Tim Wilson had an important op-ed in the AFR yesterday on industry assistance:
Every taxpayer dollar that enlarges the revenue and profits of a corporate welfare recipient needs to be justified.
One would think that so obvious a statement would not be news-worthy. Yet we live in times where it worthy on being a Liberty Quote.
Yesterday The Australian Financial Review reported that the Commonwealth Industry Department blocked access to data about levels of car industry subsidies.
According to the department, the information requested under Freedom of Information legislation would not “contribute in any meaningful way to informing debate on a matter of public importance”.
Simply astonishing that bureaucrats think that they can get away with that sort of argument.
This, of course, simply highlights industry capture.
“I think this is a very serious and retrograde step that the whole of the Australian community should be concerned about,” Mr Scales, who is Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology, said in response to the Department of Industry’s refusal to release how much local car makers were paid over the past decade.
Mr Scales was responsible for implementation of the “Button car plan”.
“This takes us back to the bad old days of the ’60s and ’70s where the Industry Department saw the industry as their client, rather than the Australian public.