is there a bigger waste of $ in oz???

  1. 673 Posts.
    I dont think so.

    What a ludicrous organisation!

    ATSIC gag on critics
    By Misha Schubert
    March 25, 2003

    BITTER divisions and public attacks among ATSIC's troubled leadership have sparked a review of its media policy, a move viewed by at least one commissioner as a bid to gag internal critics.

    The push follows weeks of controversy over taxpayer-funded travel for the wife and key political supporters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission chairman Geoff Clark.

    It also follows an extraordinary attack by deputy chairman Ray Robinson, alleging a plot between Mr Clark and Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock to bring him undone via a "forensic audit" into five companies chaired by Mr Robinson.

    The ATSIC board, which meets in Canberra today, has been asked to review its policy on who may speak publicly on issues concerning the commission.

    It will consider a paper on future policy, prepared by ATSIC media and marketing manager Brian Aarons. Existing media policy stipulates that the national chairman speaks for the body on national issues, while others may speak on local issues.

    One member of the board interpreted the debate as "an attempt to stop scrutiny and criticism of the leadership".

    But long-time ATSIC observers said nobody believed any policy would stop commissioners from speaking out.

    The media policy review follows internal warring over taxpayer-funded travel, which continued into last week.

    Cairns regional council chairman Terry O'Shane sent an abusive email last Friday, warning Brisbane commissioner Robbie Williams against questioning Mr O'Shane's taxpayer-funded travel.

    Mr Williams had written to ATSIC chief executive Wayne Gibbons asking whether a variety of trips taken by ATSIC officials in recent months were properly authorised and for legitimate purposes.

    Mr Williams asked whether Mr O'Shane recently visited Melbourne to watch a football match with Mr Clark – a claim Mr O'Shane denied vehemently, saying he had attended a workshop on regional autonomy.

    In an email obtained by The Australian, Mr O'Shane attacked Mr Williams as a "little weasel" and a "despicable person that has no guts" for questioning his travel.

    "If you ever raise issues about me that try to bring my name into disrepute then you will pay the consequences," Mr O'Shane wrote.

    Contacted for comment yesterday, Mr O'Shane refused to discuss the matter.

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