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Choose Your Corruption: Banks and Rivers

There are currently two unbelievably bad matters of corruption and mismanagement facing Australia that have been subject to a Royal Commission in the past week. The first was into the banking and finance sector, and various cover-ups and predatory activities. The Federal government, on no less than twenty-three occasions, blocked motions to have an investigation. When Commissioner Hayne handed down his report, the incumbent treasurer (my local member) tried to turn it into a photo opportunity. In response, commissioner Hayne showed what I think was dignified restraint. For his part, the Prime Minister is still trying to block the Commission, warning against any "rash" responses. Which is, of course, code for "we're going to ignore the recommendations, business-as-usual, lalalala".

The second that should be attracting more attention is the gross negligence of the Murray-Darling basin, the largest water system on the driest continent. You would think that this would bring down any government in a civilised country, but not Australia (not so civilised, apparently). Over a year ago it was reported that the scheme was for the benefit of cotton farmers, with the minister positively crowing that he had taken water out of the environment into agribusiness. Now the drought has hit, there's a million dead fish (some up to a hundred years old) and cotton executives have turned themselves in for millions in fraud. It stinks the high heavens, although I don't think that's where those responsible are heading.

I quietly seethe at this unbelievable combination of corruption and negligence and the inevitable results.

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