Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Premier Carpenter talks press freedom from Siberia

Posted by occidentprone on May 3, 2008

West Australian premier Alan Carpenter is reported in The Australian as commenting on last week’s raid on The Sunday Times. Carpenter was in Siberia – no really, he was in that cold part of the former Soviet Union where dissidents and those committing crimes against the state were sent. That same Siberia which became a byword for extreme punishment in exile.

The Australian:

Mr Carpenter said Treasurer Eric Ripper “may have been annoyed” on February 10 when he read the Sunday Times report revealing his plans to use $16 million of taxpayers’ money for Labor’s re-election campaign, but he said his department was required by law to complain to authorities when it suspected the leak of a confidential document to the media.

“I understand why the Sunday Times journalists would feel as though this is completely unfair and of course I would be responding with the same sentiment but this response has not come … as a direction from me or any minister as far as I’m aware,” Mr Carpenter, a former journalist, told ABC radio from Siberia, where he was completing a trade visit.

“There is no way that we’d direct the police to respond in that way.”

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance national secretary Chris Warren yesterday described the Government’s stance as breathtaking hypocrisy, saying the Carpenter Government was aware of the push for shield laws for journalists.

“They could go into parliament at any time and seek to amend the law and they choose not to,” he said.

The raid on The Sunday Times on Wednesday by 16 members of the Major Fraud Squad has further strained the Government’s rapport with the media.

In the metaphorical Siberia we find Troy Buswell, who admits to The West Australian that more sordid details of his escapades could emerge. That’s the problem with a life lived large – so many of the best drunken memories are hard to remember.

“I’m a robust character,” he says. Well so is Sir Les Patterson, but we don’t want his leery, drunken visage as our premier.



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