I was at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearings on Thursday to watch senator Arthur Sinodinos give evidence. Mr Sinodinos had a bad day in the witness box to put it mildly and said little as he was leaving except a short 20 to 30 second statement. But I did manage to put one question to him on video as he was leaving the hearing and did a get a response.
The video below (30 seconds) is the result and while not being a huge achievement it is more than what most of the other media managed and it is another step in the right direction for this site.
(Click anywhere on the picture above to watch or click here to watch on YouTube) The video is taken about 100 meters from the ICAC building in Sydney after Mr Sinodinos had made his short statement after giving evidence. He was trying to give the media the shake but did answer my question.
In relation to the question I asked Mr Sinodinos. Should he have stepped down from his ministerial position? Of course he should have which I pointed out a couple of weeks ago and which he eventually did do. But it is a bit rich for the Labor Party to demand that he stands down given Bill Shorten is currently being investigated by the Victoria police and he hasn’t stood down or even made a public statement on the matter. And just for the record Mr Sinodinos in the video said words to the effect that those were questions that I should ask Bill Shorten. I did ask Mr Shorten questions last year about the matter but he refused to answer. (Click here to read the post) And three weeks ago when I spoke to the Victoria police they said the matter was still being investigated.
Whenever I do get the opportunities to ask politicians questions I plan on asking relevant questions the mainstream media aren’t asking.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos in the witness stand
Mr Sinodinos obviously had a pre-determined strategy of how he would give evidence in the witness box and it backfired badly. Mr Sinodinos was in the witness box all day. In the first half from 10 am to just before 1 pm he answered almost every question with a question. This strategy stood out a mile and made him look foolish and very deceptive and deceitful. It might be a good strategy for a criminal trying to avoid conviction but it was not a good look for a politician trying to keep the public and media onside.
In the second half which ran from 2 pm to about 4.30 pm it became very obvious that someone had spoken to Mr Sinodinos during the lunch break because he dropped the dumb strategy of answering a question with a question all the time.
It really didn’t matter how Mr Sinodinos performed in the stand as he was already in a lot of trouble as I pointed out in my last post on this topic a couple of weeks ago. (Click here to read the post) Unfortunately for Mr Sinodinos his performance only made a bad situation worse.
KCA stepping up a gear or two
Getting the politicians to answer questions is a bit like a sporting match. There are all different types of conditions that need to be adapted to. As I mentioned last week I had done a trial run and visited ICAC and the Royal Commission into child abuse.
When I was at ICAC last week I did video the press conference given by the former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally after she had given evidence. I didn’t ask any questions as it was a test run for me, although I could have if I wanted to. (Click here to watch the video on YouTube) But compare Mrs Keneally who was happy to answer questions and that of Arthur Sinodinos who was avoiding them. Obviously Mrs Keneally had been out of the spotlight for a few years and enjoyed the media attention while on the other hand Mr Sinodinos was getting way more attention than he wanted and had to be chased down the road.
If anyone watched the story on ABC’s 7.30 Report in relation to Mr Sinodinos at ICAC you would have seen me in the background, although it is guaranteed you would not have known.
Above is a screen grab from their report. (Click here to watch the 7.30 Report story) That is me in the top right hand corner wearing the white KCA t-shirt. You can see the KCA logo. (Click here to see another photo)
The reason I put the photo on here is not because I have any desire to be famous, which I don’t or to boast. It is because people support this site and the supporters have a right to know where there money is going and the fact that they are helping drive this site and its anti-corruption agenda and that I am out and about driving the agenda.
The above isn’t huge but it is progress and over the next few weeks hopefully this site can take another step or two forward. Those who have been supporting this site for a while will remember my trip to Canberra in 2012 when the Canberra Press Gallery in effect locked me out so the above is a step forward. (Click here and here to read) The Royal Commission into unions has its first hearing on Wednesday in Sydney and that should be another opportunity at some stage for further interviews.
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Categories: Arthur Sinodinos
My old mother usually voted
for the ‘underdog’. She believed that in every organisatiion it should have at least one who challenged the rest, even if he or she be wrong sometimes, It keeps the rest on their toes.
Mum (rip) and you would have been great mates.
Consensus does not always represent the truth. History demonstrates that. In politics the trough is always long and there are many snouts with wiggily tails.
Bill Shorten Judge Jury and Executioner, Arthur Sinodinios is a
witness not a accused person. Sinodinos called to ICAC as a witness so if one of Labors number is called to ICAC as a witness they should stand down also.
Bill Shorten who is likely to be called to a Royal Commission into union corruption. at that time he should stand down like Sinadinos.
Bill Shorten is currently being investigated by the Victorian police
he should stand down
Sinodinos ability & judgement is poor.
It may be the difference between being Guilty of a number of crimes and not being guilty. Lets be realistic, Bill Shorten isn’t the most gleaming pot in the kitchen. He was once a mover and shaker of the Unions and he is only to aware of how stable his foot hold on the rung to ruin is.
Question, why did the national media gallery kick you out?
Hon. Kezia Purick MLA
Speaker and Member for Goyder
They didn’t kick me out as such, they in effect locked me out by not giving me a pass which is a bit different. If a journalist wants to enter the inner circle of Parliament house (where the politicians are) they need a pass. All the mainstream media at parliament house in Canberra have a pass. The problem is that if anyone new wants a pass they need to have it approved by the Canberra Press Gallery Committee. It is the mainstream media who make up the committee and obviously control it and in general refuse to give passes to anyone outside the mainstream media. I wrote a post about it here: http://kangaroocourtofaustralia.com/2012/09/23/corruption-in-the-canberra-press-gallery-australian-democracy-under-attack/
Compare Canberra to the NSW ICAC where I was on Thursday and also the previous week. The NSW ICAC employ an independent media manager and she is the one who decides who can use the media room. I was treated the same as all other media and allowed to use the media room. That is the way it should be in Canberra as well.
Any member of the public has access to the public gallery of all houses of parliament, courts and government inquiries in Australia except the children’s courts or sittings expressly closed to the public (as South Australia does quite often when its prominent people are charged with paedophilia).
You don’t need a pass except to go beyond the public spaces, but you can request admission to these areas of our State and Federal parliament houses as a guest of your rep or Senator, and you can go into areas of the court other than the public spaces if accompanied by an officer of the courts if you have an acceptable reason.
The justice and politics areas are fairly transparent as long as you know your rights as a citizen, and insist on your rights being observed.
Having said this, the Press Gallery in Canberra is still a closed shop, but not for much longer. Alzheimers, strokes, redundancies and the net are clearing the floor
One question someone could put to Sinodinos is, ” Were you aware of the salary you were drawing while Chairman of the board.” What was he trained as, a lawyer?
Thanks Shane;—-you have covered it all. To those that visit this site—remember this; the O’Beid family target the most vulnerable. Only then can they succeed. Regards.
Neatly sidestepped 😉 Thank you again Shane for having what it takes to ask these questions.
Great, that you managerd to get in there. I still cannot believe that you were not given a Pass in Canberra, perhaps somebody in charge had given those orders? Somebody very, very high up?
In regard to Sinodinos, I really believe he is not guilty of anything sinister. But either he was careless in not investigating, what he got himself into, I doubt the man is stupid, but it was a stupid action. I doubt he will get back into the Coalition.
I am waiting for Bill Shorten to stand down, when he is called for the new Royal Commission, I bet you he will not!
Shorten hasn’t answered the question because no journalist has asked it.
Talk about protected species…
I think all Australians would be dumbstruck if they knew how far and wide the fingers of corruption have spread, infecting the very core of our system and society.
Sinodinos will get no more than a slap on the wrist and told he was a “naughty boy” and to be more careful in the future.
Bill Shorten has obviously taken the attitude “If I ignore it, it might go away” to the alleged rape claim, either that or he’s worried he may say the wrong thing. And there is no way on this blue/green earth that Billy Boy is going to step down, his ego wouldn’t permit it, and nor would the Union heavies that run the Labor party.
“UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL”
I believe that Arthur Sinodinos can only be accused of stupidity because a person of his standing in the political world should have been more careful to check on his associates seeing what corrupt slugs are creeping out from the Labor party, I cannot believe we can call him nieave no more than we can take that excuse from Gillard. As for Shorten he is just a grub that is held together by union corrupt colleagues who I am sure will go down with him when the truth comes out, They are all tarred with the same brush Greed greed and power. Keep up the good work Shane only people like you will give them all their just deserts. Allan from Myalup WA.