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Conflicts of interest in the bureaucracy undermines trust

Our bureaucrats are captured by greed and power. 

Where do I start?

1) I never got an answer to my question as to whether or not the entity reviewing vaccine injuries should be the same entity that approves the injury. The answer is of course NO because no entity that stuffs up its testing would admit to it. 

2) Tony Lawler is the head of the TGA by way of his being in charge of the Health Regulations Product Group which is responsible for the TGA. This is just blatant misrepresentation and buck passing. 

3) To claim there is nothing wrong with Skerritt going to work for the peak Pharmaceutical body just after being head of the TGA is a joke. He will know all the loopholes to use to avoid thorough testing. Given the number of lies he has told in Senate estimates and his callous disregard of the vaccine injured he is the last person and respectable or responsible company would employ. The fact that Big Pharma employed him just goes to show they value his duplicity and callous character in order to push their own nefarious agenda.

Community Affairs Legislation Committee
15/02/2024
Estimates
HEALTH AND AGED CARE PORTFOLIO
Department of Health and Aged Care

Senator RENNICK: Okay. Professor Skerritt has now moved on to work for Medicines Australia. Is there an issue with regard to a bureaucrat moving into the private sector so quickly after effectively being paid by big pharma through the TGA? Is there also a conflict with the TGA approving medicines/drugs and then also being responsible for looking at the injuries of those medicines/drugs, given that they might not want to acknowledge that they might have missed something in the actual approval process?

Prof. Lawler : Thanks for the question.

Senator RENNICK: It’s not really a question for you, because you work for the TGA, so you’re clearly conflicted as it is.

Prof. Lawler : I work for the department.

Senator RENNICK: TGA is later tonight. TGA report to the health department, so it’s a question for the health department.

CHAIR: Professor Lawler, please respond.

Prof. Lawler : If I could just be clear on the last point: I don’t work for the TGA. I’m a deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care. The TGA is one of the areas under my responsibility.

Senator RENNICK: Okay, fine. I apologise.

CHAIR: I need to rotate the call.

Senator RENNICK: Are we going to answer that question first?

Mr Comley : I think we’ve covered this issue of the conflict of interest or lack of conflict of interest of Professor Skerritt. There are guidelines about what a former public servant can do in a lobbying capacity. There is no prohibition on a public servant moving into an area in which they have expertise in the private sector.

Senator RENNICK: What about the conflict of interest?

CHAIR: Senator Roberts covered this before.

Senator RENNICK: I’ll pick up where Senator Roberts was corrected before.

CHAIR: This is your last question, Senator Rennick.

Senator RENNICK: Professor Skerritt clearly said in this room that the lipids in the vaccines were the same as the lipids in a steak. That is not true. In their own TGA report, they say that these lipids are novel lipids. They are positively charged lipids. I’m happy to table this document. Positively charged lipids are toxic to the body. That was never made clear by Professor Skerritt two years ago, when I raised that issue. There were comments made before about not being able to comment on his performance. As senators, we are in a house of review and we are able to comment on the performance of bureaucrats. I’ll leave that as a comment.

CHAIR: This isn’t really the forum for comments, Senator Rennick, so I do ask that next time you have the call you direct things as questions to witnesses at the table—

Senator RENNICK: I’m more than happy to, Chair.

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