19 July 2003

Ruddock v Clarke

Alan Ramsey tells us:

When Clark went to Ireland last year on a trip as the most senior elected official of Australia's peak Aboriginal organisation, ATSIC, he took his wife. Clark's board had approved the trip. Clark's minister, Philip Ruddock, had approved Clark's wife going with him on the basis that she had "significant duties". Taxpayers weren't asked but they paid the bill. Taxpayers always pay the bill. The Clarks were away for 10 days. Their trip cost $31,000. Last year, just before the Clarks went to Ireland, Ruddock spent 15 days in Switzerland, Canada, Malaysia, the Philippines and Korea. The cost was $113,404 and 67 cents. Taxpayers paid that bill, too.

What Ramsey does not address is why Ruddock demanded immediately that Clarke step down when faced with civil rape proceedings but felt a former governor-general's options in identical circumstances should be quite, quite different. Perhaps Ruddock was seeking a preferred political outcome?

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