It's been revealed that newly promoted Labor Minister Tom Koutsantonis has something of a professional conflict. The apparently "talented" young MP was assigned the portfolio of Minister for Road Safety last month despite his despicable driving record - according to the Sunday Mail
he's been booked no less than 32 times for speeding and other serious traffic offences since 1994!
Ironically, the Minister's department is currently running a campaign against drivers who "creep" over the limit. Mr Koutsantonis' only defence for his actions when interviewed on ABC 891 Mornings
earlier today was to deny that he is a "hoon" and that he just "crept" over the limit a few times while running late to work!
It must be asked: how can any person act as an effective advocate for road safety when they possess such a disgraceful driving record of their own? Of course, they can't. Mr Koutsantonis should resign from his position immediately.
Premier Mike Rann has backed his speeding Minister by arguing that none of the offences happened during his parliamentary tenure and that he will not stay in the job if he re-offends. This just isn't good enough. Koutsantonis was clearly an extremely poor choice for such a role. The Premier is covering his own backside by not standing him down, and in the process is undermining the great work of organisations who are doing something to reduce road tragedy, like the RAA for example.
The RAA recently held a mock accident at the Entertainment Centre to drive home the dangers of excessive speed and dangerous driving to young teenagers - a great initiative which I'm sure made an impact on those who attended. Education programs such as these should not be undermined by our State Government who are seemingly happy to maintain a disturbing double-standard.
But as is the case in the capitalist system, it's not what you know it's who you know or who you are. I don't suppose the average citizen on the street would be afforded such forgiveness for crimes committed under Mike Rann's tough on crime regime.
The ALP are, by all accounts, a laughing stock.
Labels: alp, mike rann, road safety, tom koutsantonis