Former FOI boss Leo Hardiman drops some reality bombs about his outdated company

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In what is definitely a public servant dummy spit for the ages, ex-FOI commissioner Leo Hardiman spoke of a tradition of gaslighting, incompetence and resistance to reform that will truly wring just a few drops of sympathy from anybody who’s ever waited on the opposite finish of an FOI request.

Highway warrior Leo Hardiman needed to take the bus to Canberra. Shakespeare

When Hardiman stop the FOI fee in March, lower than a 12 months into the gig, he talked about its whopping FOI request backlog and measly assets.

Seems his funds was so tight, a frugal Hardiman was compelled to catch the bus from Sydney each time he wanted to go to Canberra. (Having repeatedly made that notorious trek up within the Hume in a Murrays bus, CBD actually does sympathise.)

“Ridiculous was the phrase used,” Hardiman instructed senators on Tuesday. Information would come almost day by day of one other authorities money splash (or costly jet journey in case you’re a sure Defence minister), and right here was Hardiman, asking for simply “just a few million bucks”.

Not solely have been the purse strings tight, however what few workers Hardiman had have been continuously diverted to obscure facet duties, he stated. That included a revolving door of “course of modifications” that workers noticed as a push by their overlords to “progress a story one thing was being completed” when it wasn’t. To not point out, “cycles of panic” that rippled down from on excessive associated to Senate estimates hearings – or much more terrifying – fronting infamous FOI warrior Senator Rex Patrick. There was a lot workers turnover, some spent most of their time onboarding newbies, Hardiman stated.

Australia’s FOI regime is notoriously brutal. Take this case in 2018 when one involved punter, requesting paperwork on “what occurs when the Queen dies” was made to attend 5 years – after the Queen had truly died – solely to be instructed the one doc they’d requested was “unavailable”.

When the ex-commissioner tried to push by way of reform to make things better, a “flabbergasted” Hardiman stated he was instructed to not contain himself within the operating of his personal fee.

Nonetheless, the suitably flustered authorities officers who needed to observe Hardiman’s act on the listening to stated they’d been “shocked” by the commissioner’s resignation. A brand new appointment “will likely be finalised within the coming months”.

Candidates should be flattening the door.

However, as for the requests for data senators levelled at these authorities reps on Tuesday, it’s going to shock nobody to listen to that always the solutions have been “unavailable”.

Count on a response in three to 5 … years?


It appears that evidently whereas our American allies have been busy overhauling their army to higher scan the skies for UFOs – wait, no Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – Australia’s defence hawks have been quietly rolling their eyes.

UFOs have gone mainstream in Washington after involved senators ordered the reformation of a once-secret department of the Pentagon to analyze unusual however apparently pretty common sightings by pilots and radar methods that remained unexplained. Nationwide safety is now the road trotted out at funds talks; tinfoil hats now not thought-about ample safety.

However, in a briefing ready for Australia’s Senate estimates in Could lately below FOI (it does occur, on occasion), our personal air power means that this flurry of analysis and safety modifications within the US might all be a waste of cash.

“Air Power’s place continues to be that there is no such thing as a scientific or different compelling purpose to divert assets to [their] recording and investigation,” the briefing reads. Unexplained doesn’t imply aliens, in spite of everything, it notes.

In fact, the air power admits that Australia has not truly mentioned UAPs with the US. So maybe we haven’t been clued in on the form of “explosive” revelations instructed to by somebody who had it instructed to them … by somebody who apparently the alien our bodies.

As as to if Australia can be on the hunt for UAPs, Defence officers say they don’t have a coverage, however below commonplace reporting protocols, there are “no information” of such observations right here up to now decade. Make of that what you’ll.


Reg Weine has stepped down as Maggie Beer’s chairman – however he’s taking on the reins at troubled child components maker Bubs Australia as CEO.

Weine solely arrived on the Bubs board in April – simply earlier than the corporate’s high-drama with the previous CEO Kristy Carr kicked off.

Carr was booted in Could, after which marshalled dissident shareholders on the components maker for a board spill try (which).

On Tuesday, Bubs chair Katrina Rathie lauded the aptly named Weine as a “measured, hard-working government who’s trusted by the board to behave in the perfect pursuits of our firm”.

Carr couldn’t be reached by CBD on Tuesday for her personal ideas on her successor.


CBD has confirmed that Melbourne underworld determine Mick Gatto has ditched his signature Rolls-Royce for an eco-friendly EV.

Moderately than a flash new Tesla, Gatto has opted for a extra humble – and discreet – white Audi.

Mick Gatto in his beloved Rolls-Royce in 2016. Jason South

Phrase is he was bored with everybody recognising the Rolls, pesky journalists included.

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