The many many articles published in Australia over the last few weeks about the business dealings of Steve Vizard have made me wonder about how some people get the deals, the special deals, which give them an advantage.

Vizard’s opportunistic philanthropy bothers me and the politicians now saying he’ll never serve on a board again are, in some cases, the people who put him there in the first place.

But that’s a topic for another time.

Thinking about this reminded me of millions of dollars successive Victorian Governments have put into software businesses in this state over the last 20 years.

They have given money away as if it was coming from a bottomless pit – particularly in the late 1980s and 1990s. What’s to show for it?

I’d bet that most of the investments have disappeared with little or no return to the stakeholders – the taxpayers of the state. While one cannot guarantee the success of low cost loans, grants and other incentives, there ought to be some accountability, some reporting back to the community and others in the sector about how wise the investments proved to be.

Some people seem to be able to unlock government assistance more than others and this is what bothers me the most.

This is why the Vizard matter needs full and complete investigation. People need faith restored in the system of grants, good works and government related networking. In this small town of Melbourne we need to clean out the boardrooms and committee rooms and install fresh blood of unconnected people. It’s time for us to see people we don’t recognise representing us in these areas.

We, the people of this state, have a right to be skeptical of the motives of the usual players who take these positions of public service. We have been duped one too many times.

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