Australian News Corp. Australia journalist Chris Kenny – employed by Rupert Murdoch – Associate Editor (National Affairs) claims to be an author of a book with the title ‘State of Denial’ about the bankruptcy of the State Bank of SA that created billions of dollars of taxpayer debt.
How could it be possible to write such a book, or at least claim to, without any mention of the State Bank of SA “Off Balance Sheet’ companies, public admission of the existence of which was published in ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper article 2 October 1990 headlined “State Bank silent on mystery firm” referring to ‘Kabani’ which the newspaper had “been unable to find anything about”. This one and only ever news media reference to the government guaranteed State Bank of South Australia’s [SBSA] illegal “Off Balance Sheet” company ‘Kabani’ appears below. SBSA’s never publicly disclosed ownership arrangements of ‘Kabani’ can be viewed at https://rjrbtsrupertsfirstnewspaper.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/rupert-murdochs-fake-archives-of-newspapers-corrupt-journalism-and-billions-of-dollars-of-unaccounted-for-public-debt/
Chris Kenny a traitor to journalism and literature who betrays Australians by his deceptive deliberate omission of the facts of the never accounted billions of dollars of public debt
Chris Kenny is a traitor to journalism and literature who has betrayed Australians with misleading journalism and has knowledge of news media corruption, false information published by his employer that is intended to deceive the public, and the creation and distribution for sale of fake archives of newspapers. He neither denies or acknowledges the facts or responds to correspondence presenting the evidence of news media corruption and the fake archives of Rupert Murdoch’s first newspapers that were published in Adelaide South Australia.
How is it possible that Chris Kenny’s purported book has no reference to SBSA’s illegal “Off Balance Sheet” companies or even asks the question ‘where did billions of dollars that became unaccounted for public debt go?’ Chris Kenny claims to have written such a book.
The manner in which he refers to his book with news articles that are his ‘Opinions’ –
“In 1993, Chris Kenny published State of Denial about the SA State Bank crisis.” and “State of Denial was my 1993 book about the collapse of SA’s State Bank and the downfall of the Bannon Laborgovernment”suggests that he seriously believes that his book makes him an expert on the bankruptcy of the State Bank of SA and the state’s economy.
Chris Kenny’s purported book ‘State of Denial’ is a collection of his, deceptive by being inadequate and incomplete, news articles published while a journalist for Adelaide South Australia’s newspapers [a Murdoch newspaper publishing state monopoly state] ‘The Advertiser’ & Sunday Mail newspapers when from February 1991 the State Bank of South Australia [established 1984 from the Savings Bank of SA that was established in 1848] announced that it was bankrupt in a front page news article headlined “Billion Dollar Bailout”. That memorable news article has since been erased from publicly accessible records of newspapers published sold as archives of newspapers by Australian state and national public libraries. The fake archives – many more news articles published have been erased or altered for those false records – have also been exported to British Libraries UK London to be sold to UK public library users.
A sample of Chris Kenny’s published news articles appear below on this website & are worthy of consideration as examples of appalling journalism with baseless opinions published presented as facts. The journalism is typical of what South Australians have had to suffer from Rupert Murdoch’s SA newspaper publishing state monopoly newspapers for more than 50 years.
The news articles are such rubbish that they appear in full only at the end of this post with selected sections quoted for their self-serving views for political purposes, within the text of this blog.
South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis MP and Chris Kenny
Kenny’s ‘Opinions’ published humiliate South Australia’s state Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis and denigrate the state.
SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis MP [ALP] could by having the honesty and integrity of an accountable state Treasurer, disclose details of South Australia’s taxpayer debt created by the bankruptcy of the State Bank of SA, in order to expose Chris Kenny as the self-serving deceptive person that he is and not the author and journalist that he claims to be. Disclosing details of public debt would also expose politicians of his own ‘Australian Labor Party’ and parliamentary political opponent’s the ‘Liberal Party’ as having an alliance of decades to deceive taxpayers and deny them the rights to know the facts of their state’s public debt. Public disclosure of the truth would also expose the manner in which Rupert Murdoch’s South Australian newspapers – the first he ever owned – has published false and misleading information to delay any admission of SBSA’s bankruptcy, adding billions of dollars to SA taxpayer debt liabilities and conceal related crimes, with the creation of fake archives of newspapers published.
In a News Corp. Aust. News article published March 22, 2015 in Adelaide’s ‘The Advertiser’ headlined
“Chris Kenny: South Australia’s Treasurer needs to stop denying facts and get on with the job” he dares to write;
“state Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis seems intent on spin, politicking and denying reality.” [the text of text of the news article appears below] – very provocative words considering both Chris Kenny and Tom Koutsantonis both know of each other’s’ knowledge of and role in concealing SBSA bankruptcy state debt and associated crimes.
SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis prefers to be Chris Kenny’s bitch and suffer his ‘Opinions’ rather than have the integrity to be accountable to the citizens of South Australia and honest enough to allow SA taxpayers to know of details of South Australia’s State Bank of SA bankruptcy bailout public debt liabilities.
Purported journalist and self-proclaimed author Chris Kennyand his employer long having knowledge of crimes and corruption related to State Bank of SA public debt, could either shut-up or explain himself when exposed as either incompetent as an author & journalist, corrupt or both.
The problem for present SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis to act with integrity & in the best interests of South Australian taxpayers and publicly disclose details of State Bank of SA bankruptcy state taxpayer debt liabilities long concealed,is that it would invite inquiry into who, how and the obvious why past authorities have not made required appropriate public disclosure of taxpayer debt.The SA’s Treasurer’s own political party, its SA Parliamentary Opposition Liberal Party and past SA Treasurers of both parties who have known of their own and each other’s deception of the public in concealing taxpayer debt, would be discredited. They and the news media consider that issues of impropriety remain concealed the best option.
In an Adelaide ‘The Advertiser’ published ‘Opinion’ of Chris Kenny referring to the State Bank of SA bankruptcy taxpayer debt Chris Kenny writes “Even after all that debt was repaid (thanks to Liberal privatisations and Labor’s early discipline) and the state got back on its feet, Labor has gone back to its old ways.”
Kenny makes this claim without his knowing the amount of that never publicly accounted for debt. The reference to “all that debt was repaid” is to the state Liberal government and SA Treasurer Stephen Baker’s sale of state assets – Electricity & Water supply distribution networks, State Lotteries Commission etc. – from which income was derived. The remaining assets of any value of the State Bank of were sold & taxpayers kept the bad debts that were hidden in SA Treasury’s SA Assets Management Corp. SAAMC. Poker machines were introduced into virtually all hotels creating greater poverty.
SA Treasurer Stephen Baker MP [Liberal Party] for my electorate of ‘Waite’ in mid-1989 as SA Shadow Treasurer of the Parliamentary Opposition party knew of the impending SBSA bankruptcy disaster when I repeatedly asked that he raise issues of SBSA debt. He refused to do so, claiming “He would be accused of politicising the bank” [by Murdoch’s newspapers]. Refusing to discuss any of the information that I had provided he would run away when we saw each other in the local Mitcham Shopping Centre where his electorate office was located.
Chris Kennymakesthese claims in his ‘Opinions published – unspecified Billions of dollars of SBSA bankruptcy state debt have been repaid – while knowing of his, and his employer’s knowledge of and involvement in deceiving the public with corrupt journalism [false information published] and fake archives of newspapers assisting to conceal crimes and details of public debt unaccounted for.
In this news article, a scathing criticism of SA State Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis, Kenny writes of the Treasurer’s “Twitter response to my column last week about the “running joke” of the state economy, offering a range of attacks – “what rubbish … wrong again … don’t let the facts get in the way of your politics … you’re wrong … do some research”.
Considering that in this news article Kenny again refers to his ‘book’
“State of Denial was my 1993 book about the collapse of SA’s State Bank and the downfall of the Bannon Labor government – and it seems Labor is in denial again.” perhaps journalist Chris Kenny could “do some research” – which he must either concede was not done for his book [that is no more than a collection of his news articles published] or admit the truth ofthe obvious conclusion that he knew when writing it that he was deliberately evading and concealing the issues of serious and significant crimes committed in the creation of the Billions of dollars of State Bank of SA bankruptcy public debt, the details he knows still continues to be concealed.
Freedom of Information laws ignored
Past and present SA Treasurer’s ignore their obligations to comply with Freedom of Information FoIlegislation and ignore my lodgment of a FoI request to SA Treasury SAAMC the fee paid for which I had acknowledged in a letter fromSA Treasury dated 20 April 2005 that appears below.
The documents I requested through Freedom of Information laws include my SBSA employment records and communications with SA Treasury, Treasurers and SAAMC concerning matters related to SA’s SBSA bankruptcy taxpayer debt which on occasions I have discussed with SAAMC SA Treasury officers confirmed in a letter dated 14 February 1996 from Head of Treasury and FinanceAndrew G. Anastasiades who advises that the issues I had discussed with him – SBSA’s never publicly disclosed “Off Balance Sheet” relationship with and debts related to the development and developers of the failed Marino Rocks marina – had been transferred to the South Australian Crown Solicitor. From our conversation it was clear that he saw the problem as my knowing of these matters that SA Treasury and SAAMC knew were being concealed.
Chris Kenny’s history of Liberal Party political connections
While employed as a News Ltd. journalist Chris Kenny was, before I left SA in the year 2000, also teamed up with South Australian federal Senator Alexander Downer & employed as Foreign Minister Downer’s ‘media adviser’  and ‘Chief of staff to the Foreign Minister’ [2006 according to Wikipedia in an inaccurate biography]. Alexander Downer is currently High Commissioner to the United Kingdom [replacing former South Australian Premier/Treasurer Mike Rann]. Chris Kenny was also ‘chief of staff’ for the future, now in 2016, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull.
Murdoch media employees Chris Kenny & the UK’s Andy Coulson ‘director of communications’ for Rupert Murdoch’s friend UK PM David Cameron seem to have a bit in common, the difference being that Andy Coulson did jail time for UK news media crimes that were ‘next to nothing’ compared to Murdoch’s media crimes committed in Australia.
John Bannon SA Premier/Treasurer
A 27 February 2009 ‘The Advertiser’ published newspaper news article headlined ‘The best I could do was not good enough’ appears below in which former SA Premier/Treasurer John Bannon who presided over the multi-billion bankruptcy of the State Bank of SA destruction of the state’s economy, promotes his “new book, a biography of one of the founders of Federation who happens to be the grandfather of former Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer”.
Although John Bannon was an avid historian – past President of the History Council of South Australia, Adjunct Professor of the University of Adelaide, Chair of the National Archives of Australia Advisory Council, member of Board of Directors of the ABC – he was reluctant to say anything on the history of his term as SA Premier/Treasurer does say;
“I wasn’t interested in writing memoirs or tedious explanations or defences of my record,” he says. “I don’t think that’s the place of someone who has been in public life. Many see it as their duty but the end result is unfortunately often self-serving, defensive and not terribly enlightening. Better for others to comment and probe.”& “I just know I did the best I could as honestly and as competently as I could,” he says. “It wasn’t good enough and others can judge how and why that occurred.”
John Bannon assisted by Adelaide news media did the best he could to conceal crimes, corruption and any appropriate accounting of public debt. I have asked Chairman of the National Archives of Australia advisory council John Bannon if he can recall any of the news articles reporting of the State Bank of SA bankruptcy while he was SA Premier/Treasurerpublished by Adelaide’s ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper that have now been erased from publicly accessible taxpayer funded Australian libraries now fake archives. It seemed unlikely that he couldn’t remember the February 1991 front page headline ‘Billion Dollar Bailout’. He refused to reply.
I did get a 9 September 2011 dated response from Stephen Ellis Director General (A/g) of the National Archives of Australia advisory council. In the email correspondence [that appears below] he writes “I must advise that the National Archives of Australia has no legal authority to take any action in relation to these matters nor to make any public declarations about such matters.” I had asked if Mr Bannon could recall the news articles published now erased from public records, not to make any public declarations.
Reply to email to John Bannon [former SA Premier/Treasurer] National Archives of Australia advisory council & NNA council member SA Adelaide University Professor John Williams
from National Archives of Australia advisory council to my correspondence
received 9 Sept 2016
RE: False records of Australian newspapers published sold from Australian libraries. correction to previous email sent. [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
from Stephen Ellis email@example.com
to Roger Bates <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Professor John Williams National Archives of Australia advisory council <email@example.com>
date Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 7:23 AM
subject RE: False records of Australian newspapers published sold from Australian libraries. correction to previous email sent. [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Important mainly because of the words in the message.
hide details Sep 9 (1 day ago)
Dear Mr Bates – thank you for drawing my attention to the matters you have raised in the emails you have sent recently to me and to Dr John Bannon concerning newspaper reports relating to the Bank of South Australia. I must advise that the National Archives of Australia has no legal authority to take any action in relation to these matters nor to make any public declarations about such matters. The Commonwealth Archives Act only gives the National Archives authority in relation to records of the Commonwealth government and the newspaper articles to which you refer do not fall into that category of records. Consequently neither I as Director General nor Dr Bannon as Chairman of the National Archives Advisory Council can take action in this matter. If you are concerned to pursue the matters further I suggest that a more fruitful avenue might be to raise them with the State government authorities in South Australia or with the Press Council of Australia.
Regards Stephen Ellis Director General (A/g)
Chris Kenny not an investigative journalist
Chris Kenny, an Adelaide SA journalist when news articles were published that have since erased from publicly accessible records, offers baseless opinions but doesn’t consider himself as a journalist prepared to ‘probe’ to discover how public debt liabilities were created, where the money went and inform the public of anything of the debt for which they are liable, but claims to have written a book on the downfall of the government caused by SBSA’s bankruptcy that makes something of an authority on the subject.
The South Australian taxpayer funded “Billion Dollar Bailout” bankruptcy of the State Bank of SA [Guaranteed by the government of South Australia] became unspecified billions of dollars of taxpayer debt with all details concealed. The news article interview with John Bannon refers to the SBSA bankruptcy public debt as $3 Billion with no explanation of how it was calculated. That figure is certainly many times that amount in 2016 dollars.
SBSA’s “Off Balance Sheet” company ‘Kabani’
The absence of anything other than one newspaper published reference to SBSA’s “ at first one “Off Balance Sheet” company ‘Kabani’ [one OBS co. became many] from the book ‘State of Denial’ that makes no mention of it all, is consistent with all other newspaper reporting of the bankruptcy of the State Bank of SA.
The only newspaper published news article [no news media broadcast –TV, radio was made] was written by journalist Colin James and was published on page 2 of ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper on 2 October 1990 and appears below. Despite the news article reporting of South Australia’s Parliamentary “Opposition reiterating yesterday that it would continue to seek full details of the origins of Kabani and its financial dealings” nothing more was ever heard of SBSA’s “Off Balance Sheet” company ‘Kabani’. In a later conversation that I had with journalist Colin James, during which a $50 Million Royal Commission of Inquiry into the SBSA was being undertaken, he told me that “the details of SBSA’s “Off Balance Sheet” company ‘Kabani’ was old news”. When I told him my name at the start of the telephone conversation he said “Your Hellaby’s source”. I had in early 1992 suggested to journalist David Hellaby “that he should if he could view William Turner’s bankruptcy file”. Hellaby, at my invitation came to my home on 13 July 1992. I expected that he by then had seen evidence of William Turner’s Marino Rock’s marina development “Off Balance Sheet” company ‘Kabani’ connection and debts to the State Bank of SA. He said that Turner’s bankruptcy file “was the most amazing document that he had ever seen. It referred to $30 Million debt liabilities but had no record of his creditors”. In conversations with the Victorian bankruptcy court I managed to have Turner’s record of debt with no reference to his creditors confirmed. I also discovered the bankruptcy file 1085 of 1990 began 6 July 1990 [discharged as bankrupt 6 July 1993].
Journalist Colin James, aware of information that I had provided the newspaper & Turner’s bankruptcy file,knew that SBSA’s never disclosed purpose for its “Off Balance Sheet’ company ‘Kabani’ existence and debts were connected to the SBSA’s ownership via its illegal “Off Balance Sheet” company ‘Kabani’ of companies of developers William Edward Turner ‘Crestwin’ and Alan Burloch ‘Mintern’, involved in the proposed development of a marina at the Adelaide beachside suburb of Marino Rocks. Adelaide’s ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper journalists knew that the newspaper was involved in concealing from the public, information concerning unaccounted for State Bank of SA bankruptcy public debt involving serious crimes that Australian federal financial reporting law enforcement authorities were themselves concealing, the laws relating to which they not enforcing. [Federal law enforcement authorities: Corporate Affairs Commission, National Companies and Securities Commission, later established as the Australian Securities Commission ASC that was renamed ASIC the Australian Securities Investment Commission]
Adelaide’s News Corp’s newspaper the afternoon daily tabloid the ‘News’ – Rupert Murdoch’s first newspaper – had on the 5 October 1989 published a front page news article headlined “The man behind SA’s great marina fiasco”, referring to bankrupt developer William Turner’s assets being purchased by the other joint developer of the marina Alan Burloch for “some millions of dollars”. The news article dated 5 October 1989 [appearing below] is deceptive and misleading. Despite claims that the issues of questionable purported facts of Edward Turner’s bankruptcy would be pursued, no further information on Turner’s marina connections were ever made.
News media must have known or easily discovered William Turner’s Directorship of Pro-Image Studios Ltd. and then that it in the 1987/1988 financial year [ending 30 June 1988] recorded of a profit of almost $20 million for the financial year while a loss of approximately $2 million was disclosed in the management accounts, that it considered not to be newsworthy at October 1989 or any future date.
The best I could do was not good enough
WORDS: PENELOPE DEBELLE
FEBRUARY 27, 2009 11:30PM
JOHN Bannon likes to talk about history – but has been loath to discuss his own. Now, for the first time, the former premier looks back.
AFTER 15 YEARS of silence, John Bannon looks a little wary. Not nervous exactly, but braced for unpleasantness as he prepares to manage the inevitable question of his political legacy.
We are here to talk about his new book, a biography of one of the founders of Federation who happens to be the grandfather of former Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer. Bannon, a Federation history expert, has not subjected himself to an interview since leaving politics in
December 1993, two years after the near failure of the State Bank brought South Australia to the brink of bankruptcy. The man who was premier at the time is not here to talk about the past but accepts that at some point the elephant in the room will have to be acknowledged.
We are sitting in the old-fashioned comfort of St Mark’s College’s upstairs senior common room, a clubby chamber with leather chairs and college memorabilia lining the walls. Bannon was master of St Mark’s, in North Adelaide, for eight years and feels at home inside the protective embrace of academia.
At 65, Bannon is older and greyer but retains something of the young, blond marathon runner whose physical fitness was always the best in the room. He is dressed in college wear; grey trousers and a navy blazer, and takes me first on a quick tour of the landmark Pennington Terrace residence, a study in faded grandeur that was bought by the University of Adelaide almost a century ago. He is businesslike but with an air of trepidation and his manner indicates a man who would rather be elsewhere.
Bannon’s dilemma is wanting to talk about one thing, his book, but knowing that to do so he will also be asked about the bleak episode that saddled SA with a $3 billion debt and destroyed the Labor Party’s standing to the point where any association with the Bannon Government was a political liability.
Bannon knew back in 1991 that he was in too deep to dig his way out. His policy of prudent budgetary management offset by expansionary, large-scale projects collapsed like a house of cards when the folly of lending decisions made by the State Bank’s board and managing director Tim Marcus Clark was exposed. As the bank’s owner, the state was the guarantor of loans that became a $3 billion millstone that threatened its very existence. Bannon became the man who led the state into $3 billion debt.
Has South Australia forgiven John Bannon for the State Bank debacle? Vote in the poll at the right of this page.
As the cracks began to open up, Bannon gave private soundings to the media to confirm the
devastating scale of the losses. “It was certainly a public matter and so it should have been,” Bannon says. “There was no point in hiding or minimising what was an acute situation.”
A former editor of The Advertiser, Peter Blunden, remembers getting a call early one Sunday morning in 1991 saying Bannon wanted to see him in his office. As Blunden walked in, he was astonished to be offered a beer. “I don’t usually have a beer that early on a Sunday but Bannon basically said ‘I think on this occasion we should have one’,” Blunden says. “I knew it was a very, very unusual day and it was a very stressful period for everyone involved.”
Bannon stayed for three inquiries, the last two of which cleared him of any deliberate wrongdoing. But in September 1992 – before the findings were released – he stepped down as premier and treasurer and personally apologised to SA for what had happened. “I made that very clear at the time I resigned,” Bannon says. “I was saying, ‘I take responsibility, I stuffed this up,’ and my apology is there on the record.”
Just over a year later he left politics forever. It was an ignominious close to what had been a brilliant career and it was not something Bannon has wanted to revisit. The various inquiries and court processes sheeted home the liability and Bannon felt nothing would be gained by looking back. Personal dignity demanded there will be no memoir and his legacy will remain a matter for others. He is hyper-sensitive to sounding like a man trying to defend the indefensible, or, even worse, coming across as an object of pity. Better to say nothing.
“I wasn’t interested in writing memoirs or tedious explanations or defences of my record,” he says. “I don’t think that’s the place of someone who has been in public life. Many see it as their duty but the end result is unfortunately often self-serving, defensive and not terribly enlightening. Better for others to comment and probe.”
Ironically, it took a conservative politician from one of Adelaide’s establishment families to flush Bannon out. His book, to be published by Wakefield Press, is about the history of the founding of the Australian constitution and reflects Bannon’s status as a serious Federation historian. It will be launched at St Mark’s College by Alexander Downer on March 5.
Supreme Federalist, which Bannon asks that I read before speaking to him, is a very readable account of the political life of a significant South Australian who helped shepherd the idea of a federal Australia through two decades of political and legal process. Sir John Downer, QC, the founder of a political dynasty in the age before political parties, was at various times a member of the Legislative Assembly, premier, and senator, as well as a passionate federalist who believed the separate colonies should come together and surrender certain powers – control of the Murray-Darling River system being one – but retain others.
Bannon argues that of all of the constitutional founding fathers, including Edmund Barton and Charles Kingston, Downer fought for federalism most consistently over almost two decades. “I am not saying he is the most important, or the only, I am saying that in terms of his position and his promotion of it, he has a consistency,” Bannon says.
Bannon’s pursuit of an academic career has put a lot of distance between him and his political past. He gained a PhD in South Australian political history at Flinders University which immersed him in SA’s transition from a colony to a state, in particular the government of Charles Kingston and other founders of the constitution, including Sir John. In a purely serendipitous coincidence, in 1999 Bannon was appointed master of St Mark’s College, which was the very house in which Sir John and his family once lived. Bannon worked in Sir John’s old study writing the book, as close to history as he could get.
He leaves next month for a three-month sabbatical term at Edinburgh University, studying the devolution of the Scottish Parliament as a form of federation in reverse.
The emergence of Dr John Bannon, academic, historian and President of the History Council of Australia, flowed naturally from Bannon’s move away from the public life. This withdrawal was not quite an act of penance but something he felt was required of him. He did not feel it was right or proper to hold positions on government boards or agencies, or to comment on public affairs. No state appointments were ever offered, he says, but nor would he have accepted any.
“That was appropriate,” he says. “Because immediately you try and either pontificate on events of the day, or tell your successors what should be done, quite rightly people say – what right have you to do that? It’s just not appropriate and you end up becoming self-serving and defensive and you certainly don’t want to be in that position.”
The tracing of lines of blame and examination of what should or should not have been done is not up for discussion today, nor will it ever be. He will not analyse his own political legacy and feels genuinely unable to. Bannon says only that he gave his all and accepts that it fell short. “I just know I did the best I could as honestly and as competently as I could,” he says. “It wasn’t good enough and others can judge how and why that occurred.”
Chris Sumner, who was attorney-general in Bannon’s Cabinet and a friend of Bannon’s since their days at the University of Adelaide, says Bannon was obviously deeply affected by what happened. “I think that was a sensible decision,” Sumner says of Bannon’s public withdrawal. “There wasn’t great scope for looking back on the Bannon Government and what it did because of the State Bank.”
Bannon’s integrity was never at issue but his reputation as an economic manager was blasted into oblivion in a few terrible months. The problem was not directly of his making but he accepts that he believed what others wanted him to hear. “Obviously, when I take responsibility I am not saying I did nothing,” he says. “It is for others to say who should have done what but there is no question I should have done some things.”
It was painful, of course, he says, because it came towards the natural end of an otherwise successful political career that began 30 years earlier when Bannon, a young law student fresh out of St Peter’s College where his father, Charles Bannon, taught art, spent a year as full-time president of the Australian Union of Students.
He discovered Labor politics and in November, 1982, the Bannon decade began with a series of major projects that included the establishment of the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine, the submarine project, the defence industry, conversion of part of the Adelaide Railway Station into the Convention Centre, Hyatt and Adelaide Casino complex, and the staging of the Formula One Grand Prix.
Bannon, who is still the longest-serving SA premier after Tom Playford, saw this careful record demolished and only those closest to him know how deeply those wounds ran.
“Obviously all of those things were almost obliterated by the scale of what happened,” he says. “It came at the end, and ironically, even as late as 1990 when there were other financial failures occurring both here and internationally, we were feeling pretty good.”
Sumner, who says Bannon was let down during a recession by regulators, including the Reserve Bank, the State Bank Board and State Government officials, believes a time will come when Bannon’s legacy as head of a social democratic government will be reassessed. “From a personal perspective, we were all badly let down by a whole lot of mechanisms and people who should have been doing their jobs and weren’t,” Sumner says. “I think, personally, that John has carried an unreasonable personal burden for what happened.”
Instead of a sense of achievement, Bannon left politics knowing his legacy had been tarnished, if not destroyed. “It was a messy end to what had up until then been quite a successful and satisfying political career,” he says. “One of the difficult things was seeing rather than a heritage being left, a lot of things being dismembered.”
Bannon stayed long enough to manage the immediate aftermath before resigning from the seat of Ross Smith and declaring his public life was over. He moved from Prospect to the inner city with his second wife Angela, mother of musician and television personality Dylan Lewis, and refused advice from some quarters that he should move away and start afresh. Bannon may have failed as premier on a grand scale but he would not be run out of town.
“I at no time felt that I must or need abandon South Australia and what it stands for,” says Bannon, who has a daughter, Victoria, with his first wife, Supreme Court Justice Robyn Layton. “To the best of my ability post-politics, I have tried to be an active and engaged citizen, although obviously not a public figure because I don’t think that’s appropriate.” In 1994 Bannon accepted an appointment to the ABC Board which was his first foray into any form of office. It was criticised on partisan political grounds but not because it was John Bannon.
“It wasn’t high-profile, it was to do a job,” Bannon says of his five years on the board. His other official duties since 2000 have been to serve on the South Australian Cricket Association Board under former Howard minister Ian McLachlan. Last year he was elected to the Board of Cricket Australia and occasionally runs into John Howard, where they confine their discussions to play on the ground and a shared enthusiasm for the political process. He is still a friend of Mike Rann, once a junior member of the Bannon cabinet, but does not presume to give him advice.
Two years ago Bannon faced a more confronting personal challenge than even the State Bank debt. He was in training for a marathon when he was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery and a taxing period of chemotherapy, from which he has emerged in full health.
“I was training and put down certain symptoms to perhaps overdoing it,” he says. “It was foolish to keep on running but I enjoy it, and it’s good for you. So yes, it masked the symptoms and it was probably picked up later and was a little more serious than it might have been.”
Even when his political career was at its nadir, Bannon had always relied on his personal strength and fitness. He ran for pleasure and had a proud record of completing at least one marathon a year for 29 years before dropping out mid-training in 2007 to fight for his life. It was the only time he had faced a serious health problem and it shook him to the core.
“It was a very confronting experience,” says Bannon, whose family suffered tragedy in 1959 when his brother was lost bushwalking in Wilpena Pound. “While I have had a number of personal and other traumas in my life, basically I have always had total confidence in my physical fitness so it was quite unnerving to find I had to attend to that as well.”
He has been cleared – touch wood, he says – and has begun some gentle marathon training. He has not abandoned hope of returning to the track but is not sure if he ever will. “Whether I can run a full marathon – I’m just letting myself work through that,” he says. “I haven’t officially retired yet.”
In June 2014 news media reported that journalist Chris Kenny had sued the Australian taxpayer funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation ABC over references in an ABC TV broadcast comedy program that referred to Chris Kenny having sexual intercourse with a dog. I never saw the comedy show segment but have no doubt that the joke [Australians are well known for their pranks] was in poor taste. From reading he news article it appears that the ABC broadcast relates to a sign raised to the audience saying “Chris ‘Dog Fucker’ Kenny” during a public meeting in which funding cuts to the ABC were promoted encouraged by Chris Kenny’s News Corp. news media.
The ABC’s taxpayer funded resources should be put to better use. The ABC that promotes itself as “In depth reporting from award winning Australian journalists” is well aware of the evidence of fake ‘archives’ of newspapers published sold by public libraries throughout Australia for the purpose of assisting to conceal crimes of national significance concerning Australian federal/nation authorities regarding events in Adelaide South Australia. The Guardian news media refers to $35,000 being paid to Chris Kenny by the ABC.
Chris Kenny: ‘I’ll be remembered as the journalist called a dog f**ker who stood up for his rights’
“The extraordinary tale of a News Limited writer who sued the ABC over a silly joke – and how the case raises serious questions about free speech in Australia”
Chris Kenny is quoted to have said “To the extent that I am remembered for this, I’ll be remembered as the journalist called a dog fucker who stood up for his rights.”
For Chris Kenny to be remembered as a “journalist called a dog fucker who stood up for his rights” is an outrageous misrepresentation of what he is.
Chris Kenny should be remembered as a traitor to journalism and literature who betrayed Australians and has denied them the right to know of the manner in which they have been deceived by news media that ignores any obligation to them to ensure that governments must be held accountable and must recognize the public’s right to know of details of our public debt.
Any notion that Chris Kenny has sexual intercourse with dogs is far less objectionable than his impropriety as a purported journalist/author and the deception of the public to the detriment of our collective well-being far beyond the understated estimate of the $3 Billion lost with the State Bank of SA bankruptcy secret public debt liabilities that news media assist governments to conceal.
Australia Julian Assange writes for ‘The Australian’ newspaper 8 December 2010
Julian Assange writes ‘IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide’s The News, wrote: “In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.’
Australia Julian Assange writes for ‘The Australian’ newspaper 8 December 2010
According to Julian Assange ‘IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide’s The News, wrote: “In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.”
The irresistible challenge for Rupert Murdoch was, for fun and profit, to handicap the race between secrecy and the truth so as to be able to create a world where he decideswhat reality is.
Don’t shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths
by: Julian Assange
From: The Australian
December 08, 2010 12:00AM
Elizabeth Cook’s artist impression of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court in London, where he was denied bail after appearing on an extradition warrant. Source: AP
WIKILEAKS deserves protection, not threats and attacks.
IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide’s The News, wrote: “In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.”
His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch’s expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.
Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.
I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.
These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia, was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.
WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?
Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.
People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.
If you have read any of the Afghan or Iraq war logs, any of the US embassy cables or any of the stories about the things WikiLeaks has reported, consider how important it is for all media to be able to report these things freely.
WikiLeaks is not the only publisher of the US embassy cables. Other media outlets, including Britain’s The Guardian, The New York Times, ElPais in Spain and Der Spiegel in Germany have published the same redacted cables.
Yet it is WikiLeaks, as the co-ordinator of these other groups, that has copped the most vicious attacks and accusations from the US government and its acolytes. I have been accused of treason, even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen. There have been dozens of serious calls in the US for me to be “taken out” by US special forces. Sarah Palin says I should be “hunted down like Osama bin Laden”, a Republican bill sits before the US Senate seeking to have me declared a “transnational threat” and disposed of accordingly. An adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister’s office has called on national television for me to be assassinated. An American blogger has called for my 20-year-old son, here in Australia, to be kidnapped and harmed for no other reason than to get at me.
And Australians should observe with no pride the disgraceful pandering to these sentiments by Julia Gillard and her government. The powers of the Australian government appear to be fully at the disposal of the US as to whether to cancel my Australian passport, or to spy on or harass WikiLeaks supporters. The Australian Attorney-General is doing everything he can to help a US investigation clearly directed at framing Australian citizens and shipping them to the US.
Prime Minister Gillard and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not had a word of criticism for the other media organisations. That is because The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel are old and large, while WikiLeaks is as yet young and small.
We are the underdogs. The Gillard government is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn’t want the truth revealed, including information about its own diplomatic and political dealings.
Has there been any response from the Australian government to the numerous public threats of violence against me and other WikiLeaks personnel? One might have thought an Australian prime minister would be defending her citizens against such things, but there have only been wholly unsubstantiated claims of illegality. The Prime Minister and especially the Attorney-General are meant to carry out their duties with dignity and above the fray. Rest assured, these two mean to save their own skins. They will not.
Every time WikiLeaks publishes the truth about abuses committed by US agencies, Australian politicians chant a provably false chorus with the State Department: “You’ll risk lives! National security! You’ll endanger troops!” Then they say there is nothing of importance in what WikiLeaks publishes. It can’t be both. Which is it?
It is neither. WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.
US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn’t find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.
But our publications have been far from unimportant. The US diplomatic cables reveal some startling facts:
– The US asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. Presumably Australian UN diplomats may be targeted, too.
– King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US to attack Iran.
– Officials in Jordan and Bahrain want Iran’s nuclear program stopped by any means available.
– Britain’s Iraq inquiry was fixed to protect “US interests”.
– Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.
– The US is playing hardball to get other countries to take freed detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama agreed to meet the Slovenian President only if Slovenia took a prisoner. Our Pacific neighbour Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to accept detainees.
In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government”. The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.
Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.
Examples of Chris Kenny’s News Corp. Aust. Journalism appear below.
The examples are; ‘Chris Kenny: South Australia’s Treasurer needs to stop denying facts and get on with the job’ published March 22, 2015 ‘The Advertiser :
‘Fashionable causes distort the definition of freedom’ published February 27, 2016 ‘The Australian’
‘Dreams turn sour as state’s economy crumbles’ published February 22, 2014
‘Media coverage reflects reality’ published March 05, 2012 ‘The Australian’
Chris Kenny’s published thoughts are not journalism. It’s politically motivated prolonged flatulence on behalf of a political party that employs him and for which he has been an endorsed candidate whom failed to be elected. His ‘Opinions’ could not and would not be published without the approval, direction and instructions from Rupert Murdoch who controls his Australian newspapers and must have knowledge of and given his consent for the manner of his Adelaide’s newspaper’s February 1991 reporting of the bankruptcy of the State Bank of South Australia, the evading of reporting of and follow up of issues of SBSA’s illegal “Off Balance Sheet” companies with their changing number and valuations and the erasing from the records of newspapers published [now fake archives]of the newspaper articles with the limited reporting of SBSA OBS companies and other news articles reporting matters [William Turner bankruptcy and Pro-Image Studios Ltd. charged by the ASC with crimes] that were never disclosed as being related to SBSA bankruptcy SA taxpayer debt.
Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers knowledge of crimes and corruption concealed
Adelaide’s ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper’s claim in news article “State Bank silent on mystery firm” published 2 October 1990 [the only ever news media reference to SBSA OBS ‘Kabani’], that it had “been unable to find anything about ‘Kabani’, why it was formed or what it does” is questionable.
‘Kabani’, never mentioned ever again in news media, was the means by which SBSA had ownership of the Marino Rocks marina development companies Mintern and Crestwin, referred to in the ‘News’ newspaper article 5 October 1989 headlined “The man behind SA’s great marina fiasco” referring to bankrupt William Turner selling his assets to Alan Burloch.
The false and misleading information published – Turner’s bankruptcy file began 6 July 1990 in the following financial year – was considered newsworthy while mention of Turner’s company Pro-Image Studios Ltd. of which he was a Director recording a “profit of almost $20 million for the financial year 1987/1988” “a loss of approximately $2 million was disclosed in the management accounts” was not considered newsworthy in any Australian news media at any time.
The newspaper reporting of William Turner 27 September 1993 being charged by the Australian Securities Commission with crimes [ASC media release 93-225] and the charges being dropped 10 November 1995 [ASC media release 95-177] are among the many newspaper articles that have been erased from publicly accessible records of newspapers published that are now fake archives sold by Australian state and national public libraries.
Chris Kenny must have known at the time of writing his book ‘State of Denial’, and has in any event since then been made aware, of his employers involvement in the deception of the public by concealment of serious and significant crimes and corruption that relates to the bankruptcy of the State Bank of SA and the creation of billions of dollars of still unaccounted for South Australian taxpayer debt. Chris Kenny, his employer News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch do not respond to correspondence regarding the evidence of the fake archives of News Corp. Aust. [rebranded from its previous name News Ltd.] newspapers. Chris Kenny continues to claim that he wrote a book “about the collapse of SA’s State Bank”.
Chris Kenny: South Australia’s Treasurer needs to stop denying facts and get on with the job
March 22, 2015 ‘The Advertiser
– It is beyond belief that Chris Kenny and News Corp. Aust. could possible expect anyone to pay for Chris Kenny’s published ‘Opinions’.
Chris Kenny: South Australia’s Treasurer needs to stop denying facts and get on with the job
March 22, 2015 7:42am
Chris KennyThe Advertiser
Caption to Photograph of SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis MP “REALITY CHECK: State Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis.” [The uncomplimentary photograph removed]
INSTEAD of fixing the Budget, stimulating the economy and creating jobs, state Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis seems intent on spin, politicking and denying reality.
He responded on Twitter to my column last week about the “running joke” of the state economy, offering a range of attacks – “what rubbish … wrong again … don’t let the facts get in the way of your politics … you’re wrong … do some research”.
It is a worry that the Treasurer tries to be a bovver boy and chooses to shun reality rather than confront it.
State of Denial was my 1993 book about the collapse of SA’s State Bank and the downfall of the Bannon Labor government – and it seems Labor is in denial again.
Even after all that debt was repaid (thanks to Liberal privatisations and Labor’s early discipline) and the state got back on its feet, Labor has gone back to its old ways.
Once again the story is debt, deficits, denial and dreams of some golden project to turn it all around.
It is time to end the cargo-cult mentality and just do the hard yards of reducing costs and making the state attractive for private investment.
Koutsantonistweeted an old graphic from The Australian to try to claim I was wrong to say SA’s debt was higher than other states.
Really? The graphs showed debt in dollar terms, so that SA’s peak at $6 billion was only half the total of a couple of the larger states.
This is a ridiculous comparison – like me saying I am better off than James Packer because I have a smaller mortgage – and Koutsantonis knows it.
Whenever serious economists and treasurers talk about debt, they talk about it in relative terms – state net debt as a percentage of the state economy.
At 7.3 per cent, SA’s is the highest of all the states (NSW 1.4, Victoria 6, Queensland 1.8, WA 2.6, Tasmania -0.8).
These are the figures supplied by Canberra’s Treasury, based on the latest Budget outcomes.
So my column was right and Koutsantonis’s attack was wrong and deliberately misleading.
As I suggested to the Treasurer on Twitter, he would be better off working on his Budget rather than getting into social media spats trying to pretend all is fine.
The worst thing about the debt position is that it has all been racked up in the past decade – the controversial asset sales under John Olsen (I worked for him from 2000-01) have been wasted.
We are back where we started.
To be fair, some of the debt has funded worthwhile projects but too much has just funded a wasteful public sector.
SA Labor made a mistake spending the expected proceeds of the Olympic Dam expansion before it happened – so when it was canned, the Budget was shafted.
There are more crucial figures Koutsantonis can’t spin.
The 6.9 per cent unemployment rate is the highest in the nation – even worse than Tasmania.
The trigger for last week’s column was the shocking revelation that, over the past five years, SA has actually lost jobs.
And when it comes to economic growth, SA is running second last – at a feeble 1.3 per cent, it just shades the Apple Isle on 1.2 per cent.
Welfare dependency also tells a depressing story – an alarming 22.8 per cent of Croweaters, more than one in every five, receive a welfare cheque from Canberra (unemployment benefits, pensions, carers and study allowance etc).
Tasmania is worse, at a terrible 25 per cent, but SA is the worst on the mainland, with all the other states below 20 per cent and WA at only 15 per cent welfare reliance.
On state taxes, the Treasurer’s own Budget papers show that SA is the highest-taxing state with a “tax effort” almost 10 per cent above the average.
And, of course, along with Tasmania and Queensland, SA is subsidised by the stronger states when it comes to carving up the GST revenue.
So the message for Koutsantonis is pretty clear.
Stop denying the facts, stop slapping down anyone who confronts you with unpalatable truths – and get on with the job.
Chris Kenny is Associate Editor of The Australian and hosts Viewpoint on SkyNews 7.30pm on Sundays and Fridays.
Dreams turn sour as state’s economy crumbles theaustralian 22 Feb 2014
Dreams turn sour as state’s economy crumbles
by: CHRIS KENNY
From: The Australian
February 22, 2014 12:00AM
Big challenge ahead for South Australia 1:24
20 Feb 2014
Photographs with this Chris Kenny news article [are not included in WordPress post] were published in the original the captions with those photographs were;
- A photograph of Chris Kenny promoting himself : “Chris Kenny says South Australia needs to find a way to attract private investment to rebuild the state.”
- BAE machinist Matt Adzic, left, with Stuart Lindley, manager of advanced manufacturing. Source: News Corp Australia
- “A Holden worker leaves the Elizabeth plant at the end of his shift; the company has signalled manufacturing will end in 2017. Source: News Corp Australia”
- Mal Hemmerling is seeking ways to create new jobs. Source: News Corp Australia
- Offices for lease in Adelaide’s depressed northern suburbs. Source: News Corp Australia
- Cranes over the Royal Adelaide Hospital development site. Source: News Corp Australia
WEEDS push through cracks in the asphalt of disused car parks; signs offer factories for lease; and the dole queues grow in the shadows of the General Motors Holden Elizabeth plant.
The impending closure of the Australian carmaker – after Mitsubishi in southern Adelaide and along with Ford and Toyota in Victoria – strikes not only the economic foundation of the area but its identity.
“Building the best cars for Australia and the world,” boasts the sign on GMH’s highway frontage.
Holden’s lion and stone logo is prominently displayed as the major sponsor of the powerful local football club.
The logo stems from the legend of how the wheel was invented when prehistoric man watched lions rolling a stone – still, once rolled, presumably the stone was discarded.
Elizabeth, South Australia and Australian manufacturing are said to be in transition; in reality they are in crisis and need reinvention.
Boom to bust, Doyle’s down but not out
GAVAN Doyle founded his business by designing components for parts suppliers to Ford and Holden.
Small-town sensitivities stifle debate
“EVERYONE knows what needs to be done,” says a senior Labor insider.
The uncertainty and economic pain in Adelaide – a deep undercurrent in South Australia’s election campaign – is also a microcosm of the national challenge.
The nation faces the same difficulties and choices – it’s just that in South Australia they are more intense.
The only state founded on an idea, South Australia has somehow conspired for almost 180 years to turn that concept inside out.
The rest of Australia winces at references to the free-settler state as Croweaters set themselves apart from convict stock, but the experiment of the South Australia Company and Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s utopian dream was more profound than that – the penal colonies that established the other states were deliberate acts of government; public sector expansions to the antipodes, if you like.
On the Adelaide plains in 1836, private investment and individual enterprise were deliberately harnessed as the driving forces for an experimental new colony.
Yet now the inverse is true; of all the mainland states, SA has the largest government sector and the worst performing private sector.
The state founded on enterprise has proportionately more public servants, more welfare recipients and higher taxation than the other mainland states.
For its survival, it relies on the largesse of government, largely through GST revenue raised in more efficient states.
As SA goes to the polls on March 15, building and jobs provide the main themes.
Having recovered from the State Bank crisis, largely by privatising assets, SA looked to the $30 billion expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium, copper and gold mine for a prosperous future.
The Rann-WeatherillLabor government embarked on an ambitious spending program before that chicken hatched. Now the mine expansion is on the never-never and the budget has blown out to a billion-dollar deficit.
Cranes have dotted the city skyline for a year or more as a $2 billion construction plan kicks in – a redeveloped Adelaide Oval, a new hospital, a medical research centre – yet it is all government-funded, debt-funded, taxpayer-funded.
Wakefield’s unrealised dream of private investment fuelling enterprise and jobs is as crucially relevant now as any time since European settlement.
Holden began as saddlery and carriage-maker in Adelaide’s western suburbs before being taken over by the American GM parent and creating Australia’s car. Its former Woodville plant now hosts the SA centre of manufacturing; another former industrial area hosts a bio-innovation centre; at Mitsubishi’s former Tonsley site another government centre promises to nurture “smart” new industries; and at Elizabeth a new “hub” is under way to generate new manufacturing opportunities.
“The Stretton Centre is not just a jobs centre but a new collaborative approach, to put planners, researchers and companies in the one space to make it happen,” says Playford Council’s Mal Hemmerling.
In the heady 1980s, Hemmerling was a high-flying public servant in the Bannon government who went on to run the Australian Grand Prix and then the Sydney Olympics Organising Committee. He has come out of retirement to help the council generate jobs in a depressed area.
Hemmerling well knows the sad history of state government intervention. In the 1970s, Don Dunstan planned a whole new city west of Adelaide – today Monarto is nothing but an open range zoo.
In the 80s, tens of millions of federal and state government funds went into the multi-function polis, a technopolis to attract and accommodate new industries and their workers. Now the ghost of the MFP echoes in the state election campaign as the government defends a dodgy deal to dispose of the undisturbed land it was to be built on. Hemmerling sees hope in the north because there is three years’ warning of the Holden closure. While it could cost 16,000 jobs in the region, he is driven to help existing companies find new roles, new technologies and new customers.
“Other ventures like the MFP have tried to attract new investors; we are working with companies that are already here,” says Hemmerling.
The search for private investment, devoid of government involvement, is taxing. At Payneham, a $20m building was constructed by the Olsen Liberal government for international bankers JPMorgan who came, took the corporate welfare, then left.
Just a kilometre or two west of Holden’s doomed Elizabeth plant, a $10m dollar titanium machining plant from Switzerland, the second of its kind in the world, purrs into action for the first time. It shapes the metal to perfection – or within a quarter of a hair’s breadth of perfection – to form tail fin components for the Joint Strike Fighter.
For the next 25 years these aerospace components will be manufactured at BAE Systems’ plant north of Adelaide, exported for assembly to Fort Worth, Texas, and flown by air forces around the world.
At the controls is Nicholas Sergejeus, who began his career as an apprentice fitter and turner at electrical manufacturer Gerard Industries. As a toolmaker with BAE Systems, he has been to Britain for technology transfer and instead of wielding tools his clean hands touch screens and keyboards.
“I am very fortunate,” he responds when asked to compare his prospects with friends elsewhere in manufacturing. “This work is technically fascinating and secure; most of my mates have had to head off and work in the mines.”
BAE’s advanced manufacturing manager, Stuart Lindley, spruiks the spin-offs from defence contracts.
The investment in titanium machining is made possible by a $300m, 25-year contract because of the federal government’s involvement in the JSF project.
It will allow the company to bid for commercial aviation engineering and other precision work.
“We will outsource less-demanding engineering work to local firms, underpinning other manufacturing jobs and helping to lift their capabilities,” says Lindley.
These are not labour-intensive fields – BAE Systems employs only 600 people at the site, which also exports missiles – and relies on major government contracts at a time that defence spending has contracted.
Neighbouring Edinburgh air force base has been dubbed a “super base” and has expanded to accommodate the 7RAR mechanised infantry battalion, relocated from Darwin. It brings up to 2000 people, adding up to $100m annually to the economy.
Defence is a constant last line of defence for those projecting the state’s economic future.
Leading employer group BusinessSA certainly wants more defence spending and investment.
Elsewhere, it sees government as the problem, adding to the costs, taxes and compliance burdens of the state’s private sector.
“This is a state where the private sector has constantly had to tighten its belt,” says chief executive Nigel McBride. “Small employers have come to us in record numbers to seek advice on managing redundancies.”
“And during that time the public sector has done nothing but grow, and grow and grow.”
From 2002 to last year, public sector employment in SA grew by 28.9 per cent while total employment grew at less than half that rate (14 per cent).
With more than 100,000 people on the state government’s payroll (86,000 full-time equivalents) in a state with 1.1 million voters, the state public servants and their families make up a hugely powerful voting bloc.
The powerful public sector unions have strongly resisted cost-cutting measures. Even with a 10-point lead in the polls, Liberal Opposition Leader Steven Marshall promises to keep job cuts to 5100. Of course the Labor Premier, Jay Weatherill, is telling voters the Liberals will cut much deeper.
Ironically, an experienced Labor insider tells me his greatest fear is that whoever wins the election won’t do enough to reduce government expenditure.
To be fair, it is a difficult balancing act; with government looming so large in the economy, savage cuts can generate proportionately more social and economic dislocation.
Halting the growth in the public sector while allowing the private sector to grow would be a good starting point. Lest anyone see this is as a party political divide, we need look only to the published musings of former Labor deputy premier and treasurer Kevin Foley. He quit politics in late 2011 and less than two years ago, in a Sunday Mail column, shared his frank thoughts about the public sector’s role in SA.
“Radical reform is needed,” he wrote, “starting with the total removal of lifelong tenure and implementing government-wide efficiency drives to remove underperformers or those who have become surplus to needs.”
He also suggested government should hand over some responsibilities to the private sector and that the public needed to comprehend that better-trained teachers, for instance, might be preferable to more teachers.
“These ideas and many more will be needed into the future if we do not want to pay increased taxes. Public sector unions have too much power over political parties and it must end.”
Foley declines to be interviewed for this article, shunning the spotlight during the election campaign, but his writings pre-empted this debate. “At 20 per cent of our economy, the public sector can’t remain the sheltered workplace it currently is,” he wrote in 2012. “I failed to change it and I don’t expect either side of politics will be up for it yet, but the day will come.”
Back at BusinessSA, McBride explains that fewer than 400 companies employ more than 200 workers in SA, whereas there are 46,000 companies with fewer than 20 staff. “We are the quintessential small to medium enterprise state,” he says, arguing that reducing costs such as land tax, payroll tax, workers compensation and electricity prices are the key to creating more jobs in the private sector.
“If each of those smaller companies could afford to employ one more person, our unemployment problem would be gone overnight.”
In 1993, Chris Kenny published State of Denial about the SA State Bank crisis. He worked for the state Liberal government from 2000 to 2002.
Fashionable causes distort the definition of freedom
FEBRUARY 27, 2016 12:00AM
Associate Editor (National Affairs)
The way many Australians think about patriotism is the way Margaret Thatcher thought about power. “Being powerful is like being a lady,” said the British titan. “If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
We are so blessed that our most natural expression of patriotism is to have a barbecue or beach picnic on Australia Day. We don’t want to diminish our sublime good fortune by trumpeting it.
This laconic nationalism brings an attendant risk of complacency. Freedom, for instance, is a word we seem to shrink from, in direct contrast to the way Americans embrace it. Counterintuitively for a nation founded as a penal colony, we are so relaxed about freedom that we find it too jingoistic to mention.
We have become so self-satisfied and smug that our political class campaigns for freedom in all the wrong places, and often advocates against the interests of freedom to promote the fashionable causes of our time.
It is worth reminding ourselves we live in a country where newspaper columns printed in our highest circulating newspaper, Melbourne’s Herald Sun, remain banned from republication.
These are the Andrew Bolt columns subjected to the section 18C racial vilification ruling — they still exist online because, thankfully, it is all but impossible to remove them from cyberspace but when you click on them you also see a court-imposed denunciation.
Bolt’s sin was to weigh in on the contentious issue of racial identity, pointing out that if we make jobs and preferment contingent on indigeneity, then people who could identify with a range of ethnic identities in their heritage might be tempted to highlight, or even exaggerate, the indigenous.
Yet this very issue of identity and preferment now has been raised by the federal government’s Indigenous Advisory Council because of deceptions. This is no surprise; wherever governments have ever provided financial or other entitlements there have been attempts to game them.
Queensland indigenous leader Stephen Hagan told The Australian’s Michael McKenna this week, “You can go to any town in the nation with a significant indigenous population and you’ll see not one but numerous ‘white blackfellas’ falsely claiming Aboriginality to get jobs and benefits that should go to our people.”
Bolt and Hagan are coming at the same issue from different perspectives. “We need a system that properly tests these claims so there is no chance of rorting and to ensure targeted taxpayer funds and jobs go to indigenous people,” said Hagan. Which was the essential point made by Bolt in his banned columns.
Under the same laws, five Queensland University of Technology students are facing federal court action after they were refused entry to a computer room reserved for indigenous students. Their sin was to take to social media, mocking their rejection with lines such as “stopping segregation with segregation” and “I wonder where the white supremacist computer lab is”.
Apparently the race-based allocation of university computer resources is fine but the mocking of such divisiveness faces court. Freedom seems to be having a lend of itself.
In 2012, the federal Labor government sought to impose de facto regulation of print media content. Julia Gillard, our worst prime minister in 35 years, thought she was being unfairly treated by newspapers (including this one) so she proposed laws that would sanction newspapers for breaches of a code.
Journalism academics and leading ABC journalists did not protest in the streets; instead they publicly endorsed the move. It eventually failed but perhaps even more chilling than the political overreach from a flailing government was the meek acquiescence from a political-media class who saw themselves as ideological bedfellows.
When the Australian Human Rights Commission held its Christmas drinks in 2014, among the guests was David Hicks, a man who trained with al-Qa’ida and Lashkar-e-Toiba and fired weapons across the line of control in Kashmir. Hicks had written to his parents, from the battlefields, about his associations with militants, his commitment to “jihad” and his anti-Western and anti-Semitic views.
At the drinks he heckled our attorney-general. At the Sydney Writers Festival, Hicks was given a standing ovation.
He is still lauded by the green-Left as a hapless victim of the US and Australian governments, despite pleading guilty to providing material support to terrorists and despite those nations having struck a deal to get him home from Guantanamo Bay and released.
When an Islamist extremist took 18 innocent Sydneysiders hostage in a city cafe in December 2014, parts of the city were locked down and the nation held its breath. Someone invented an incident about a Muslim woman being too scared to travel on public transport and the “I’ll ride with you” hashtag campaign was born.
Thousands took to social media to protest against an anti-Muslim backlash that never existed. While their fellow citizens were being held at gunpoint (two innocent people eventually were killed) the moral poseurs, including prominent ABC media identities, promoted their outrage not at the reality of terror but at the pretence of an anti-Muslim backlash.
When our Prime Minister and Defence Minister released their defence white paper this week they spoke about the threat of transnational terrorism and even mentioned Daesh, or Islamic State. They did not mention Islamist extremism, the obscene ideology that is generating the security threat in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia and on our shores.
Consider the hyperventilation over George Pell’s video-link appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He has fronted the commission and the media previously on these issues, has been at the forefront of dealing with historical transgressions within the church, is not directly accused of wrongdoing and has undertaken to continue his co-operation in keeping with his medical advice. And for his trouble he is vilified in the media and popular culture, including through the song by Tim Minchin.
Yet holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London is another Australian, Julian Assange, who is facing direct allegation of sexual assault. He is free to walk out of his self-imposed detention any time he chooses — and should do so — to deal with British warrants and the substantive allegations through the Swedish legal system.
But Assange is treated by many in the media-political class as a hero for hiding from justice.
Often the same people who rant about Pell remaining in the Vatican cry that Assange is a victim imprisoned by some unspoken conspiracy. The WikiLeaks founder was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. His reckless dumping of classified documents, undermining the intelligence apparatus of liberal democracies and therefore imperilling their efforts to counter terrorism, was rewarded by the Australian journalists union with an honorary membership and a Walkley award.
Minchin could release a song for Assange, set to the tune of the Beatles’ Dear Prudence. Dear Julian, won’t you come out to play? Dear Julian, greet the brand new day. The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you, Dear Julian, won’t you come out to play?
Or perhaps not.
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Media coverage reflects reality theaustralian Chris Kenny 5 March 2012
Media coverage reflects reality
by: Chris Kenny
From: The Australian
March 05, 201212:00AM
Cartoon by Bill Leak. Source: The Australian
DESPITE its many qualities and indispensable services, the media is clearly imperfect. But in free countries the truth usually triumphs. News media helps keep authorities accountable.
The Finkelstein report is worrying because its recommendations could stifle the media. The inquiry believes it can improve the quality of media by creating a News Media Council, funded by the government, headed (you guessed it) by a lawyer, and consisting of appointed (not elected) delegates from the media and elsewhere. It does not believe that competition, consumer demands, commercial accountability, legal constraints and personal choice will deliver to the public the media that consumers deserve.
Rather, it believes a government-funded body of lawyers, academics, publicly funded and commercial journalists can decree what is good for the public.
Aside from their own sense of fair play, journalists face a range of controls, from the primary constraint of defamation laws, to anti-discrimination laws, court suppression rules and orders, professional and company codes, government regulation in the electronic media and self-regulation in the print media. And they do this in a digital age when it has never been easier for new entrants to enter the media marketplace.
Remarkably, Finkelstein recommended a government-funded news media oversight of electronic, print and online media without identifying a problem with the Australian media.
It traces its genesis, in part, to revelations about the illegal activities of the London tabloids. More disturbingly, the inquiry admits it was established because senior members of the Gillard government and its Green coalition partner believed they were being subjected to jaundiced political coverage.
So a government that is struggling has initiated a media inquiry because not all media is as generous towards it as are the ABC and the Fairfax newspapers.
If this happened in Fiji, Indonesia or Papua New Guinea, our foreign minister would be urging a rethink. In fact, the next time Australia urges improvements in free speech in China, the laughter in Beijing will not be stifled.
Strangely, politicians such as Stephen Conroy, Julia Gillard and Bob Brown did not complain when the media focused, under the previous government, on issues such as the children overboard and Australian Wheat Board scandals.
While the Howard government was at times despairing about media handling of these issues (I was a staffer at the time) it chose to defend its actions, not bring the media to heel.
The current intervention is based almost entirely on Conroy’s gripes last year about how reports of problems with the National Broadband Network and leadership rumblings in the government were really about News Limited newspapers running a so-called campaign for “regime change”. Never mind that those reports have been vindicated.
To look at how the Communications Minister would judge issues of media bias we could suspend disbelief for a moment and accept that everything the government says is true. As a test case, the government’s attitude towards Kevin Rudd will do.
In December the Prime Minister told John Laws that “people are working as professionals in the nation’s interest and Kevin Rudd most certainly is”. As recently as last month Gillard told the Seven Network, “I think Kevin’s doing a good job as the minister for foreign affairs”.
So if that assessment was reflected without scepticism the media would have been accurate and unbiased, by Conroy’s standards.
But two weeks ago Gillard said Rudd had “chaotic work patterns” when he led the government and that “one of the overriding problems of the government that Kevin Rudd led is it was very, very focused on the next news cycle, on the next picture opportunity, rather than the long-term reforms for the nation’s interests”.
And reflecting on his time as foreign minister, she declared, “it is now evident to me and I think it is evident to the Australian people that there has been a long-running destabilisation campaign here to get to this point, where Kevin Rudd is clearly going to announce that he wants to seek the Labor leadership”.
That makes it hard for journalists to keep up. A fortnight ago, the media should not praise Rudd or suggest that all was well at the top levels of the government.But just days later, after defeating Rudd in the leadership ballot, the Prime Minister again praised her foe. “I want to say to Kevin Rudd for the days that lie beyond, as a nation, as a Labor Party, we must honour his many achievements as prime minister.”
Hold the front page. Any journalist not wanting to be accused by Conroy of running a campaign should report on a harmonious government that honours a proud era under its former leader.
The absurdity is obvious. That such an unsophisticated and ill-considered response to his own political problems could lead the Communications Minister down a path of increased media regulation is alarming.
We need to resist the temptation to laugh at this folly because it just might happen. The loose Left coalition of academics, activists, publicly funded journalists and politicians who fear they have lost some crucial debates in recent years might just push this through as a means to cover for their own failures. They may, of course, live to regret it if they find a future conservative government escaping scrutiny.
The Finkelstein report plays games with academic papers and opinion polls that show a lack of respect for the commercial media. It fails to consider why, then, most of the population consumes most of its news from commercial media. Clearly the inquiry and the government believe members of the public do not know what is good for them.
Given what has transpired over the past couple of years, the real question about media is the inverse of the Conroy and Finkelstein approach. Instead of comparing media coverage to government expectations, we should compare media coverage to reality. Then the real question is not about media campaigns. It is about why some media were so incurious about government waste and mismanagement, and internal leadership dissent. In particular, given its vast resources and government regulation, how did the ABC manage to miss these developing stories?
The publicly funded media’s sanguine reporting of the government and failure to provide the full picture to its audience provides a standing argument against government regulation.
A letter dated 12 March 1996 from Stephen Baker MP SA Treasurer/Deputy Premier/ Minister for Police – not received until after Stephen Baker had retired from politics. Upon my inquiry a copy was provided by the new Member of Parliament for the electorate of ‘Waite’ Martin Hamilton Smith [Liberal Party later to become an ALP MP after he was offered inducements to change political parties]. He writes “Whilst State Bank and Marino Rocks marina development issues have received public airing” knowing that they have not and that all details of SBSA bankruptcy bailout taxpayer debt remain concealed within SA state Treasury’s SA Assets Management Corp. SAAMC. He also refers to “Substantial public resources have also been devoted to investigating your allegations of corruption and/or abuse of processes by police and others” “I am advised” [by someone unidentified] “that no evidence to support your allegations has been found.” Although SA Shadow Treasurer before, and at the time of the February 1991 disclosure of the State Bank of SA’s bankruptcy,& SA Treasurer [after the Dec. 1992 state election] during the continuing years of the $50 Royal Commission of Inquiry into the State Bank of SA, he was never mentioned in any news media as offering or being ask by news media to offer an opinion, or asked any questions on SBSA’s bankruptcy and the unspecified billions of dollars of taxpayer debt that was SA taxpayer’s liability for future years. It would appear possible, but it is not certain, that SA Treasurer Baker’s letter’s reference to “allegations of corruption and/or abuse of processes by police and others” is referring to my correspondence with and complaints [June & July 1992] to the SA Police Complaints Authority [SA PCA] related to a home invasion by purported SA Police officers of 10 July during which SBSA letterhead documents were stolen prior to my scheduled 13 July 1992 meeting with journalist David Hellaby regarding issues of his inquiries into SBSA debt related to William Turner and the Marino Rocks marina development. – SA Police Complaints Authority correspondence dated 2 Nov.1992 appears below.
A letter from the SA Police Complaints Authority dated 2 Nov.1992 advising that they had discovered their recording equipment used to accept my complaints of June and July 1992 was ‘defective”. My June complaint related to police refusing to allow my reporting of fraud [receiving my money by the use of deceit] committed by lawyer Richard John [convicted of fraud in Aug. 1994] & issues of crimes [involving Richard John & others] related to the editing of my July 1991 sworn testimony referring to SBSA’s relationship with & debts of William Turner & the Marino Rocks marina development. My July 1992 complaint related to the July 1992 SA Police ‘Home Invasion’ theft of SBSA letterhead documents that I was the unable to show journalist David Hellaby on 13 July 1992. While the SA PCA claimed in 1992 to have a secret police report exonerating police of any impropriety, the complaint was reopened in June of 1993 – I was aware of SA Police Home Invaders having a relationship with a Private Investigator [disclosed as an organised crime gang member] who came under SA Police investigation with co-accused SA Police officers [later in 1995 on corruption charges] in June 1993. See next doc. ’SA I I B 13 Aug 1997’ for more information.
A letter from Andrew G Anastasiades Head of Treasury & Finance SA Assets Management Corp. referring to a conversation we had regarding the never publicly disclosed State Bank of SA’s ‘Kabani'”Off Balance Sheet” ownership arrangements of Mintern and Crestwin the companies developing the Marino Rocks marina. The problem that he had referred to in his letter as “alluded to” and transferred to the South Australian Crown Solicitor” was that I knew about issues that SA Treasury were concealing.
SA Treasury acknowledgement of my payment for a freedom of Information request for documents that included my state Bank of SA employment records and all docments and records related to my communications with SA Treasury & SAAMC regarding the SBSA relationship with the failed Marino Rocks marina development. SA Treasury never made any FoI release of the documents and information that I had requested.
A letter from the SA Police Internal Investigation Branch [SAPOL IIB] dated 13 August 1997 in reply to my letter regarding SA Police Investigators Officers Inspector Tank and Sargent Strange accused of corruption over their investigation of Private Investigator organised crime gang member Frank Carbone & his SA Police co-accused with crimes. Police Officers Inspector Tank and Sargent Strange had come to my home late at night claiming to be investigating my SA PCA complaints & to be the authors of a secret report exonerating police from any impropriety. Now accused of corruption their actions were subject to the appeal of a court order judging them to have acted illegally in relation to search related to Frank Carbone’s & co-accuses corruption charges. The author of this letter SAPOLIIB Commander FG Edwards confirms the issues of my PCA complaints June and July 1992 as being related to Frank Carbone’s corrupt relationship to SA Police [Home Invaders 10 July 1992] and the Tank/Strange SAPOL investigation, referring to a future investigation that “cannot commence until the judicial process in which the Tank/Strange judgement has been given has been finalised.” See next doc. ‘SA PCA 30 March 2005’
A letter dated 30 March 2005 from the SA Police Complaints Authority referring to my correspondence of 5 November 2004 regarding issues of my unresolved complaints of June and July 1992 concerning the SA Police [P I Frank Carbone associates] Home Invasion theft of SBSA letterhead documents concerning issues of SBSA bankruptcy taxpayer debt concealed by SA Treasury SAAMC. I had in 2004 returned from the UK, where I had discovered altered, inaccurate, fake ‘archived’ news media reporting of events [SBSA bankruptcy newspaper reporting] related to issues that involved/concerned documents stolen from my 2 July 1992 by associates of P I Frank Carbone. This letter dated 30 March 2005 refers to enclosed copies of SA PCA letters dated 5 Nov. 2004 [the same date as my letter – I expect an error of the SA PCA] and 18 Nov. 2004. There were no enclosures to this letter. My attempts to obtain copies of the letters said to have already been sent to me have failed. I expect that they do not exist.
Frank Carbone was my stalker from 1986 when I first expressed concern over SBSA’s management conflict of interests regarding Corporate loans and ownership arrangements of the companies involved in the Marino Rocks marina development. I recognised him and discovered his name from photographs published in ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper when he faced corruption charges with co-accused SA police. Those newspaper articles can be viewed at previous posts to this website. Please view the Timeline of corruption in which documents are posted.
The Australian Press Council APC has independently notified News Corp. Aust. [News Ltd.] of the matters of fake archives of newspapers that conceal crimes and corruption.
In an email dated 15 February 2012 the APC’s Jack Herman provided me with a computer generated printout list of news articles published that had within them the name “Frank Carbone”. The document News Ltd. document list using the search term “Frank Carbone” can be viewed at a previous post to this WordPress website that is the Timeline of corruption events. I have no means by which to access the APC provided printout of News Ltd.’s search of news articles referring to ‘Frank Carbone’. The APC email with the document – search using the term ‘Frank Carbone, appears below. It confirms that he, Jack Herman has brought my concerns to the newspapers attention.
|| Press Council complaints <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|| Roger Bates <email@example.com>
|| Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 7:02 AM
|| Re: Advertiser and News
|| Important mainly because of the words in the message.
Re: Advertiser and News
|Press Council complaints <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Roger Bates
Thank you for your email and the subsequent phone call.
The matters remain outside the Council’s remit. Apart from bringing your concerns o the newspaper’s attention, which I have done, there is no further action I can take.
With regard to Advertiser articles related to Frank Carbone, see the attached list of articles, covering the period August 1994 through September 1999.
With respect to the News, the State Library record of its existence is at: http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?c=2627 It says: “Rupert Murdoch sold the News to Northern Star Holdings in 1987, and it was subsequently sold to a private firm headed by Roger Holden. The News was the last metropolitan afternoon newspaper in Australia. It closed in March 1992.”
My correspondence to News Corp. Australia remains unanswered.
This WordPress post has been done with some difficulty. I have hackers whom make life difficult. Some of the manner of their hacking using a ‘Windows Virtual Wi-Fi Minport Adaptor’ installed by Toshiba service center Singapore – see an earlier post for details ‘Toshiba untrustworthy’ – The hacker had no need for me to connect to the Internet to have access to my PCs and anything connected to it such as USB storage devices to delete or alter documents and interfere with my attempts at communication with others.
Ask Rupert Murdoch what he knows about the fake archives of his newspapers and the crimes and corruption that his corrupt journalism conceals.