As blogged earlier, Chris Finlayon has proposed the excellent idea of a QC as Chief Electoral Prosecutor instead of the Police. I’ve advocated the removal of the Police as prosecutors for over a year – since I read the OIA files on how badly they stuffed up the 2005 investigations.
Nicky Hager and the Coalition for Open Government should be supporting this – it would mean an agency with the will, the competence and powers to properly investigate breaches such as alleged by Hager.
But alas Dr Cullen has vetoed it. This means it won’t even be debated or voted upon. They were presumably worried that it might get minor party support and be passed.
Standing Order 319 gives the Minister of Finance to power to veto any amendment which has more than a minor impact on the Crown’s finances. And Dr Cullen has stated he think it will. But you will be amazed at his estimates?
He thinks over a three year electoral period it will cost up to almost $10 million. Why? The Government says it will probably need 15 to 30 fulltime staff.
So get this – they are passing a law which is so badly drafted and may catch so many people, 15 to 30 staff would be needed to properly investigate and prosecute everyone who breaks it.
Just more farce from the Government of farce.