Saturday 1 March 2008

Pulling the Wollongong over your eyes

Who's been following unraveling drama at Wollongong Council, where former Cairns City Council CEO David Farmer is now running the place?

Farmer was of course Kevin Byrne's mate and personal appointment as CEO in Cairns. It is obvious that Farmer’s background and profile in Cairns, is very well-known to the good folk of Wollongong.

A quick recap for those who’ve missed out on this tale that has all the ingredients of a single episode of Neighbours: allegations of corruption and inappropriate sexual relations.

This involved former Wollongong Council officer and high profile developers has been investigated by the Commission against Corruption. Serving Wollongong councillors were questioned.

Much of the inquiry is about the role of Wollongong town planner Beth Morgan, who assessed a number of developments at the same time she was involved in sexual relationships with the developers, in what we will call the Bonks for Builders scam.

Morgan had approved several illegal and dodgy developments including a $31 million Victoria Square development and the $100 million Quatro development, still to be built.

Developers Frank Vellar and Glen Tabak both provided Morgan with gifts while their development applications were being assessed. Vellar and Tabak both were involved sexually with Morgan.

Convicted fraudsters Ray Younan and Gerald Carroll impersonated ICAC officers and took bribes over $500,000 from Vellar and Morgan, while they were being investigated by the ICAC.

The commission investigating the Development approvals at Wollongong suggested there was a culture at Wollongong Council that was conducive to corrupt conduct around Development Approvals.

Someone should sharpen their spades for CEC, GlenCorp and Kev Corp.


Anonymous said...

Corruption is becoming endemic in our society. I have seen it in a Church organisation and the public service. It will only get worse until we undertake the mammoth task of changing society's values. Unfortunately, we will have to hit rock bottom, before people start to question and evaluate what our lives are supposed to be about.
As it is now, people see life about amassing as much money as they can, and see themselves only in terms of superiority to someone else. Perfect values for the rise and rise and rise of corruption.

Anonymous said...

You are right Anon. Corruption starts with a gift of any sort. Bottle of wine, share in a development, money, favours. When it is out of control like the Woolongong Council, people should be jailed. Developers and their Council lackeys should be fined and jailed. Developments in train should be scrapped and the people of Australia given a fair go for a change. When the present council is ousted, I want to see an Audit of the Council for projects and Sister City projects over the past 10 years. For example, why would we want to make Guam a sister city?

Anonymous said...

If you have seen it most particularly, anonymous, in the public service then why have you done nothing about it yourself?

You have also seen it in the church? Maybe this explains your subservience?

Be bold

KitchenSlut said...

Hmmm not many comments here ..... very quiet when all those ALP developer connections display apparently??

Anonymous said...

Over to you
Factman ...

Anonymous said...

For Michael Moore to try to spin some association between Kevin Bryne's fine Unity team, and the goings on in Wollongong Council using David Farmer is a complete nonsense.

David Farmer was straighter than straight, he would stand for no nonsense and would, (and did), call in the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission whenever required.

He even sacked a couple of General Managers, (one was a good friend of Kevins), during his time.

He was even a Labor Party supporter so how Moore can say ...

"Farmer was of course Kevin Byrne's mate and personal appointment as CEO in Cairns. It is obvious that Farmer’s background and profile in Cairns, is very well-known to the good folk of Wollongong."

... shows this Cairnsblog and Michael Moore have nothing factual left and continue to invent stories, (as they always have).

Anonymous said...

Essential prerequisites for endemic corruption in democratic organizations are public apathy and a general feeling of political disempowerment.

It doesn't help, of course, to have a mass media dominated by institurions that long ago showed they have little inclination to look beneath the carpet - and are themselves part of the grime to be found thereunder.

Anonymous said...

I think Cairns-gate has a certain ring, don't you?

NSW Code of Conduct for Councils says something along the lines that Councillors must act honestly, ethically, and responsibly in the performance of their duties.

It also says about Conflicts of Interest, that it does not matter where a matter is actual or merely a conflict of interest, that could be reasonably perceived to exist by a third party. Both situations negatively impact on public confidence in the integrity of local govt.

Now apply these standards to what we have here in Cairns, and what do you see?

Michael P Moore said...

Very funny Fatman junior.
"... shows this Cairnsblog and Michael Moore have nothing factual left and continue to invent stories, (as they always have)."

Like dessert at the end of a big meal, the best is yet to come. Home you've left some room for the chocolate and ice cream, it's always the tastiest!

We know that Kev is shaking in his boots about this Blog and what everyone really think of him. They can't pour out their true feelings in the Cairns Post, but they can do that here.

They can do that at a public meeting... that's why he avoids them and runs away.

By the way Terry, my Unity Party spy at your Fundraising dinner the other nite told me you looked fab in you wee suit!!

Anonymous said...

Michael ...

I give you an example of the fantasy world you live in ...

"We know that Kev is shaking in his boots about this Blog and what everyone really think of him."

For gods sake !!! you don't even know who Factman is, let alone what's going on in the house that Tom Pyne built.
And don't believe what that lying toe-rag, O'Brien told you about about Factman/Terry James. Even O'Brien's own party colleagues give him a wide berth after the wine bottle affair.

Relax Kiwi and find something else to do, I mean after 15 March there's not going to be much for you to write about ... except humble pie.

Perhaps Helen needs a hand, I believe she's a real goner this time.

Anonymous said...

factman (aka kbcumbreath) ur a f**king dikwad! U and Unity crew are due for big trouble for using Cairns Council $ to pay for Cairns Unity media info. The deed has been done.

Anonymous said...

From the Wollongong Council saga ...

"In making his submissions, counsel assisting the inquiry, Noel Hemmings QC, said the behaviour of the council's seven Labour councillors in "caucusing" their decisions prior to debating issues in council was concerning.

The inquiry heard today that a quorum of four people was needed to hold a Labor caucus.

Mr Hemmings said effectively, that meant just four Labor councillors could control the decision of the 13 Wollongong councillors.

Knowing David Farmer, he would have been instrumental in calling in the Independent Commission Against Corruption and therefore the Council's subsequent sacking.

Factman asks ... Is this a forerunner to how a Labor dominated Council would behave in Cairns ???

Anonymous said...

Factman, I see no difference between this scenario and the Liberal Unity team voting block in CCC decision making. Throw in useless and bumbling Sno for good measure into the Unity team and it seems to me and other residents that outcomes are similar.

Anonymous said...

Its never ending Factman. Your knowledge is abysmal. As soon as KB took residence in the Council Chambers that Tom built, he wanted to sell them and lease them back at 10%, thus causing the ratepayers to lose an asset and have to pay rent for the duration which calculated to mean in ten years they would be in the poo.

Anonymous said...

No factman, but it IS and HAS BEEN the way this Byrne/Unity led council has behaved.

You and we both know that there have been many many favours done for the developers that have funded Byrne/Unity election campaigns.

...and you and we also know that this council is tainted with corruption and cover-ups, which have been instigated by Byrne directly. If you know Byrne as well as you make out, then you will know this to be true.

The rumours don't come from thin air mate. There are many eyes and ears in this town that you may be unaware of.

The scum that is Byrne and Unity has had its day. 10 days till you are gone.

Anonymous said...

Actually bungy, I thought selling Tom's palace was a great idea.
That would have free'd up $40 million that could have been spent on the infrastructure upgrades that had been neglected by the previous LABOR council.
The cost of running the city's administration should be an ongoing ratepayer cost, i.e. through rent, not as an expensive asset paid for by the current ratepayer base.

And the costs associated with the outrageous ongoing maintenance (due to poor design and job superintending by architect Mark Buttrose), would be borne by the owner, not the current ratepayer.

But alas, Kevin didn't follow through on this one.

Anonymous said...

thersites asks, "Why didn't I do something about the corruption I witnessed in the public service?"
well, thersites, I did. I was a whistle-blower, and when the investigating people came colleagues who were witnesses, changed their stories and told lies, leaving me out in the cold.
I subsequently resigned and put the matter behind me.