Saturday, February 20, 2010

Somebody needs to put Peter Garrett out of his (and our) misery

The interview below is just painfull. And I do actually feel sorry for Garrett (for a certain value of sorry anyway). This isn't just his stuff up. It was the government's need to throw vast amounts of free money at as many people it could as quickly as it could that inevitably caused this disastrous and tragic mess.

As any Neo-Liberal could have warned Mr Rudd and the rest of the cabinet, governments handing out free money invite every shonk and rent seeker around to come out of the wood work.

It was inevitable and totally predictable. And I am prepared to be fair and non-partisan in this regard. Any government distortion of the market inevitably produces trouble, much of it in the form of unintended consequences, though others again perfectly predictable, such as when Mr Howard and Mr Costello decided to give a tax break to rich doctors and lawyers so they could indulge their fantasy hobby of growing vines and making wine.

Colour me unsurprised when a few years later there had been so many hectares of new vines planted that the over-supply of grapes caused prices to crash.

A lesson that seems never to be learnt by some.

COLVIN: The Environment Minister Peter Garrett is on the line now. Mr Garrett, you tabled the Minter Ellison risk assessment today, how long have you had it?

PETER GARRETT: Mark I haven’t had it for a significant period of time. It was sought for tabling and I arranged for the tabling to take place today.

MARK COLVIN: The Opposition says that you’ve hidden it for over half a year now.

PETER GARRETT: Well, I don’t accept the Opposition making claims of this kind.

MARK COLVIN: You might as well tell us how long you actually have had it.

PETER GARRETT: Well, I’m not providing sort of dates and numbers to you over the phone, Mark, in relation to this. When, when the call came for this particular document to be identified, I identified it in my statement when I spoke to the Parliament last week. I said in the Parliament, that this document was a risk assessment document which had been drawn on …

MARK COLVIN: Why, I’m sorry …

PETER GARRETT: Just let me finish …

MARK COLVIN: But why wouldn’t you, why wouldn’t you just answer the question?

PETER GARRETT: I am answering the question …

MARK COLVIN: About how long you’ve had it?

PETER GARRETT: I’m answering the question.

MARK COLVIN: It’s a simple question. Why, why won’t you answer the question about how long you’ve had this report?

PETER GARRETT: Mark I’m answering the question by saying this: I produced for the Parliament a statement detailing all of my responses in relation to what both the department and I had, actions had taken in relation to the home insulation program.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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