FIRST WITH THE WORST: VEXNEWS goes off like a bomb as senior Minister accused of spying on his neighbours

RDRMinister for Manufacturing Richard Dalla Riva gave a very unorthodox denial in Parliament today of allegations first published by VEXNEWS nearly two years ago that he had used Police databases to spy on his neighbours.

Having failed to specifically deny the proposition in Question Time, he made a personal explanation in the Legislative Council were he explained at length that he and his then pregnant wife were working in very dangerous roles in the National Crime Authority and Australian Protective Service counter-terrorism unit respectively. We don’t dispute that many brave and heroic people in law enforcement put their lives on the line to protect all of us and we thank them all for doing that.

He claims that in 1993 two letter-box bombs were detonated at his home.

This all sounded to MP’s on both sides like it was giving the context for why he did these searches.

It might be easier for everyone if he just told the whole story. The truth – the whole truth – might set him free. As Watergate taught the political savants amongst us, it can very often be the cover-up that kills you.

But then – according to the ABC – he denied “illegally or inappropriately accessing the Police database”.

So despite a day of heavy-duty questioning, we’re still left with half-denials, obfuscation and semantics. Did he spy on his neighbours or not?

If this was justified by an investigation, then why not clearly say it?

If it was justified in any respect, who did the searches and in what circumstances? He didn’t work for Vic Pol but did he have direct or indirect access?

Did he then discuss the result of these searches with other people, family members, staff, neighbours, friends, real estate agents or any other person? If so, was that a legitimate thing to do?

All this was a long time ago. A time when the public standards about the use of databases was different from what it is right now.

But the standards in public life are very harsh and very high.

And the unanswered questions are many. He says he felt danger after letter-bombs were sent to his premises in 1993. But VEXNEWS reported that he moved into the property in 1991 and that we understand these searches occurred prior to him moving into the house in Balwyn, which he says was purchased in 1987. The devil’s in the detail.

Despite his insistence, we haven’t defamed the Minister, in fact, he actually seems like quite a decent bloke from what we hear. His dislike for Ted Baillieu is enough to win him many friends from the terrified Tory ranks, still cowering from the might of the “Star Chamber” and imminent factional hostilities over things like Helen Kroger’s Senate preselection.

He might not want to – or even feel at liberty to – explain himself fully.

But he will inevitably have to do so. That is the world he lives in and the life he has chosen. Scrutiny of everything, however inconvenient or unfair. Made even more ridiculous by his government’s own policies.

His government is about to institute an Independent Commission Against Corruption, which will apparently be equipped to dig in to ancient matters like this and force all sorts of witnesses, former staff, colleagues, neighbours, even Mr Dalla-Riva’s spouse into public hearings to give evidence on the matter.

It might be easier for everyone if he just told the whole story. The truth – the whole truth – might set him free. As Watergate taught the political savants amongst us, it can very often be the cover-up that kills you.



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19 responses to “FIRST WITH THE WORST: VEXNEWS goes off like a bomb as senior Minister accused of spying on his neighbours

  1. Control of both houses = double jepardy

    The minister for manufacturing excuses makes the brotherhood look harmless.

  2. Brimbank Party hack

    Chicken stuff.What is needed is a top shelf Royal Commission into the Vic Branch Stacking Party,with the likes of Hakki,justin and a few other Crooks shafting this State and the Membership of this once proud Party.

  3. Blah Blah

    1993 eh. Long before the LEAP database scandals (first brought to you by Andre Hairdryer no less).

    Without knowing what RDR really did or didn’t do, it was not a hanging offence back then to use the database in such a manner. Part of police culture (even if wrong).

    Times change, what the rozzers did in my youth would have them in court today… but many a youth were “diverted” quite effectively onto the straight and narrow.

  4. RDR

    Those two female journos in the photo can txt me – wld b hot

  5. RDR

    The young girls love a man who can cry, maybe they will let me ‘drive’ them home.

  6. Bazza

    RDR be careful the two females reporters might be Swedish!

  7. Boedica

    What a little sook! Della Riva must think we have short memories..because not only is this old news…his personal peccadiloes with young Lib lasses is also out he going to have a sook about that too?

  8. Anonymous


  9. Giuseppe De Simone

    Reading this story, there is no allegation that any Liberal Minister has accessed the police database inappropriately while a Minister. If access did occur, it was before he was even an MP, when he was working as a law enforcement officer. In such circumstances, if access was done in the normal course of investigating a crime (and it is clear a crime was committed), the issue becomes one of whether the access was justified in the proper exercise of investigative discretion or was clearly an abuse for private benefit. Given this happened so long ago, there does not seem to be any question of disclosure of the true circumstances affecting a current police investigation so there is some merit in full disclosure of the facts and circumstances. It may give the public and the parliamentarians (who pass such laws) an insight into how these databases really work in practice. Unfortunately, there are now questions of credibility involved as it has become a political guagmire. Sometimes that is the price politicians must pay for a vigilant press and a relatively open democracy.

  10. Anonymous

    Brimbank party hack when IBAC starts will launch into Andrew Lappos, Tony Peng & Seitz and co stackers for Marlene K & Telmo paid by taxpayers of Vic.

  11. ansteybranchopolous

    And ElHabid

  12. kermit

    Shit news must be hard to get if this is so important.He wasnt a Minister in power unlike Hulls and Madden who had access to all levels of power.Throw in Holding Bracks Thwaites and Brumby and the De-sal plant and you have a story.Who knew what and what were the secret deals done.

  13. ansteybranchopolous

    Madden is dead meat

  14. surprise surprise

    RDR is also a Freemason. Shock horror!

  15. Pot Stirrer

    Who cares

  16. Anonymous

    Dalla Rivas questioning and unearthing is a witch hunt without substance. He is an ex cop. Maybe he just cant devulge surveillance stuff which protected his family. Move on everyone……There is so much more that we need this new government to implement and sustain! Aaaaah, how about Michael O’Brien – chief of staff appointed? mmmmmmh…other ministerial staff appointed? mmmmmmh……cattle men in the highlands… there is an interesting one…quick to happen?? Political donation pay back? Helping your Lib cronies Premier? What’s going on with public transport? Nothing, nulla , zero there on the media or information front. When are the Libs going to give us something to be grateful or happy for putting them to run this state? Actually, NO they are not running the State! They are still enjoying their win and trying to work it out with dictator atitude!! Come on Ted, Labor didn’t put this economy into such a huge grave where you don’t know where to start??! Really, the libs can’t find themselves, direction and clearly from the last 2 sitting weeks have a load of problems within their own party. Dysfunctional……shall we start with the Speaker….. Ken Smith?! He is out of terms with the Premier. So is the President. And as stated so is Dalla riva….how many more? Great for public confidence! There is only one small group that seems to be operating for this state and it is deadly…’the star chamber’. Crikey!! That just means Ted, Georgiou and Kapel working in a bubble…..the rest of the libs are out at sea or out on a limb!!

  17. Brimbank Party hack

    @Anonymous: Thanks for letting me know.Now i know why I have trouble at night getting to sleep.What have those bastarts have on me?

  18. anon

    RDR is a vile unethical pig, first it’s his sleezy immoral move on a teenage girl now this – why do we have to suffer such slime balls in Parliament?

  19. Pot Stirrer,

    1-How can the former Scrutiny of Government shadow honestly campaign for transparency and openness in Government, as a member of a “fraternity” that can hardly be described as transparent or open? Isn’t that why they call it a “secret organisation”? If it is NOT a secret organisation, then why has he not disclosed his membership? Is he not a proud member?

    2- Dalla Riva also rocks up to a group called “Christians in Parliament”, that includes prominent Feds Cory Bernadi and Kevin Andrews. And good on them. However I’m pretty sure most Christians (indeed most world religions) regard Masonry with suspicion and contempt. Maybe it’s to do with their quasi-occultic rituals?

    These are not the rantings of a conspiracy theorist loon, no more that Gerard Henderson saw fit query in The Age in 2002 the organisation’s “shadowy history” in Australian politics (noting its historical influence, prominent Prime Ministerial members etc) See

    Reasonable questions.

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