Fair Work Australia have conduct an extended review of the Health Services Union during the course of Craig Thompson’s involvement and has compiled at taxpayers expense an 1100 page report which apparently lists 181 breaches and the matters have been referred the the Department of Public Prosecution.
In a normal Government with this much pressure and this much scrutiny the Member for The Entrance, would have stood down, or found some pressing personal and family reasons that required him to relinquish the seat. However this is not a normal government hanging on the ascendancy in the house by a vote or so, propped up by some cagey independents, and at the same time the government fairs poorly in the polls hold a primary vote sub 30%.
So the report has not been made public, and most of us only want to read the executive summary anyway, and the enquiry os not 3 years old. This means of course that the enquiry was a year old at the last election where Mr Thompson held the seat reasonably well, 55:45 on a 2 party basis. The general feeling today is that the ALP would have difficulty in holding the seat, based of the general trends in terms of ALP polling, and of course the specific issues surrounding what is now a very well known extended investigation which has left Craig not looking as innocent as he would like.
The Government it appears has decided it would be premature to issue the report at this stage given that it has been referred to the Department of Public Prosecutions. Craig Thompson has claim the he is innocent of all charges, which suggests that he has read the 1100 pages, or at least some sort of summary, or perhaps he didn’t need to. Our problem is that we do not know what he is innocent of. We do know that there was a suggestion that he had used a Union Credit Card to pay for prostitutes and other aspects of an indulgent lifestyle, which I think came down to Mr Thompson suggestion that someone else (never named) had used the card and all those monies had been repaid to the union by that person. Those claims have not, as far as I have ever been aware, been corroborated by anyone.
None the less Mr Thompson enjoys the full support of the Prime Minister, as well he must for the Government to survive.
And the problem is
There seems little transparency in Government on the issue. Who know how many taxpayer dollars the report has cost, and the four persons allegedly named in the report have not been named, however according to the suggestions there seems a high probability that one of the is the Member for Dobel. Like so many problems the government has tried to keep under wraps, or sweep under the carpet, that which is not resolved does not go away. As a voting taxpaying member of the Australian Population, there is a sense in which one is left feeling that we are being treated with contempt.