Monday, 31 January 2011

A grubby little newspaper

Well, I see that the departing Townsville Bulletin Editor is ensuring that the Bully's priorities are in tune with those of the Murdoch empire - lots of show and no substance.

On the day he launches his new look 'coulorful' broadsheet (way too colourful and cluttered for my liking) he also chose to run this little number accusing the Qld Government of hording donations made at the time of Cyclone Larry.  The piece is, of course, a lazy rewriting of this nasty little effort published yesterday by their sister rag, The Courier Mail. 

They of course failed to report Premier Bligh's response (published yesterday in Fairfax's SMH):
"There are some remaining interest funds and, as a report made public in August last year outlined, any remaining funds would be reallocated to future disaster appeals and that's what's going to happen," Ms Bligh said.
Maybe Nathan Paull and the others at the Bully have to wait for a hardcopy of the Courier Mail to get their news, because they certainly didn't publish any of Bligh's or Mackenroth's response available in today's Mail:

PREMIER Anna Bligh has rejected as "absolutely untrue" the claim Cyclone Larry victims had been denied funds donated to the 2006 disaster's appeal.

"Every single dollar that was donated to the Cyclone Larry appeal has gone to a victim of Cyclone Larry," she said.

Ms Bligh said remaining money was accrued interest which could not legally be transferred until all outstanding claims had been settled.

"There is one outstanding claim that is subject of a dispute between the owner and the builder," she said.

Ms Bligh said she was very distressed that claims over the Cyclone Larry appeal, in which $700,000 remained to be spent, could deter people from donating for flood victims.

Former treasurer Terry Mackenroth, who headed the cyclone reconstruction committee, yesterday pointed to his committee's 2007 report to Parliament which said any leftover funds would go towards future disasters.

"I can guarantee every cent that was donated has been spent," he said.

Mr Mackenroth said every claim that had been issued from Innisfail had been dealt with and laws had been followed.

"The appeal raised $21.8 million and every one of those donations was allocated and spent," he said. "We were never sitting on the money."

Mr Mackenroth also said criticism of means testing for current payouts from the Premier's Relief Fund for flood victims was ignoring federal law.

"The Tax Act actually requires that all the funds be means tested," he said.

"The funds that are given as emergency payments aren't means tested but after that, if it goes into an appeal fund and people want to get a tax deduction it has to be means tested.

"In Cyclone Larry we made that a very generous means test but there was a requirement it be done."
They would have heard the same thing if they watched ABC 24 or Sky News yesterday.

Rubbish journalism
"But it can't transfer until all legal claims against it are finalised, and that is yet to happen."

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