Merri Rose resigns
Article originally published JANUARY 15, 2004 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
Finally, the Minister for Fair Trading in Queensland, Merri Rose, has resigned.
At a swiftly called press conference last night, the Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said, “Merri has fallen on her sword.” Her resignation came after the state’s workers’ compensation regulator, Q-Comp, upheld a complaint of bullying made against her by a former staff member.
It is also being reported that Merri Rose is involved in fraudulently making claims relating to ministerial expenses, an allegation she strongly denies.
Queenslanders are likely to show little sympathy towards their notorious Fair-Trading Minister. Scandal has become the hallmark of her career. The Minister has been accused of everything from betraying consumers to bullying to allowing her son to use her government car for personal purposes.
However, aside from the personal and political scandals, Merri Rose has never been suited to the important role of protecting consumers. Like many of the worst politicians throughout history, she seems incapable of understanding the difference between morality and legality.
When the property investment scams made headlines in the Courier Mail in 2001, Merri Rose promised to help victims. But when thousands of claims for compensation loomed, the Minister, in an appalling act of hypocrisy, did a complete back flip; she introduced legislation to prevent compensation being paid. Suddenly those caught in the property scams were no longer called victims. They were investors who had made bad decisions.
And the crooks, with pockets full of cash and grins on their faces, escaped. Merri Rose was their pin-up girl.
As journalist, Hedley Thomas, wrote, “Merri Rose and the Beattie Government have learnt something from the property marketeering textbook about deceit.”
Under Rose’s term, the Queensland Department of Fair Trading was dubbed by many as the Department of Unfair Trading. But is it the department itself or, as many people believe, Merri Rose who should take the blame for what happened (and what is still happening) to real estate consumers in Queensland?
Was she the Minister for Unfair Trading or the Unfair Minister for Fair Trading?
Premier Beattie said last night that Merri Rose’s resignation meant that she had “put the people of Queensland first.”
Sadly, for both Merri Rose and consumers, if she had put the people of Queensland first in the past few years, she would probably still have a job today.
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