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Is Garrett sick of being the fall guy?

April 24, 2010

I’ve always marvelled at how disciplined Peter Garrett has been through the whole demotion debacle. He took one for the team by accepting the slap in the face demotion, staying around and generally insulating  KRudd from any responsibility bracket creep. All done without a single leak or private sourced conversation seeing the light of day. No doubt there were deals and wheels and intrigue behind the scenes but not a breath of it came out.

Andrew Bolt thinks he has seen a sign that all that may be about to change . . .

I have long argued that Peter Garrett has been made a scapegoat for a monumental failure by Kevin Rudd – the disastrous free insulation giveaway.

Peter van Onselen now explains just why the fault is Rudd’s rather than Garrett’s. But what’s most telling about his account is that it seems Garrett has had enough and is briefing journalists against his disastrous PM, who will cost more of his Ministers their reputation before he’s through:

ENVIRONMENT Minister Peter Garrett has become a scapegoat of the Prime Minister and his Assisting Minister for Government Service Delivery, Mark Arbib . . .

The review of the program’s administration, conducted by retired senior public servant Allan Hawke and released during the week, makes clear findings that Garrett’s responses to the problems with the program were appropriate and timely . . .

Garrett was handed a program he had raised serious concerns about to his Prime Minister for the rushed nature of its implementation. He was not alone. I have been told by a very senior Labor source that Julia Gillard did the same at the special-purpose budget committee . . .

Hawke also points out that Garrett’s department was not suited to rolling out such a scheme . . . Garrett knew this and again warned others about the risks . . . (W)hen Garrett and his department jointly warned the Office of the Co-ordinator-General about concerns attached to the scheme, no action was taken to alleviate the pressure . . . (T)he OCG, responsible for oversight of all the government’s $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan (which includes the Building the Education Revolution), needed to do more.

Hawke in his review is scathing about the failure of the OCG to get involved… That office is located in none other than Rudd’s own department, with Arbib assigned direct responsibility for watching over its operations . . .

However, the most serious area to which people’s attention should be drawn is the rush to get the program up and running in the wake of the global financial crisis. It was . . . Rudd and his economic inner circle who forced Garrett to rush out the scheme against his better judgment . . .

I think Garrett has had enough of Rudd.

I hope so!

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