The exposure of the Windsor Hotel negiotions and of the way in which consultation is treated in the Department of Planning points up what most of us have known for a long time, that the Minister of Planning and his departmental bureaucrats do not take our submissions seriously.
And its not just the Department of Planning, for it happens in all areas of government. The particular department puts a discussion paper out (usually just a post on the particular department's website or by distributing a few printed discussion papers, mainly to councils) and asks for submissions prior to enacting legislation. Few of the public get to see the website or discussion papers or even hear about the proposals, but those who do respond such as groups like BRAG, often after hours of investigation and consideration, know full well that the bureaucrats, tick the box, "consulted with the public", ignore the submissions and then proceed to legislate as they planned initially. Little or nothing is changed.
It is only through groups like BRAG and PLANNING BACKLASH that any of these proposals ever see the light of day. The governmnent does not really want the general public to get involved. The whole consultation process is a sham.
The Brumby government has always taken a very dictatorial line and Premier Brumby strictly controls his government objectives and actions, ensuring that his ministers follow his directions. Everything goes across the Premier's desk so he cannot hide behind his minister over this latest exposure of the skulduggery that surrounds the Windsor redevelopment proposals.
The press secretary, who has been blamed, was just following the normal departmental guidelines and her recommendations, had they not been made public, would have probably been followed to the letter by Minister Madden.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that this government is morally bankrupt. It is now up to us, the general public, to consider our options at the election due later this year.Let us not forget that Premier Brumby has annointed Justin Madden as a future premier. Just shows how twisted the current political climate is - Madden as Premier? We dont think so!
It is time for straight forward honesty in government without the spin.
For the latest on the Windsor saga go to www.marvellousmelbourne.org