Defence Analysis – Ross Eastgate : RULES FOR SOME BUT NOT OTHERS

8 Oct 2016

Ross Eastgate

GIVE petty officials a job, key performance criteria and they will zealously prove their worth.
Take parking inspectors for example.
They are generally not the sharpest sandwich in the drawer, but let loose in public they will quickly return with a swag of infringement notices for those who may have even inadvertently contravened one of the multiple restrictions on public parking.
Not to mention the revenue generated by such penalties, or as they are politely referred to in South Australia as “expiation notices”.
That means a fine by the way.
Softens the blow apparently but not the cost nor the revenue.
Such expiations – sorry fines – are usually issued by local governments who rather than providing adequate parking spaces so people can attend to their legitimate business, create a regular income stream which can be easily administered by someone who is a knife short of a picnic.
Local governments set the penalties for their jurisdictions in concert with state governments who pass legislation vaguely worded to indicate how many penalty units apply to offences as trivial as, say, passing wind in a public place.
To increase revenue they then simply have to index penalty units according to whim without having to amend multiple legislation to reflect that increase.
Unlike the way federal governments index military superannuation and disability payments based on whatever is the lowest community determinant.
Australians have too many layers of government and associated public servants to administer petty rules and regulations without any obvious reciprocal benefit.
Never mind any service quality, feel the cost!
Not all of them apparently.
Recently the Gold Coast City Council moved to introduce compulsory drug and alcohol testing for all its employees.
It would be totally reprehensible to have substance addled GCCC employees implementing responsible council decisions.
However the Gold Coast City Council’s innovative substance testing regime will only apply to employees who have to administer its various rules and regulations, but not its mayor and councillors who make them.
It’s a bit like the ADF really.
Documents obtained by NewsLtd under freedom of information, show 420 soldiers recorded positive illicit drugs test readings between 2012 and June 2016
The ADF’s official ‘Recreational Drugs and Illicit and Prohibited drugs’ brochure, no doubt approved by its dysfunctional PR organisation declares a “zero-tolerance policy” on the use of illicit drugs by ADF members.
“This means that any member found to be using illicit drugs will be required to ‘show cause’ why they should be permitted to remain in the ADF,” it says.

Pity the same strict prohibitions didn’t apply to those personnel who were required to take experimental anti-malarial drugs in an operational environment, trials authorised and supervised by a variety of bodies under the purview of the ADF surgeon-general.

Those now claiming to be affected by allegedly flawed mefloquine and tafenoquine trials, many who weren’t subjected to even basic testing to ensure they were suitable to undertake them can legitimately ask why those who administered them shouldn’t be asked to ‘show cause’.