites saw may be merely ocean garbage has raised questions over the Government’s decision to go so hard with its announcement.

  11. Leroy
    Labor did indeed do the heavy lifting, as Bill Shorten pointed out in parliament on Wednesday. These facts should be spread around, because the media took absolutely no notice. .

    We need no lecture from those opposite. We appreciate the massive contribution that nearly five million Australians who own and work in small businesses make to our economy. That is why when Labor was in power we established a Minister for Deregulation. That is why, previously, despite this sense of ‘golly, gee, discovery’ from the Prime Minister, that somehow he is the first Prime Minister to ever talk about repealing legislation, we repealed more than 12,000 pieces of redundant legislation, including 7½ thousand in 2013. That is why Labor initiated the most comprehensive COAG deregulation process to remove much of the unnecessary constraints on our economy across different levels.

  12. The recently deceased anti gay loon from the Westboro church had an unexpected side.

    In the ensuing years, Phelps was honoured by the Kansas City Chapter of Blacks in Government for this work in civil rights, and the Reverend D.D. Miller, then the president of the Wichita chapter of the NAACP, once said that Phelps was “likened to Abraham Lincoln, President Kennedy and Martin Luther King in our community”.

  13. Phelps is one of those interesting cases of the human state, where we can confront what is plain injustice on one side, yet preach intolerance from the other.

    We are all Janus.

  14. There are days when my decision to hand out HTVs for a particular party makes me question my sanity. Especially when particular voters rudely and occasionally vehemently spurn my proffered suggestion.

    But then I am reminded that there are ‘wonderful things’ to be seen through small holes and that sometimes those small holes are actually quite big ideas!

  15. my own opinion is that PMBO used the report of debris to divert media attention away from the questions about Arthur Sinidosis. Another ‘Oh look a unicorn!’

  16. This crap from Mitch Fifield that roll out of NDIS is a disaster is a joke. (Hoping to cancel it and we know how many LNP bothered to turn up for the Bill in Parliament.)

    The reason it was started in only trial sites was so that they could iron out bugs before the system is rolled out across Australia.

  17. Catalyst
    I agree. Absolutely. There’s also a fair whack of ‘it always has to be about Tony’ attention-seeking in there too but it has turned out not to be the sort of attention he was hoping for. Abbott looks like a fool and the whole world is watching.

  18. A group of real Christians, not the faux Morrison/Abbott/Andrews kind, have been holdiong a prayer vigil at Scott Morrison’s office. They are praying for asylum seekers.Right now they are being arrested – for praying. They certainly look dangerous –

  19. Seems I was near the money with my suggestion that the ocean debris might be a shipping container. That the Idiot would raise the relatives of victims hopes by using the announcement to cover the corruption of Uncle Arfur is truly the mark of the man!

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