By Andrew Cantwell
The IBAC investigation into questionable dealings between property developers and some at the Casey Council has clearly been fuelled by people ‘in the know’ behind the scenes – whistleblowers – who were unhappy with what they were seeing played out in the council chamber.
Articles by The Age over a number of years, and a report by the Victorian Ombudsman in 2015, have also benefitted from the efforts of whistleblowers brave enough to call out – and provide details on – what has been brought to light for the rest of us through the coercive powers of IBAC in the last three weeks.
While the IBAC commissioner has yet to make findings of any wrongdoing, any fair-minded person could safely conclude that what’s been aired at IBAC’s public hearings simply stinks.
IBAC also has the benefit of material and testimony not made public as yet – and only four of the 11 witnesses flagged by IBAC have given evidence publicly, with more hearings expected early next year.
Counsel assisting the inquiry Michael Tovey QC said in his opening remarks on 18 November that the public hearings were intended for a number of purposes, among them the hope that a public examination would “further assist the investigation” by encouraging others with knowledge of further dodgy dealings to come forward.
Simply, IBAC wants to hear from more whistleblowers at Casey. So – in the spirit of that appeal – if you know something, speak up. Head to the IBAC website and follow the links to make a complaint or provide information.