Home' InDaily : March 5th 2010 Contents E74819
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March 5 - 11, 2010
7The Independent Weekly
Rann was among
Australia s most
He knew which
way the wind
was blowing and often helped
change its direction. But recent
misjudgements have shown that
instinct isn t infallible. The most
concerning is his rejection of
the need for a South Australian
Independent Commission Against
South Australia needs its own
anti-corruption body that can
investigate local corruption at a
The premier is simply stalling by
suggesting we should work towards
a national ICAC. In practice, any
national ICAC would end up being
an eastern states ICAC.
Besides, the Commonwealth
has no intention of creating such
a body, a fact the premier should
know. So if you wait for a national
ICAC, you won t get one at all.
SA voters deserve the protec-
tion of a South Australian ICAC.
The premier has just two more
weeks to work out which way the
wind is blowing, or face being
blown away by it.
fact the "great
out like a low-rent
it serves as a representative
snapshot of the race. Rann, like
his government, appeared to have
lost his shine and shambolically
delivered his lines without feeling
Isobel Redmond, on the other
hand, managed to nervously
stumble through a series of
disjointed criticisms before finally
appealing to voters disdain and
weariness to get her over the line.
Although the Government s
strategy of exciting the voters
with the story of a state on the
move appears limply delivered,
they may still take hope in the fact
that the Opposition -- for the time
being, at least -- doesn t seem to be
telling a story at all.
As the cam-
both parties are
starting to focus on attacking the
other side as much as on selling
their own policies.
The Government has made
much of the confusion among
the Liberals over the costing
of the RAH redevelopment and
the Southern Expressway. The
Opposition is challenging Labor s
figures on job creation and rates
Both these approaches are
consistent with the general
message that each side is trying to
communicate to the voters. Labor
wants to paint the Liberals as
inexperienced and not ready for
government. The Liberals believe
the Government is vulnerable to
accusations about spin.
Labor s tactics are predictable.
All governments dismiss the
claims of Oppositions. For their
part, to take the 10 seats they need
to win the election, the Liberals
will need to do more than just
attack Labor. They will need
to win more of the key policy
If an election is
a contest over who
will provide good
a dramatic point of difference
between the contestants -- ICAC or
It s a fundamental duty of
governments to ensure we live in a
corruption-free society. Cronyism,
conflicts of interest, politicised
appointments, back-room deals,
etc, are part of the rot. Of course,
governments hate to hand over
power, which may explain why
Rann and Attorney-General
Michael Atkinson are so vehe-
mently opposed. It s telling that
Nick Xenophon joined the fray
with the line: "If you are against
corruption, you are for an ICAC."
Hard to debate that.
This was the
week Rann and
mano a mano
10. We asked
891 listeners what questions
they d like put directly to the two
leaders. The following sample is
an insight into a glorious thing -- a
population that can challenge
its political masters and not take
itself too seriously.
How much did SA owe in 2002
and 2006? If we still owe, why?
How are the two parties planning
to mark the 175th anniversary
since proclamation? What are
the Libs going to do about public
housing being sold off when there
are houses needed for people now?
Is there anything left for the Libs
to sell to pay for their promises?
How does a tram extension to the
Entertainment Centre benefit the
majority of South Australians?
Will either candidate send trains
to the Barossa?
And some personal favourites:
Do you know where I can get a $20
slab? Do the candidates fear the
great Zoltarn and his wondrous
policies? What will the premier
do about segments Channel 9 cut
from Top Gear? You gotta love this
important the women s vote will
be on March 20.
Rann s apology to Michelle
Chantelois, her family and anyone
else voting in the state election in
just over two weeks is an attempt
to shore up half the population
who are considering the idea of a
And if a weekend poll is any
guide, many women like the
notion. So while a new twist in
the saga, Rann s apology isn t
More of a surprise is both
leaders enthusiasm to debate
each other again.
After saying in the lead-up one
debate would be enough, immedi-
ately after the big clash, Rann said
he d be happy for round two.
Yesterday morning, Redmond
decided she wanted the same,
but of the old-fashioned kind: a
televised debate in a public town
hall in regional SA.
If it gets up, Rann, who often
compares his age to that of John
Howard at the start of his prime
ministership, will be hoping
better make-up and lighting
makes him look more like the
former PM at the start of his
reign, rather than at the end.
Daniela Ritorto asked whether
Rann would see out a full term in
the likely event the bookies are
on the money and Labor is set
to win. In response, Rann drew
a false analogy to John Howard
taking office at an equivalent age.
Given that Howard was beginning
his tenure, whereas Rann is a
long-serving premier, we are left
Recent history shows that
Premiers Beattie, Carr and Bracks
all upped stumps after about 10
years in office and, frankly, it s
hard to see Mr Rann being any dif-
ferent. The question worth asking
is: "Who will be his successor?"
Alas, the answer is far from clear.
Three South Australian MPs have been
accused of misleading voters with their
responses to a campaign against duck
The Animal Liberation Group has
complained to the Electoral Commission
that Norwood MP Vini Ciccarello, Waite
MP Martin Hamilton-Smith and Morphett
MP Duncan McFetridge breached the
Electoral Act by claiming in letters that a
ban on duck shooting in New South Wales
failed to reduce the number of ducks
Group spokesman Geoff Russell
said figures he had received from the
NSW Department of Environment and
Conservation showed the number of ducks
killed annually in the state had fallen from
236,000 in 1988 to 25,136 in 2004.
Duck shooting was banned in NSW in
Mr Russell argued that the MPs claims
should be considered advertising.
However, electoral commissioner Kay
Mousley rejected the complaint, saying
that because the correspondence was sent
in response to anti-duck shooting post-
cards sent by voters to the politicians, they
were "private letters" rather than ads.
"If you send out 20,000 letters to your
voting constituents, then that is advertis-
ing," Mr Russell maintained.
"I think they wrote a form letter and
mail-merged it ... I would call that targeted
Labor and Liberal members in the
Upper House voted against a Bill banning
duck hunting put forward last December
by the Greens Mark Parnell.
Animal Liberation is determined to put
the issue back on the agenda, and is using
the postcard campaign to target marginal
seats in the lead-up to the state election.
Mr Russell said almost 7000 postcards
had been signed by voters urging MPs to
support a ban on duck shooting. Postcard
collectors wear T-shirts with a picture of
SA and the words "Heaps backwards".
"We let ducks die slowly so rednecks in
battle fatigues carrying shotguns get to
feel like Rambo for a morning," Mr Russell
As they see the week that was
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