How good is Australia? Usually, crooks have no taste, but not right here in the country that’s like a boom box with the Dolby button pressed permanently in. In the US drug dealers and other crims ride in pimpmobiles with superb headlights, Gangsta Wall low-profile tyres, chrome hubcaps with spokes and shag or velour interiors, exhaust systems that trick the gases into believing they were coming straight out of an Antonov An-225 Mriya’s six Progress D-18T turbofan engine, and they boast about staying in the Siegel Suites at Las Vegas’s Tropicana Hotel which, as one reviewer told Casino. Org, is where ‘‘drugs and prostitution’’ and other ‘‘criminal’’ activity to which the ‘‘Las Vegas Metropolitan Police frequently respond’’ is a highlight.
But in our country, where the four pillars of the good life are Ferraris and Porkers, Rolexes, private schools and a floating gin palace moored at any yacht club with a Royal in the name.
Let’s take public servants Alexandre Dubois and Craig Steyn. Alex and Craig worked for the state’s Roads and Maritime Services department for about 10 years. “Roads and Maritime is an operating agency within the Transport cluster. Transport for NSW is at the centre of the Transport cluster with responsibility for setting the strategic direction and guiding an extended network of public and private service delivery agencies to provide improved transport outcomes.”
No, I don’t know what that means either but from the name it must be something to do with roads and water and no doubt working with the private sector.
So NSW’s ICAC (the Independent Commission Against Corruption), ‘‘is investigating an allegation that, between 2009 and June 2019”, Alex and Craig ‘‘partially and/or dishonestly exercised their official functions by awarding in excess of $41m in RMS contracts to companies with which they were associated, in exchange for receiving benefits’’.
In his opening address ICAC’s barrister Jason Downing SC said: “I anticipate that the evidence that will be called during this public inquiry will demonstrate that over almost 10 years, Mr Dubois and Mr Steyn engaged in large-scale, systemic conduct which involved them taking steps to ensure that RMS contracts were awarded to companies controlled by friends and associates, and in some cases, family members, in return for very substantial kickbacks. Their conduct continued for close to a decade. The evidence will, I anticipate, reveal that they received kickbacks worth millions of dollars in return for ensuring that RMS contracts worth in excess of $40m were awarded to companies controlled by their friends, associates and family members.”
It was alleged some of these contracts were for ‘‘maintenance works on steel gantry structures which housed camera systems at various locations around the state, maintaining and upgrading the various camera systems’’.
Don’t let me be the conspiracy theorist here (but I will be): you all know what ‘‘various camera systems’’ are used for. As our own Herald Sun reported: “Drivers are raging on social media after four mobile speed camera operators stationed themselves in the same street in Melbourne’s northwest this week. A perplexed local pulled out his mobile phone and walked from one mobile camera to the next, during which the four cameras could be seen parked just metres away from one another on Biggs Street in St Albans. The man recording the procession of speed cameras discovered one of the vehicles posed as a car belonging to a green P-plater as the operator sat in the front seat.”
You see normally, when even ordinary people get a truckload of money, say a lottery win, they waste it and end up unhappy. They buy a couple of Camrys, a Mother Therese Crystal Chandelier for $259 (down from $499 from Lights2you.com.au) and blow the rest on greedy kids and other relos.
But in allegations raised at ICAC: ‘‘Alex … acquire(d) a number of Porsche 911 variants”, including a 997 GT2RS which was twice purchased for him, once for $353,028 and once for $735,000. A 996 GT2, a $300,000 997 GT2 and a 993 RS. In addition, he allegedly used this method to acquire a $1,586,500 Ferrari F40, a $500,000 Ferrari 360 and a $697,500 Ferrari 599 GTB. Oh, and a Merc C63 was allegedly acquired for a partner. Go Alex.
On your behalf, can I just pose a few questions here? We’ve all seen the track record of red light and speed camera operators in Australia. Don’t you think it beggars belief that, given there seems to be no governance in the bodies responsible for them, there’s not a few rorts going on apart from placing four mobile speed camera operators in the same street with one of the vehicles posing as a car belonging to a green P-plater?
Given the time taken to fix non-privately owned (ie, what’s laughingly called ‘‘freeways”) roads that part of the problem could be allegations of ‘‘kickbacks worth millions of dollars’’ from contracts given to companies with zero experience in what they’re meant to be building?
Look if you have a few mill behind the broom closet at home can I suggest Hamo’s 2010 Turkish Grand Prix-winning McLaren Mercedes? RM Sotheby’s have it up for sale at the Soap Dodger’s F1 Grand Prix in July. Best of all you can run it at the track supported by the original factory teams. It’s a big price ($10m), I don’t think there’s any warranty, any options and no free car washes for life, but it sure beats any other pimpmobile on the streets of St Kilda.
Talking of F1, as expected the Lewis Hamilton of Australian enduro racing and MX-5s, Todd Herring, won last week’s Sydney 300 after being laps behind. Naturally the Max Verstappen of long races, Jimmy Tran, pulled up second in his Honda. Your WART gang were an embarrassment to themselves, Australia, international motor racing and what passes for the human race, coming in 24th.