Kevin Rudd unleashed the federalism genie in the "mining states", and Julia Gillard will only win them back by abandoning the super profits tax.
Worse, she was handed a massive $16.2 billion for the BER stimulus. She failed in her duty to put in place the most elementary safeguards to see the taxpayers received value for money. As the scandals grew she was in denial, until too late. Now that the horse has bolted, she has appointed Brad Orgill to undertake a Clayton's review.
Orgill has been compromised by evidence before the NSW parliamentary Inquiry where he followed too closely the Gillard line. And that has been heard across the marginals, thanks to the ever diligent 2GB's Ray Hadley. And now Mr. Orgill concedes he cannot protect witnesses.
Of course what should now be in place is a public AWB style judicial inquiry, a Royal Commission, where documents can be subpoenaed, sworn evidence taken on oath and subject to rigorous cross examination, and witnesses protected.
Many in the media whinged about the AWB terms of reference, although the Howard government said these would be changed if the judge asked.
Where is the outcry now over the clear and compelling need for a proper inquiry about a scandal potentially involving many billions and not millions? Where did the money go? Did some of it come back?
And Madame $5 billion will only regain her credibility by Royal Commission into the nation's biggest financial scandal, the BER rort.