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PETER VAN ONSELEN: How the hypocritical Greens are in love with an endless cycle of wasted time, money and moralizing


The Senate Committee on Consulting Industry Practices has finally released its report after delaying it four times.

What were the committee’s key recommendations after 18 months, thousands of reported inquiries that required endless productivity draining time to answer, and literally dozens of hearings that cost God only knows how much money?

That the kangaroo court it has quickly become will hold more such hearings and the organizations that have appeared before it should promise to reappear every year in the future. Forced to participate in a painful and pointless process again and again.

You wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy.

It’s a pointless exercise that cuts through the nest of senators who get paid extra to run committees like this. Is it a coincidence that there are now more than 100 parliamentary committees operating at once? More than ever since the Federation.

Greens senator Barbara Pocock (pictured) wants more transparency from government advisers but is silent on the lack of transparency in her own political party

These committees are almost always ignored by governments anyway. They are like a game for backbenchers and crossbenchers to give them something to occupy their time.

This particular Senate committee allowed countless erroneous claims to be aired under parliamentary privilege, rarely correcting the record when errors were made.

The Greens, of course, have broken away from the majority message that both major parties have subscribed to and are demanding stronger action, which they are not following as a party.

Hypocrisy is your name for Australia’s left-wing minority party, and the Greens may soon control the balance of power in both the upper and lower houses.

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Greens senator and caucus member Barbara Pocock, who teamed up with Labor’s Deb O’Neill to speak on Australian affairs during the hearings, split from her Senate colleague in condemning the committees’ recommendations.

At least Senator O’Neill finally saw the light.

But what about the Greens? If they want to make demands for more transparency, why don’t they practice what they preach?

Readers may not realize this, but the Greens don’t even allow public access to their party conferences the way the major parties do. They keep them secret, in a closed shop away from the public glare.

Political parties are private organizations, which means they are basically just businesses whose goal is to get members elected to public office. However, they are not subject to privacy laws like other businesses. This is because Parliament has passed laws that exclude political parties from the privacy protections that other businesses must follow.

However, unlike the public sector, you cannot freely search for information about what is happening within the political parties. These transparency laws do not apply to them either.

They link their activities with all kinds of taxpayer-funded assistance – staffing, election funding and massive allocations from public resources funded by the authorities.

And there is a profound lack of oversight to ensure they don’t abuse their taxpayer-funded entitlements.

Labor senator Deb O'Neill (pictured) has split from her Green caucus colleague in a sign she has moved on from the previous artistic performance.

Labor senator Deb O’Neill (pictured) has split from her Green caucus colleague in a sign she has moved on from the previous artistic performance.

For all this secrecy and linking public funding to a privately run political party like the Greens, Senator Pocock is targeting consultants who work for the government, using her platform to propose all sorts of undesirable things.

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The evidence to support the allegations is take it or leave it. Allegations are considered fact. Silence is the only response when the hypocrisy (mis)behavior of political parties is raised.

No wonder the public has little time for those who represent us in Canberra.

The Greens recently called for an end to voluntary unpaid work – just as leader Adam Bandt advertised for volunteers to work in his office.

You wouldn’t make this up if you tried.

Hypocrisy and greenness is not a new phenomenon. After many years of campaigning against large financial donations in politics, the Greens in 2011 received the largest single political donation from a private donor in Australian history – $1.6 million from the founder of travel website Wotif, Graeme Wood.

The Greens suddenly had no problem with large donations. Then leader Bob Brown said he was ‘forever grateful’. Yet they still lament whenever big party donors are exposed.

Values ​​are only important when they are reflected in one’s actions and when they are universally applied, not just when it is convenient. Unfortunately, this is not the credo that the Greens follow.



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