Over time I hope to add more documentation to this website, particularly concerning where the obvious conflicts of interest have come from.

It is quite clear from the documentation that the information presented to ministers from officers in the ACT Government’s economic and business development areas have been misleading.

These officers have made statements that are contrary to the evidence in the files available to them.  They actually did not at any point provide information that was simply factually correct.

The question is, of course, why did they do that?

These are experienced and senior public servants.

Another public servant who is familiar with this project believes that these public servants who advised their ministers in such a misleading fashion are in fact simply incompetent. This is the most charitable explanation.

If this is the case, that is, that they are simply incompetent, then you would expect a range of information to be presented, some favourable to the airfield, some against.  There is no favourable information presented to their ministers.

 In review, it is worth summarizing the information presented by Mr Cox, Mr van Aalst and Mr Stewart.

 They have variously made the following points:

  • There is no public interest case in favour of the airfield; it is only in the interest of a few “aviation enthusiasts”.
  •  The airfield would require the resumption of up to five leases.
  •  There may be an ongoing cost to the ACT Government.
  •  There is an airspace conflict with Canberra International Airport.
  • There is no emergnecy services case for the airfield.

 As shown above, all of these claims are demonstrably false, and these officers either knew that, or willfully ignored the evidence available to them.

So what is the alternative explanation?

I have looked at the strange contribution of ACTPLA.

It is inconceivable that this organisation, whose opinion is quoted in documents throughout this saga, has at no time put anything in writing, and yet, other than a few maps and one email declaring that ACTPLA officers had no conflict of interest, there are no documents.

So what has happened here?  Are we expected to believe that a key ACT Government agency does all of its business exclusively verbally?

No ACTPLA officer is quoted by name by Mr Cox, Mr van Aalst or Mr Stewart in their various bits of advice to their minsters.

When ACTPLA was questioned about this, they did not attempt to find out whether any of their staff may have had an undeclared conflict of interest.  A senior ACTPLA officer simply declared, with no evidence, that no ACTPLA officer had a conflict of interest and referred vaguely to existing protocols.  An enquiry to ACTPLA requesting these protocols was made, but at the current time there has been no response.

The only possible explanation is that there was an undeclared conflict of interest, probably within ACTPLA, and that this officer or officers had mates within the bureaucracy who were prepared, for whatever reason, to support his or her interests.

An undeclared conflict of interest is corruption.

This corrupt arrangement is apparently quite satisfactory to both Minister Andrew Barr and Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.