Flat White

Politics, transparency and Cash

27 October 2017

7:22 AM

27 October 2017

7:22 AM

Imagine you are driving a car and collide with a cyclist. The front windscreen is smashed and the cyclist left seriously injured.

You would imagine you would be breath tested at the scene, correct? In the interest of transparency, you may insist.

Not so if you are Premier Daniel Andrew’s wife, Catherine and you’re driving a taxpayer-funded 4WD.

She was driving at Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula in January 2013 when 15-year-old Ryan Meuleman collided with the car.

Meuleman was flown to the Royal Children’s Hospital where he was found to have suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs and surgeons removed 10 per cent of his spleen.

Two officers did not breath test Ms Andrews.

Mr Andrews and his three children were also in the car at the time.

Now, the state’s anti-corruption watchdog has launched an investigation. The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) has requested information from Victoria Police.

Victoria Police have confirmed the two officers were investigated by the police Professional Standards Command for failing to adhere to the protocol of testing all drivers in a collision within three hours of a crash.

Victoria Police have declined to release the official incident report saying it is not in the public interest.

If it were anyone else driving the car, would protocol have been followed?

And politicians really wonder why the public have a problem with trusting them? Where is the transparency?

Eyes turn to Michaelia Cash. Who is convinced of her innocence?

An adviser to the Employment Minister has resigned after admitting tipping off the media about a police raid on the Australian Workers Union. Cash denies she misled Parliament about her office’s involvement. Fives times she told a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday that neither she nor anyone in her office had spoken to journalists ahead of the Australian Federal Police raids on union offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Not once, not thrice, five times.

Labor’s Doug Cameron told the hearing, “She’s thrown her staffer under the bus.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull blasted Labor for “not respecting the integrity of the police”. He insisted Shorten answer questions about why the AWU gifted $100,000 to GetUp! when he was the union’s national secretary.

“The Australian Federal Police is absolutely independent in its operations,” said Turnbull. “They decide who to investigate, how to investigate, that is a matter for them and so it should be.”

So too, it seems, is when they choose to breathalyse.

Amid mounting pressure for her to resign, Cash on Thursday called for an AFP investigation into the raids.

Well, politics without transparency is just a waste of time, energy and money, surely?

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