Ryde & Hunters Hill Last-Minute Council Election Guide


There are only a few things you need to know about today’s Ryde and Hunters Hill council elections:

  1. You need to get to a polling place to vote by 6pm!
  2. If you are voting in Ryde’s CENTRAL WARD, avoid voting for any political group that includes BILL PICKERING, Ryde’s #FakeMayor (or Mayor by Miscarriage) – his tenure at Ryde is underscored by a lack of transparency, undisclosed interests, deceit and wasted spending on a dodgy redevelopment.
  3. For all the latest news to inform your voting decision, refer to The Weekly Times’ Election Special by CLICKING HERE or check out the relevant pages below.

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  4. If you need to find the nearest polling booth in Ryde, check out the map by CLICKING HERE or on the image below

    Ryde Polling Places


  5. If you need to find the nearest polling booth in Hunters Hill, check out the map by CLICKING HERE or on the image below
Polling Places - Hunters Hill

Hunters Hill Polling Places


‘Bills’: One word that explains why we hate corrupt politicians

For many an Aussie battler busting their gut to make ends meet, watching corrupt politicians skimming government coffers and and routinely abusing their power, this catchy little song – Bill – strikes exactly the right chord.

And it’s got the perfect name too – Bills – because when you slice and dice the situation – yes, for certain, it’s Bills that are to blame.


Whether that’s a shifty politician rorting the local community named ‘Bill’;  or the dreaded paper confirmation asking you to cough up for a ‘celebrated’ rate hike – there’s always a ‘bill’ of some kind involved.

We hope this lovely hit song – and our other collection of tracks to celebrate DJ Picko’s achievements as a ‘truth remixer and ethical illusionist’ – help soothe the pain you may be experiencing at the hands of self-serving bent bananas that are meant to represent you.


Rate hike celebrations one day, cookie jar molestation the next

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They reckon they should be able to throw around our hard earned bucks, waste it on shithouse, useless projects, or throw wads of with dodgy contracts to their mates – and all with impunity or even a need to explain.

Councils spend big on staying slllall I James Robertson, Leesha McKenny Does merging councils save money? It depends who you ask - not to mention who is doing the asking. Sydney's councils are sharpening their arguments against the state government's plans to reduce their number, before they formally submit responses at the end of June to show why they should merge or continue as they are. Critics say the main beneficiaries have been management consultants .. Manly and Pittwal

Bill Pickering, f0llowing the John Neish model and spending megabucks on a congaline of consultants – ratepayers just love it!

Today’s Mystery Quiz Question Is: Who ended up getting Ryde’s lobbyist cash??


#notmymayor #ICAC #NSW #Politics #Transparency #Ryde

Top 10 Songs To Mark Lobbyist/Mayor Bill Pickering’s Red Bathrobe Encore


We interrupt our deep sleep to update you on the latest efforts by (retired) Major Shamateur* that are “Taking Us For A Ryde” (pun intended) as he persists with a desperate crusade to impose a twin (or more)-towered monstrosity on Ryde’s civic precinct, regardless of what ratepayers think.

This is an inspirational story of determination, focus, ‘world’s best practice’ in dirty politics and a man on a mission to make the world aware of an impending crisis in human rights abuses against property developers. Hugo Halliday, our conflicted but resourceful superstar reporter, threw together this report.

As a lobbyist that’s mainly serviced property developers, Bill Pickering is well aware of the struggles and the discrimination they face on multiple fronts, even when trying to make a valuable contribution to the community – like a high-rise residential tower or 10.

(* For details on why we’ve chosen the ceremonial name of Major Shamateur in this piece refer to the section subtitled ‘As Popular Bowel Cancer: No Local Support? No Worries’)

Picko Picks: Songs To Celebrate A Lobbyist Turned Mayor

We drew upon our global editorial resources to assemble a compilation of songs are most relavant to the personal story of Ryde’s new leader by miscarriage.

In number one spot is a song that carries some sentimental value for Pickering.

Its title, ‘Shamateur’ kicked off an ultra-marathon of rage and malicious dummy spitting by Pickering, angered to be given such an honest one-word character assessment by John Booth, editor of local newspaper, The Weekly Times.

#1 Shamateur

This track by pop-electro group Viola, is titled with the same word the The Weekly Times used to describe lobbyist Bill Pickering in his early days as a councillor. So it has a certain sentimental value. That explains the ‘Shamateur’ part of Pickering’s ceremonial title in today’s article, as part of our conribution to community celebrations. The preceding ‘Major’ acknowledges his military obsession, including saving the planet from an invasion by Shariah Law-abiding aliens, the kind of thing he’ll rants about with remarkable proficiency – with no segue too difficult. In fairness without army analogies or war talk sprinkled throughout his rarely-read blog, it’s hard to imagine he’d want to traverse other topic areas and risk revealing deals or relationships he’s kept under the radar that he thinks no one’s noticed. The lyrics by Viola are cryptic, but those resonating most are: “shamateur, you got what you deserved,” which many decent Ryde people hope they’ll be able to recite to their number one local shamateur, in person, soon.

2. No Lies

An  80s classic by the SOS Band that best represents what the Ryde Community wants from anyone that is given the privilege of leading their city – but from Major Shamateur, it seems sadly, they cannot ever seem to get it. , especially on the issue of the Civic Centre redevelopment fiasco. Only recently, local resident and Newcastle University Professor John Smolders reached the point where he’d had enough of had enough which has become far too personal which ultimately leads to his whole campaign for this disaster simply not passing the sniff test.

3. Barbie Girl

Even though Auburn Council media badboy Salim Mehajer has nothing on Major Shamateur, this is the mock video clip made for his notorious wedding celebrations using the tacky Acqua track ‘Barbie Girl’. It has important symbolism for those in solidarity, fighting for property developers’ privacy by not declaring relationships with them.

4. Shut Up

According to the latest available research, this song by The Black Eyed Peas will cross the mind of members of the public gallery at Ryde Council meetings at least once and up to 10 times, during cringeworthy rants by the Major Shamateur.

5. Dirty Cash

This is the ‘Sold Out Mix’ of 90s Stevie V track Dirty Cash – which I’m sure you’ll agree, goes to the heart of why the public does not trust dirty politicians  – especially those who claim they’re powered by god. You’ll especially see the relevance when you hear the words: “I want to get rich quick”.

6. Tacky

When you do one too many dirty political smear campaign and you are a redkneck bogan who puts yourself before the community, you will at some stage be seen as tacky. And Tacky is one of Wierd Al Yankovich’s more recent send up tracks. Perfect.

7. Corrupt

A track with a self-explanatory title, Corrupt was release by electro megastars, Depeche Mode in 2009. Nuff said.

8. Blurred Lines

This Robin Thicke song from 2013, Blurred Lines, is how a corrupt politician would see the hassle of having to reveal dodgy relationships to constituents. Meanwhile, constituents demand they know – there’s nothing blurred or ambiguous about it. If you’re hiding things from them it’s because you know the consequences – in a democracy anyway.

9. Like A Surgeon

Another Wierd Al Yankovich send up, this time of Madonna’s Like A Virgin. It’s a perfect track to help us remember the Shamateur’s staged knock-out – and within 10 minutes of it happening he had sent out a picture of himself, to all media, lying on a paramedics stretcher. He told journos that he expected to stay overnight for observation – but when he got to Ryde hospital, the medical certificate says there was absolutely nothing wrong with him and sent him home with instructions to take a Panadol if his fake pains persisted.

10. Don’t Lie

Another blockbuster from The Black Eyed Peas that reflects exactly what Ryde’s ratepayers collectively think almost every time Major Shamateur delivers his rants at council meetings, in public and (his party colleagues tell us) at caucus meetings – which are kind of naughty under local government legislation in NSW, where you can’t apparently have a binding caucus vote. But without them, how would we ever be able to celebrate the momentus achievements of Bill Pickering – who has made the transition from lobbyist to Mayor? Think about this for a minute – he would be ruthlessly forced into a democratic vote by ratepayers – and as he argues, it’s hard to see why they should have any sort of say in who leads their local administration, right?  yes?  no? (why are you frowning?)

“Bill Pickering rivals both Madonna and Prince when it comes to reinventing himself. His latest incarnation, DJ Picko, has seen him carry on unabated as a truth remixer and ethical illusionist. He brings hope to others that are completely unsuited to public office – for they know they too can now make the grade” – Hugo Halliday


As Popular Bowel Cancer: No Local Support? No Worries

If you’re not into political natter, now’s the time to get off the bus. Or you can hang around and be enlightened.

If there’s something Bill knows well, it’s the unarguable fact that he’s about as popular as bowel cancer and to become “mayor” when you don’t rate a blip in community approval is a big achievement.

He’s employed a simple strategy – make sure Ryde’s ratepayers have no say in it. He fought tooth and nail against a proposal to elect the mayor by popular vote, taking sleazy sanctuary in his more familiar habitat – the dark and dingy backroom.


The closest thing resembling a dark and dingy political caucus meeting scenario where Major Shamateur is most at home

There, he only has to dupe a handful of Liberal caucus members, not an entire community.

And Ryde Council’s meeting  minutes may well report a Mayoral election was carried out in mid-September according to the rules, transparently, in open session. Surely Major Shamateur won fair and square.

Right? Wrong.

The Dastardly Events No One Seems To Have Realised

Don’t forget the dastardly events in the few years leading up to this and his previous shock elevation, used to change numbers on council, which were 7-5 against his shambolic Civic Centre pet project after the 2012 elections.


Major Shamateur has accessed the control panel to fine tune the settings, the meter here indicates his regular output level

There’s been smear campaigning, for which he was embroiled in defamation action;  a disgraceful ICAC inquiry solely to eliminate political rivals and serious conflicts of interests – none of which have been disclosed – leading all the way to Macquarie Street.

Let’s hope some of the misinformation is dealt with when the DPP manages to finally get all the evidence ICAC’s hidden as two innocent men continue to face court over purely fictional claims related to the sham ICAC Ryde inquiry, that don’t pass the sniff test.

Postponing Sour Grapes

For now, we’ve put ruthless abuse of power and misuse of public resources to one side.

We’re here to celebrate Major Shamateur’s latest incarnation, ‘DJ Picko’.

He’s been dazzling large crowds of property developers with his signature “truth remixing” and regular acts of “ethical illusion”.  (Note: pic above from his last gig with imaginary fans).

You can just imagine the ‘Carnivale’ atmosphere that has kicked on in Ryde since Major Shamateur scored the red bathrobes, with celebrations ongoing since mid-September and spilling into the streets.

We’re feeling quite guilty at The Star Chamber Inquirer for getting to the party late, so in the spirit of DJ Picko’s new musical endeavours, we’ve assembled selection of tracks to get things buzzing again.

They’re from his upcoming compilation tribute album ‘Undisclosed’ which included his catchy new track “Help The Starving Children – With High Rise On Ryde’s Waterfront”.

Stay tuned for the fanfare when we launch that brilliant collection of musical artistry very soon.

Almost four long, reputation-smearing years – Jeff Salvestro-Martin finally gets to read a truthful media account of ICAC ordeal

At ICAC you know you’ve made it when, in your hand, you can see the net result of
excessive, unjustifiable use of power, on small, innocent, indefensible creatures.

It’s probably about as good a depiction as any when it comes to gauging the thrill felt among those who pursue flawed investigations within ICAC – using a system of ‘butterfly wing separation’ measurement that’s familiar to its Commissioner Megan Latham, at least.

To be fair though, she stepped into an organisation with an internal culture that began to rot well before she arrived and she needs to stop plucking wings and start clearing out the dead wood around her – because there’s lots.

One simple and unarguable fact: Ryde councillor, Jeff Salvestro-Martin, was dragged through ICAC’s Ryde investigation and public inquiry based on a bungled allegation against six innocent councillors.

Even worse, that bungled allegation was used to strip him of protections from potential reprisals under the Public Interest Disclosure Act due to several referrals of serious, documented and easily provable corruption, ironically involving those it chose to rely on in its evidence – and for those of you who just want that in plain English: ICAC ignored serious, systemic corruption and evidence of it presented in a series of documents, to instead doggedly pursue spurious, vexatious and largely concocted claims by those with a barrow to push.

It has taken a national broadsheet and persistent, experienced and knowledgeable reporting and analysis by The Australian’s legal affairs editor Chris Merritt and senior reporter Sharri Markson to fill the massive void in the Sydney metro media’s coverage of ICAC so you could finally be informed about the unacceptable conduct of the reckless agency.

Often, old and jaded journos will declare themselves worth of the investigative reporter tag – one the had been appropriate in years gone by, but not any more. These are the kind of journos that are letting their newspaper readers down. They are the weakest link and despite media company senior management being constantly accused of diluting the standard of journalism with each and every round of redundancies – the dead wood always seems to escape being cleared out.

It’s these spent cartridges on the editorial floor, easily spotted by their laziness and addiction to rations of ICAC’s magic headline fertiliser, that devalue the media’s important accountability role, relegating it to serve more as ICAC’s insurance against reform.

Ryde councillor Jeff Salvestro-Martin should never have had to endure the public humiliation he was subjected to at the hands of a small clique of corrupt officials whose tendency to resort to personal attacks, dirty tricks, smear campaigns, deception and regular duplicitous behaviour in their dogged pursuit of personal gain at the expense of the communities they supposedly represent, fit the profile of what ICAC is meant to investigate and eliminate.

But beyond simply neglecting their civic duty and responsibility to constituents, those in the clique strayed even further, spectacularly infiltrating decision-making processes of the ICAC, interfering with them and then ultimately using the ICAC as a weapon to eliminate their political rivals and even assume power if they could realise their destructive intent.

It worked a treat. In broad daylight, while everyone simply watched on and apathy anaesthetised the urge to intervene, the clique was easily able to realise what it corruptly set out to achieve.

Despite some obvious hints that something was not right, another three years passed and a still, no one had challenged ICAC’s actions in relation to Ryde.

Surely an ICAC inquiry into six councillors that valiantly fought a controversial twin tower overdevelopment, overwhelmingly opposed by their constituents within the community, was a demonstration of democratic process operating precisely the way it was intended?

And surely a truly independent corruption watchdog would have have no problem identifying those among the six councillors spruiking the redevelopment that had shown clear indications their support for the proposal was fuelled by self-interest?

A corruption watchdog that receives more than 3,000 referrals of corruption each year and time one of its limited resources, would surely reject an in inquiry into the six fighting the development based on it obviously amounting to payback, an abuse of process or vexatious claim?

Surely, just three years after former ICAC Commissioner Ipp sought significant additional funding and carried out an inquiry he cites as one of his legacies, into the risks posed by lobbying and lobbyists, calling on 51 witnesses and handing down 17 recommendations, it would be inappropriate to be led in evidence by a lobbyist/councillor and have his evidence corroborated by his employee, who is also a lobbyist and happens to also be the incumbent Attorney General’s son?

Surely, with the growing pressure over the cases ICAC has been pursuing, it didn’t need a Ryde inquiry in flimsy foundations, if any at all, to exacerbate its woes?

When you swooped to collected Neish’s laptop from Ryde Council premises after learning his office requested the hard drive be formatted – presumably to destroy evidence of his porn downloads – you must’ve had a hunch he was doing something wrong? And not a single mention has been made of it since. Why the determination to conceal this?

If you didn’t know who the bad guys were – either through incompetence or ignorance – perhaps the documented referrals of corruption involving those you’ve entrusted to lead your evidence could have offered a valuable hint.

When you bungled your allegation against the councillors, realised it and quickly removed references to the allegation from public statements, why didn’t you just decide then to let them go as they were being wrongly accused?

Probably the worst thing about the entire Ryde ICAC fiasco – that the agency’s staff, amid a culture of complacency, underperformance, abuse of power, deception and a sense of immunity from the constraints of proper accountability and oversight, had allowed an intrusive and premeditated act of political interference.

They’d shown no sign of dissent, but rather, cooperation to the point they were collaborators, even partners, in this criminal enterprise.

Stay tuned.

Is this too little too late for someone that endured smear and innuendo enabled by an underperforming ICAC and underperforming Fourth Estate.Too little too late? Smear campaign facilitated by underperforming ICAC and failing Fourth Estate?


Leading Media Commentator On ICAC Analyses The Reckless Watchdog’s Actitions And The Implications For Accountability

Once upon a time, journalists would be regarded as experts when they managed to get a *nudge nudge, wink wink* leak from an investigative body, without rule of evidence, like the ICAC.

In truth, leaks of information of unverifiable accuracy should be of concern to journalists. All they do is create a catalyst for laziness and neglect of the fundamental role of a reporter, to scrutinise, expose, analyse and educate their audience on issues.

Even worse, journalists with egocentric motives and a desire to maintain their often dubiously-earned reputations become ideal targets for grooming by ICAC figures that have worked out that headlines and sensationalism blur the goalposts of performance and expectations.

By settling on a compliant handful of reporters for their leaks, ICAC knows the pressure to “do the right thing” if they want more ICAC goodies is a winning strategy.

It allows its often inaccurate and misleading allegations and narratives to go unchallenged, without – or at most, with a disingenuous attempt at – scrutiny.

So when ICAC’s rotten internal culture starts to affect the quality, frequency  and motivations for its inquiries, journalists can find themselves unintentionally peddling creative concoctions simply designed to shore up the reputation of an underperforming agency.

When a reckless agency like ICAC comes under fire from sections of the media driven by accountability of the government and the public right to know, the ICAC-aligned journalists and their associated mastheads find themselves playing the role of apologist.

The absurdity of a journalist with the title of “investigative journalist” that steadfastly refuses to investigate or write on alleged internal corruption at ICAC, including tampering of evidence, political interference, suppression of exculpatory and other enlightening evidence, is now a reality.

The Australian’s legal affairs editor, Chris Merritt, doesn’t need ICAC handouts of little or questionable accuracy to be at the top of his game.

In recent years, as media organisations shed staff en masse  and investigative resources become thin on the ground, Chris’ dedication and attention to detail has produced industry-leading reporting on ICAC.

NSW taxpayers and other interested observers are the beneficiaries. They can now access information in the public domain that includes details of ICAC’s worsening performance, maladministration and wasteful inquiries.

Chris Merritt’s columns have become a compelling read – here’s one of them.

#auspol #nswpol #auslaw #nswlaw #ICAC @australian @smh @dailytelegraph

Fun Facts & ICAC Incompetence

Star Chamber Wars _ transparent_ICACsSHAMRYDEINQUIRY_border_darthLatham

ICAC’s Sham Ryde Inquiry Infographic


BREAKING NEWS: A New Low For ICAC – It’s Official: No One Give A Rat’s About Latest Inquiry


  • More than 3,000 referrals of corruption each year and the best it’s got – an RFS catering inquiry
  • Did ICAC consider how its show pony inquiries might affect an organisation that relies on volunteers?
  • Media blackout suggests no one gives a shit – so there’s talk that Willy Wonka may get called as expert witness

WWandTheOLs2Amid ICAC’s self-inflicted turmoil, after recent abuses of its powers, an ongoing probes into its reckless behaviour and strong indications it’s lost the plot in deciding what’s in the public interest, you’d think the so-called corruption watchdog would bring out its secret weapon to save the day.

ICAC’s wasted NSW Parliament’s time, the NSW Supreme Court and Court of Appeal’s time, the High Court’s time, the public’s time – basically everyone’s time.

So, while deals like those going on in Barangaroo, potentially involving billions of dollars, get the green light on a handshake and fall within ICAC’s jurisdiction for much needed probing, the Commission has gone down the Snack Pack route to change the world.

This is probably something more suited to having lawyers sort out behind closed doors, but the ICAC crew are determined to continue looking like a collective of idiots, so we should only ask whether they have “enough rope”.

If you’re in the right place at the right time you might be able to experience the surreal, out of body experience in yuour home of radio or TV reports on corruption involving FIFA and hundreds of millions of dollars, while reading a newspaper report on Snack Packs which also uses the word “corruption”


  • No party pies or sausage roll racketeering in this inquiry, with hints there may be a new probe on pastries
  • ICAC alleges a tidal wave of Snack Pack graft is taking hold of the volunteer-based Rural Fire Service.
  • Conspicuously absent from Snack Packs: family favourites including: Bertie Beetles, chocolate freckles, clinkers, green/ yellow snakes, toy-based novelties with sherbert and Snickers, Chokito and Mars bars.

But desperate times call for desperate measures and it appears ICAC has a crisis management plan ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

The all-powerful, underperforming and terminally ill corruption watchdog may call on Willy Wonka as a star witness for its latest inquiry amid one of its worst publicity generation efforts ever.

As ICAC’s well-oiled leaking machine went into hiding due to “too much heat” it appeared a decision had been made to not commit the serious crime of leaking secret information to media ahead of the public inquiry in one of its notorious “drops”.

A measure of how badly things have turned out is the fact that with two days of the Snack Pack inquiry under the bridge, not even its preferred recipient of misinformation and unverified smear, the SMH, had run anything.

It appeared only the usual suspects – AAP and the ABC – had run something after day one, but nothing since.

So speculation is now intensifying that Willie Wonka and up to three Oompah Loompahs could become surprise additions to the expert witness list, which ICAC rarely uses given its powers to just make things up.

There’s growing discontent in the community over ICAC’s pettiness, wasted funds on sham inquiries, abuses of power and irrelevance and now, it must be painful for the media manipulators within to see that outlets were now showing signs of no longer listening.

The continued persecution of popular and successful Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen and speculation that inquiries by the ICAC Inspector, David Levine. were about to unearth maladministration and a series of more monumental stuff-ups, means ICAC’s RFS-Snack Pack inquiry needs to be a winner.

We’ll let readers judge this for themselves.


Just to ensure its sensational opening day revelations were understood by a public it usually manages to deliberately baffle, ICAC took the step of humanising the issue, with a shocking image of a Snack Pack featuring among the first of its exhibits.

Snack Pack

The shocking ICAC exhibit in which the diversity of lollies at the heart of its latest inquiry is exposed (Image; ICAC)

It includes the controversial Gluten Free Nut Delight, the villified but enduring multi-coloured Lifesavers, party-starting pretzels and the old dip and biscuit offering – hitting home that some iconic sources of nourishment were involved in this “serious and systemic corruption” inquiry.

What’s worse are the pictures of the Rural Fire Service’s operations centre, clearly showing staff in a number of discussions about the distribution of shared kickbacks from catering contracts and reassurances a multinational accounting firm would be overseeing the process.

Shocking Snack Pack deals

ICAC images depicting blatant Snack Pack deals going on in the RFS control room in broad daylight. Grinding away emergency services funding which could see the organisation’s collapse. (pic: ICAC)

It’s understood ICAC’s investigators immersed themselves in the investigation with a daily diet of mixed lollies in the office, noting their observations on both colour and flavour.


One of the shocking facts to emerge in the investigation is the complete absence from the Snack Packs of Bertie Bertie Beetles, Caramello Koalas, chocolate freckles, clinkers, green and yellow snakes, novelty goods with sherbert and Snickers, Chokito and Mars Bars.

ICAC’s investigators suspect this may indicate the involvement of organised crime and stockpiling of popular lines of confectionery in an attempt to bump up the price, while there is also a widely held view that our RFS volunteers are being treated like second class citizens.

A mixed lollie collection obtained by Save Ryde which includes chocolate freckles but has absolutely nothing to do with this inquiry (pic: not ICAC)

A mixed lollie collection obtained by Save Ryde which includes chocolate freckles but has absolutely nothing to do with this inquiry (pic: not ICAC)


An eleventh-hour decision was made to exclude party pies and sausage rolls and to a lesser extent quiche, from this inquiry as ICAC hinted it would likely pursue pastry snack industry corruption in a separate inquiry if unable to find more serious corruption issues among more than 3,000 referrals it receives annually.

Some ICAC critics, including Ronald McDonald, are accusing the watchdog of wasting funds at a time where Burger King was running riot in relation to consumer promos which impinged upon his burger chain’s IP (More on that some time soon).


Meanwhile, a debutant ICAC backgrounder assured Save Ryde that all money thrown away was good money spent.

“It’s nothing to be alarmed about, there’s method in our madness,” said an ICAC source, making his debut in  backgrounding journos, who spoke to Save Ryde on condition his information wasn’t scrutinised.

“We’ve kind of covered off the issue of stories unravelling by getting secrecy powers that stop victims offering their side of the story and the journos we deal with love that because it saves them from having to argue with editors about why whatever they’re writing is a story.

“Look, we need to get the headline count up again and we reckon Wonka could bring it home for us, so we’re negotiating now and there will be incentives and lots of lollies for observers to bring their kids to public hearings.”

ICAC was even considering a screening of the classic Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with some scenes re-shot to include images of Wonka giving expensive bottles of wine  and pens to politicians.

There were also plans to insert a new scene set in a cafe, with surveillance-style visual effects, in which Wonka discusses an investing opportunity in mining licences with an Oompah Loompahs and makes reference to it being a “done deal because he knows a powerful bloke in government”.


The ICAC source said it was obvious the public was realising it had delivered nothing in terms of “serious and systematic corruption”, on which the ICAC Act specifies it should focus, so it was a good time to rehash some of its more popular battles.

“We’ve copped a battering in the Cunneen saga and really need to get back to our roots,” the source told Save Ryde.

“Recently, during a work conference in the Bahamas, we work-shopped the essence of our strategy and came up with: Sensationalise, Uncontextualise, Obfuscate. That is the key to raising awareness of corruption in this state and the threat it poses to young working families and cute puppies and kittens.”

Asked why he’d singled out specific groups among the “victims” of corruption, the source said it was based on ICAC’s anecdotal evidence and it  had plenty of cash to throw into a fresh marketing push.

Internal research “which costs a bomb but is essential for pressing all the right buttons” had shown adults were switching off so there was a new push targeting a younger demographic.

One of ICAC's recent executive team meetings. ICAC's Code of Conduct precludes staff members from activities that could reveal their identity and expose snouts.

One of ICAC’s recent executive team meetings. ICAC’s Code of Conduct precludes staff members from activities that could reveal their identity and expose snouts. (pic: the guy at ICAC who leaks all the other stuff)


The source said ICAC needed to reinforce its snout for upcoming rounds of government funding and in the short term, some sensitive matters would need attention.

That would include a communications strategy to prevent Premier Baird realising he’d been led down the garden path with retrospective changes to ICAC’s legislation to solve a couple of “stuff ups”.

“When he asks ‘does my bum look big in his’ we just tell him he’s stunning and irresistable – works every time on all pollies – they’re interchangeable,” our deepthroat said.

“I guess there was also that nudge nudge wink wink moment when we met with him, in relation to how we’d handle Liberal pollies between now and the next election. It’s really that easy.”


It also helped that not much effort was needed to get massive funding windfalls and former Commissioner David Ipp even acknowledge that in an ABC TV interview.

“We were lucky enough to have the former NSW Attorney General Greg Smith tip in some extra bucks recently, around the time of all the Obeid publicity and the Ryde inquiry,” the source said.

“Turns out one of his good mates, Bill Pickering, who employs his son Nathaniel, was giving evidence at an ICAC inquiry and his son was backing him up, so we seconded some of his staff our office under the guise of helping out with the Obeid stuff. They felt better because it created some certainty around

“The downpour of cash we got just for saying yes every time, got us an upgrade from Premium Economy to First for an important conference in Disneyland in Paris recently.”

Save Ryde has assured the source it has plans to do more political and government waste satire and so there would always be a place for the occasional drop of misinformation from ICAC, which up til now has tended to call the SMH’s front page home.

The source said ICAC’s new strategy targeting a younger audience meant it would be engaging more with new media as part of its overall communications plan, but stressed that loyal media partners that have facilitated sensational headlines to date, will not suffer as a result.


“We’d been talking to BuzzFeed about a list of the Top Ten anti-corruption triumphs by ICAC – then we had to go back to the drawing board after realising there weren’t any,” the source said.

“Our well-developed system of untraceable drops in seedy Sydney back alleys remains intact – that’s rock solid.”

He excused himself after a colleague conveyed a message about some more problems with ICAC’s recently-restructured Narrative Creation Department and promised to fill me in with the gory details later.


You might as well. We’ll have rolling coverage of the global impact and life-changing significance of ICAC’s latest inquiry with commentary from all of the same experts used by ICAC.

And kids – we’ll soon announce special Wonka hamper prizes, with thanks to ICAC and Wonka Corp.