This time it’s the Greek Orthodox Church.
It received $71 million of federal funding for its fifteen aged nursing homes over the last eight years.
The Church charges for it’s care from families and then charges rent from each of the homes.
The rent totaled close to $30 million over the same period, which according to both a council rates valuation and one of the state’s most senior commercial real estate agents is more than double the market rate.
Most of the homes have reported operating losses.
Then came the most lethal localised outbreak of C19 in Australia that killed 40 patients out of 120 in one of the homes.
Subsequent investigation demanded by bereaved families revealed substandard levels of care and administration, including inadequate and unhealthy food (no vegetables), improper hygiene practices, and appalling waste disposal management.
Twenty-five families are currently suing the Church and the homes for neglect.
Archbishop Makarios and the Diocese repeatedly refuse and avoid comment on these matters.
Makarios was appointed in 2019 and from the very start attracted criticism from parishioners for his extravagant tastes. Until recently both Makarios and the Diocese simply denied he was living in a luxury $6.5 million harbourside apartment with views of the Bridge, Opera House, and Harbour, but were forced to admit the truth when the Archbishop’s window-darkened luxury car (licence plate ARCHBM) had been witnessed and filmed continually entering and leaving the apartment complex over a period of months.
Makarios also demanded several sumptuous gold-threaded vestments each valued at around $30,000. In contrast, the previous Archbishop Stylanios favoured his vow of poverty and the usual inexpensive plain black cotton outfits.
Of course, the Federal Minister for Aged Care Services, one Richard Colbeck (who is also now current Minister for Sport and Recreation - replacing the former minister who was disgraced in a recent billion-dollar pork-barreling scandal - Jesus - when will these dishonest bastards ever stop?), a long term party stalwart, has managed to artfully dodge criticism and condemnation to keep his job (and pick up the second portfolio). The federal funding to the church will continue because the Liberals are fearful of losing ever-increasing numbers of votes in the upcoming election and in this case from the conservative Greek Orthodox community.
So the usual suspects, church and state, are co-joined in a dishonest misappropriation of taxpayer funds, all made possible by the lies and calls for trust from one man who made a solemn vow of poverty to his god and another who made a pledge based on this nation’s Constitution to serve all Australians and their interests.
Colbeck is simply a politician. Pity any who would put trust in them. He can be removed by a vote.
Makarios is the real villain here. He should face time in prison for his baseless claims to being a spiritual leader in view of his love of materialism. But it is not likely that he will never have to face a courtroom, so what else can be done with these "Elmer Gantry"s?