O’Dwyer Keeps Delivering

What more does Kelly O’Dwyer need to do to show that she’s clearly not qualified for the role of federal government minister?

This is her complete disaster of an interview the other day regarding the banking royal Commission,

This was TMR smelling something very fishy when it came to O’Dwyer two years ago:

That’s two strikes now for the newly appointed assistant treasurer, who is increasingly looking incompetent for the role.

Strike one came when O’Dwyer claimed that Labor’s proposed negative gearing policy would increase house prices – even though Malcolm Turnbull had said the exact opposite over a week earlier. (NB: for the reasons I have already given here, it impossible to predict what Labor’s negative gearing policy would result in. Of course, that hasn’t stopped every politician and ‘expert’ claiming that they can with hilariously varying results like this).

Strike two came last week with O’Dwyer’s claim that tax concessions are a ‘gift’ from the government:

Just in case you have missed the feeling of higher taxes coming down the pike, take last week’s comment from Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer:

No one has a right to a super tax concession. It is a gift that the government should only provide when it makes sense.

Yes, be afraid. It’s the Canberra beltway talking. Everything belongs to the government and anything that the ordinary punter is allowed to keep is a gift.

Just think about it: the top marginal tax rate is not 60 per cent. The current rate of 49 per cent, including the Medicare Levy, is a gift that the government should only provide when it makes sense.

This is what happens when people are divorced from their money in the way we have been through the PAYE income tax system – you earn it, but never see it. Therefore, it was never yours to begin with.

(I’ll give you a minute to finish cleaning up your vomit).

And we’re back. Of course, O’Dwyer is not the first to think along these totalitarian lines:

Labor health spokeswoman Catherine King said: “Is healthcare important in this country? Yes it is. Who pays for it? We think it is perfectly possible … for the government to continue to contribute alongside our taxpayers as they do both through the Medicare levy, Medicare levy surcharge and of course through general taxation to continue to have a sustainable Medicare system.”

At first, I was a surprised that O’Dwyer could say such unintelligent things – given that she used to be a corporate lawyer at Freehills and an ‘executive’ at the National Australia Bank. However, on closer inspection, she appears to be your garden variety politician who has avoided getting her hands dirty with real work experience.

If you go to her Wikipedia page, or her website bio, you will notice the following:

– It does not say when she graduated from law school or when she started and finished at Freehills. She simply started working as an ‘advisor’ to Peter Costello from 2004 to 2007. Given that O’Dwyer was born in March 1977, the earliest she could have been admitted as a lawyer would have been in 2001 – giving her a maximum of 2.5 to 3 years of experience. Of course, it could be less than this too.

– Similarly, it also does not say how long she worked at the NAB for or what her job title actually was. It simply says that she started ‘after the 2007 Federal Election’ (which was in November 2007 by the way) before gaining pre-selection for the Federal seat of Higgins in September 2009. So, all up, somewhere around 2 to 3 years.

Now why wouldn’t O’Dwyer proudly tell us how long she worked at Freehills and the NAB for and what her job titles were?

In any event, at best, O’Dwyer has as many years experience in the real world as you can count on one hand – which is probably commensurate with the intelligence levels she has displayed in the above gaffs.

Is this really the best talent we have in Australia for the role of assistant treasurer?

NOTE: I have emailed Kelly O’Dwyer to ask when she graduated from law school and started working at Freehills. Let’s see if I get a response…

[TMR: spoiler alert – no response ever came. Now why would that be?]

You tell me: what has she learned and how has she improved since being appointed as assistant treasurer (i.e. Minister for Revenue and Financial Services)?

Can anyone be surprised with the results?

How this kind of guff was actually published about her in Lawyer’s Weekly is simply beyond me.

O’Dwyer is the first woman in Liberal party history to be pre-selected for a safe seat in Melbourne and beat millionaire and commercial lawyer Andrew Abercrombie for the chance to stand for election.

As a former staffer for Costello and a National Australia Bank executive, 32-year-old O’Dwyer’s association with the Liberal Party dates back to 1995 when she worked as a part-time electoral officer for the Howard government’s health minister, Michael Wooldridge.

Chairman of Freehills Robert Nicholson backed O’Dwyer, and in a reference said: “She is a woman of uncommon intellect, skill, energy and integrity, with the capacity to make a long-term contribution in public service,” reported The Age.

How could anybody say this with a straight face about someone that’s had less than three years of experience? Then again, I suppose it’s all a matter of how you interpret the word ‘uncommon’ in this context.

Contrary to what O’Dwyer’s bio says, she did not ‘practise’ corporate law at Freehills: she bumbled around as a junior with no effing idea whatsoever while waiting (hoping in her case it would appear) for some pennies to drop. Just like EVERY junior lawyer does. The only problem for O’Dwyer is that she stopped well before the pennies dropped – before repeating the trick in a different line of ‘work’ at the NAB. And now our country has to suffer the results.

A clear case of the Peter Principle in action (on steroids in this case).

The time is well overdue for certain ministerial positions to have minimum qualification requirements. Nobody should be able to have a finance/treasury portfolio or be our nation’s Attorney-General without at least 10 years of relevant industry experience. While this wouldn’t have prevented things like George Brandis, it would have spared us from the Wayne Swan Experience.



4 thoughts on “O’Dwyer Keeps Delivering”

    1. Thanks as always John. The more people that see just how things really are the better. How it ever came to be that an hopelessly unqualified person such as O’Dwyer made it this far in a Liberal Party ministry is beyond me. It’s bad enough that Labor does this kind of stuff on a routine basis.


  1. Don’t forget she was a Peter Costello staffer and his [referred choice to replace him.

    Even if we assume Peter Costello was a good Treasurer, the fact that he employed her and did all he could to get her pre-selected in a safe seat shows a major character flaw.


    1. As much as I like the job that Howard and Costello did overall, they definitely made a few howlers along the way. This is definitely one of them. A bigger one was committing around 40% of their last budget to welfare (I’ll try and get a post up on this one soon). This is a big reason for the structural budget problem we have today (in addition to Swan, Rudd and Gillard of course). Once you give classes of people free money, it’s politically impossible to take it away unless you slowly do so over a long time through inflation creep.


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