I was over on the Tiwi Islands a few weeks back and people told me that Mal Brough had been in town (Nguiu). I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, while I had no doubt that it was true, I had no idea what he was doing there.
However, today the ABC has confirmed the reports and revealed what the ex-Minister for Indigenous Affairs is up to these days.
I almost choked on this bit,
Mr Clancy [Tiwi Land Council] says Mal Brough is set to profit from the project [housing], but says Tiwi Islanders will also benefit.
Sure, an ex-pollie has gotta make a crust, but this is unethical. Some countries have business appointment laws that prevent ex-Govt ministers and officials moving from their publicly funded positions into private industry that is directly related to their areas of former responsibility. How do we know that Mal wasn’t positioning himself (and Govt policy) for this as he saw defeat for the Coalition looming on the horizon? He probably didn’t, but we don’t know. What is clear is that he is about to profit from laws and policies that he, as the Minister, had a role in formulating and implementing only 3 months ago. There has been plenty of opposition to the idea of David Hicks profiting from his recent past, but as a matter of ethics and public policy, this is a far more serious matter.
We need similar business appointment laws here, ones that cover former-Ministers as well as public servants.