Queensland chief scientist Professor Suzanne Miller sidelined over fraud charges

Breaking News:

From the “trust me, I’m a scientist department” comes this story from soon-to-be-50%-renewables Queensland. 

By Peter Campion

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Photo: Professor Miller was appointed to the role of chief scientist in December 2016. (Supplied: Tom Greenard)

The Australian ABC is reporting that Professor Suzanne Miller has been stood aside as Queensland’s chief scientist after being charged with fraud by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

The ABC report (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-25/qld-chief-scientist-suzanne-miller-stood-aside-fraud-charges/8740680) says,

“Professor Miller, who is also the CEO and director of the Queensland Museum Network, is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates court on August 8. Bail conditions include that Professor Miller must surrender her UK and Australian passports.”

So has Australia snuck in an equivalent of the US’ pending Honest Act?  No such luck as it happens.  It’s just a simple insurance fraud matter.  The ABC again,

“Court documents state between February 1, 2014 and July 24, 2017, Suzanne Miller dishonestly gained approximately $45,000 in benefit for namely herself using private health insurance of the Queensland Museum.”

Nonetheless Queensland authorities are taking no chances and are protecting against the possibility of the accused interfering with the evidence or with witnesses.

“Professor Miller must also not attend the museum or contact past or present museum staff, board members, employees of the Corporate Administration Agency, or contact any witnesses or potential witnesses.”

Where is the trust, you ask?  Well, it seems it can still be found in some quarters.  The Queensland Science Minister Leeanne Enoch praised Professor Miller’s work in the role, saying,

“The chief scientist has a very important role in Queensland and she has been incredibly successful in terms of putting science front and centre, not just in Queensland but in Australia.”

Colour me sceptical, but shouldn’t the role of “chief scientist” only go to someone with impeccable credentials, excellent character and the highest ethical standards?  How does it come to pass that our legislators were drawing policy advice from someone who has been charged with fraud?  And why are they still showing support for her work?

Are our politicians cognizant of the fact that a person who is prepared to defraud a health insurer may also be prepared to engage in fraudulent activity in any field with which they are involved?  Surely the sensible thing to do would be to halt any policy roll-out based on this chief scientist’s advice until it has been thoroughly reviewed by a “red team”.  No such plans were reported.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk did not even know if the chief scientist was suspended with full pay, saying,

“I’d have to check with the director-general but she has definitely been stood aside pending the outcomes of this investigation.”

Poor fella, my country!  They say you get the politicians you deserve, but I’ve no idea what we’ve done to deserve the mob we have.

Queensland’s old advertising catchline needs updating – “Queensland; beautiful one day, perfect buggered the next”.

Author: Peter Campion, co-founder of the Relaxivism movement

Read the full article here:

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90 thoughts on “Queensland chief scientist Professor Suzanne Miller sidelined over fraud charges

      • And greenhouse gases have what to do with catastrophic anthropengenic global warming? Sorry Steve, don’t see your point in championing a project entirely derived from tax payer dollars in relation to ‘saving’ our planet.

      • The only farms that are not “solar” are the ones where they grow mushrooms.

        “While sunlight provides an energy source for plants, mushrooms derive all of their energy and growth materials from their growth medium, through biochemical decomposition processes”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungiculture

      • yeah?
        whats the cost TO the taxpayers to get it setup and ongoing though
        compared to actual output?

      • Cheaper possibly for that council’s constituents as long as the scam lasts, but more expensive for all other customers who have to pay the subsidies due this council. They would not be saving any money if it weren’t for the subsidies that others have to pay. It’s kind of like a multi-level marketing scam that can be very lucrative for the initial participants, but sucks the money out of the masses below them in the pyramid.

      • And under the cover of darkness they secretly tap into the evil fossil fuel powered grid.

      • Poor Steve! Installed cost of the farm is $3.33/watt. Combined cycle gas turbine is $0.95/watt. Even if you used 15 x 1MW diesel generators running 12/hours a day and fuel at $3/gal you’d save MORE money.

      • COASTAL SOLAR PLANT. They are NOT farms, I don’t care how many excuses and convoluted answers I get, the fact is they are not farms. They are INDUSTRIAL power plants. Industrial.

      • Great news for manufacturers of home generators and auto inverter kits.

        My favorite part of the article is where they claimed it will save $22M over the next 20 years, but didn’t say how much it costed, or will continue to cost.

      • This blurb is likely to be nothing but hot air. The claimed savings to rate payers are unlikely to materialise. Electricity from solar panels is considerably more expensive than that generated from coal, given a level playing field. This is an inescapable fact of life. It can not possibly deliver cheaper electricity to the locals without the involvement of some kind of subsidy. For a start it only delivers power during daylight hours, and that varies in strength throughout the day, with power being only half as much 2 hours either side of midday, as it is at midday. What happens at night? Have they got battery storage? If they have that on its own adds a lot of cost. I would say this is a vanity project, and there is a possibility that the worthy councillors have been misled by the slick solar industry salesmen as to the real capability of the installation.

    • Perhaps the greatest hoax of all is that it is very likely that our abundant reserves of mineral oil are a product of naturally occurring geological processes and are thus “renewable”. The notion that we are running out of oil is easily disproven by its low price per barrel. The concept that we have been burning fossils in engines and driving on bitumen made from squashed dinosaurs is for those who also believe the moon is made of cheese.

  1. She figured she could diddle with insurance numbers the same as she does climate numbers for her benefit. At this time Climate diddling is not a crime…

      • Nick,

        “Queensland chief scientist Suzanne Miller sidelined over fraud charges”.

        “Miller, who is also the CEO and director of the Queensland Museum Network”.

        She wasn’t only a museum director.

      • Dishonesty in “small” things indicates a propensity for dishonesty in larger things. This woman is supposed to be a scientist of impeccable standing, a woman who is supposed to give trustworthy scientific advice to my state government, including on “climate” matters. That she appears to be (allegedly) dishonest to the tune of $45,000 (not such a small matter) does not bode well for her honesty in matters relating to her scientific advisory role. That’s the issue here.

      • Either way, Nick, it sure undermines the good old “appeal to authority” play when we discover a member of our elite intelligentsia might be just as imperfect as any other human.

      • She’s a “Chief Scientist” and also a geologist. In most countries that makes her eminently qualified to pontificate on climate, doesn’t it?

        If an actress, an aging fashion designer, an ex-cartoonist wirh dubious dress sense, a psychiatrist, amongst several hundred other mysteriously relevant qualifications, can be climate experts surely we must pay heed to the pronouncements of geologists and museum directors.

      • Nick Stokes has a point. Why would she have to diddle climate numbers when she can make direct reference to the pre-diddled climate numbers generated by the CSIRO and the Australian BOM?

      • But you have proven how well we can trust what you say Nick. Wonder why you stick up for her? The wall is crumbling, brick by brick. How funny.

      • I have never met a single geologist who was a climate alarmist. All of them, 100% in my experience, believe that the CAGW narrative is over-the-top alarmism.

        Every geologist knows far too much about the Earth to believe that increasing CO2 concentration from 300 to 2000 ppm would cause any ‘runaway’ warming or anything else negative. It is the normal condition of this planet and the fact is, the next ice age could pull the concentration below the level at which most plants can survive. Without mankind and industrial development, the plant live was doomed.

        Just because one is possibly involved in collecting insurance twice instead of once, does not mean their understanding of geology flies out the window.

        Let’s look at the record of advice rendered, not insurance claims. Stop piling on the rabbit.

      • Brett Keane
        “Wonder why you stick up for her?”
        I simply pointed out that she’s not a climate scientist. You may think that is high praise – to me, it’s just a fact that seems to need pointing out.

  2. Whether its the big fraud currently destroying affordable energy in western nations or small fraud it seems it’s all the same to some people.

      • if it’s anything like other solar farms I’ve looked at, no it’s not. The US army famously spent $100 million on a solar farm that would produce $1 million a year in electricity. That’s typical. While cost of panels has gone down, the installation and land costs alone will typically exceed the value of the electricity produced. This is costing lots of money

      • Too fracking funny! The Sun Coast Council just forced its taxpayers to pay for the council’s electricity 20 years in advance!

        The 15 MW installation will only generate enough electricity to cover the council’s consumption.

        The solar farm cost $50,000 AUD (~ $40,000 USD). You could have built 45 MW of gas-fired capacity at the same cost.

        On its first day in service, it only generated 14,280 kWh… A 4% capacity factor! Was it cloudy that day? Or did they wait till dusk to switch it on?

        So far, the taxpayers have paid $3,500/kWh (AUD) for thus piece of greenschist… That’s $2,800/kWh (USD). That price will come down over time… assuming it keeps working.

        https://solarfarm.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/

      • Several years ago the Veterans Administration in Oklahoma City, USA installed solar panels to cut utility costs. The pay back period was about 40 years which is never.

      • Steve is repeating himself. He must think he is Goebbels, employing the “Big Lie” technique.

      • “This” is a waste of money, taxpayer theft and a extremely poor way to generate energy. It probably looks like magic to the unscientific, faith-based followers, but it’s not about generating energy. It’s about getting rich off taxpayers while damaging the earth. It makes coal mining and usage look absolutely benign.

      • steve, the only money it ‘saves’ is the what the LRET certificates offer in terms of a direct subsidy.

        no LRET, no savings, just a waste of space. it may be a nice way for the council to screw money out of the federal government to pay for its power usage, but in the end the technology is expensive and backwards and everyone pays more. spread the pain? sure, why not. in their cost analysis they should include cost of backup generation (night time power), the comparison to baseload coal makes the document a typical piece of green trash we see produced for every government department these days.

  3. We have seen other “scientists” who were politically correct and acquiescent to those with power and to those with money. Most of them wiggle out of trouble because of their leftist work of twisting science to support false claims of climate change. But insurance fraud? Insurance companies are loath to let anyone get away with fraud knowing that leniency only sets the stage for more fraud.

    • 50% renewables is the official government target.

      http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/6/5/palaszczuk-government-powers-up-an-energy-and-jobs-bonanza

      See the seventh point in the “Powering Queensland Plan”. (My numbering; they’re dot points in the original.)

      1. Provide electricity price relief by investing $770m to cover the cost of the Solar Bonus Scheme
      2. Restart Stanwell Corporation’s 385 megawatt (MW) Swanbank E gas-fired power station
      3. Direct Stanwell Corporation to undertake strategies to place downward pressure on wholesale prices
      4. Investigate the restructure of the Government owned Corporation generators and potential establishment of ‘CleanCo’
      5.Deliver a $386m Powering North Queensland Plan to strengthen and diversify the north’s energy supply
      6. Establish Queensland Energy Security Taskforce which will implement outcomes of the Finkel Review which are accepted by Queensland, among other actions
      7. Confirm the government’s commitment to a 50 per cent renewable energy target
      8. Undertake a reverse auction for up to 400MW of renewable energy, including 100MW of energy storage
      9. Improve large-scale project facilitation, planning and network connections
      10. Implement the Queensland Gas Action Plan
      11. Continue to advocate for stable, integrated national climate and energy policies

    • They’ve got a long way to go then, looking at those figures. It boggles the mind that these labor politicians can come up with such rot, and even seem to believe it themselves.

  4. @Steve: So the large solar farm produces electricity during sunlight hours, what happens then?

    Conventional generators kick in to power the gap – the night time issue.

    Now Steve, this is the tricky part as it involves real money.

    If you payed for and built a 24×4 conventional power station, you would factor into your calculations perhaps, 95% production of electricity. (5% for maintenance etc)

    Then dorks come along and say you do not need to generate power during the day time ‘cos we have created a law that forces people to buy renewable when it’s available.

    Now the tricky part, the owners of the conventional power station paid for 24×7 operation, 24×7 interest on loans, 24×7 on staff costs etc etc.

    Now they only get half the income.

    What do you think will happen Steve?

    Do you think the conventional generator company will go bust because it is no longer profitable?

    Yes.

    Do you think your shiny new panels will work after dark?

    No.

    What will happen now, not in 100 years when batteries may be up to the job?

    In the UK the stupid greens are now suggesting that conventional generators should get paid a subsidy to keep them ‘ticking over’.

    You could not make this stuff up.

    In 50 years time people will be laughing at the stupid greens once all of this nonsense is out of our system……

    • We’ll all be too busy scrounging for scraps to eat and something to burn for heat to be laughing very much!

      • Yes, the “goal” to save the planet seems to involve destroying the human race or reducing it to small, wide-spread tribes living like the cave men did. All this talk of “doing for your children and grandchildren”. These people must not like their children much.

      • Johyn H
        Are you not stockpiling printed watermelon manifestoes, to pass to your Heirs and Assigns, in case just that scenario is left to us – by well-meaning folk, who might, possibly express a smidgen of regret (if not actual remorse) that it turned out so poorly?

        Auto

  5. Slight pedantic quibble:
    Since this is a blog (Mostly) about climate and the such, shouldn’t the headline include”Insurance” so there is absolutely NO chance anyone would think the professor was involved in climate fraud??

  6. Its a pity this was published.
    In Australia people are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law with due process.
    There are notable exceptions, particularly Catholic Cardinals.
    We don’t know what happened in her case.
    I don’t know what advice she gave to the SA government on the environment, but I doubt she told them to build more windmills and batteries.
    She is a geologist after all.
    This site has been best when discussing data,not polemics and the foibles of life.

    • If your butler is charged with stealing a car on his day off, Lewis, do you still trust him to count and polish your gold coins?

      • Just on the foibles of life.
        One ‘coin’ story’relates to such a person who had a butler and rare coins and asked his butler to ‘clean the silver’ in his absence.
        The butler did so assiduously and managed to efface all his silver coins, making them worthless.
        My point is that this site has become more of one that discusses persons rather than ideas, facts and so forth.
        Things seem to be hotting up in the US.
        I am the first to point out the dichotomy in climate predictions and results.
        Have a look at tips and notes, which I frequent.
        However alleged insurance fraud is something best left to sober judgement, not that of the crowd.
        In Australia the horse, however has bolted.
        I note Alan Jones has reported this already this morning.
        For all I know she could be innocent or framed.

        Reply: I’ll take some of the blame for this one. It was a marginal choice~ctm

      • I hear you, Lewis, and I agree with much of what you say.

        Nonetheless, this was not a minor scientist working for private enterprise – which would have been of no interest. No, this is Queensland’s “chief scientist”, paid (no doubt handsomely) from the public coffers of a heavily-indebted state. It would be expected that the chief scientist advises on all manner of government policy formulation, including climate change (which has the potential to completely wreck our economy for zero net gain). Such a person should be beyond reproach and completely trustworthy in every area of their life.

        This is of interest because those of us who lack high-level scientific training and experience are asked to “trust” in our elite intelligentsia, to effectively place our future in their hands. Yet here we have someone who should be entirely trustworthy who has, rightly or wrongly, become embroiled in a trust-related issue that has seen fraud charges laid. The CCC is usually loathe to proceed with charges against public figures, especially those who are are reputationally-linked to the ruling classes’ favoured ideology.

        Regardless of a public figure’s previous reputation, once they are charged with fraud in any area of their life it is an indication that their work for the public should be checked. This does not appear to be under consideration, yet it should be a matter of automatic due diligence.

        This story is not relevant because of the charge itself but because of the position held by the person who was charged.

      • Thanks Peter, I see where you are coming from.
        I found the article in the Qld Courier Mail this morning and looked up her Bio.
        After that I decided not to put it in Tips and Notes.
        She looked like a hard working person with interest in science.
        Just because she sat on a committee on the environment in SA does not mean she is a doomed catastrophist.
        She could have bailed from SA, just to leave the ship before it sank.
        Just as a side note, as this is a scientific site.
        One usually does not have to polish gold, because it is a noble metal and seldom tarnishes.
        Although I like the analogy.

    • This site has been best when discussing data,not polemics and the foibles of life.

      Say what? I disagree.
      Data is sometimes discussed and sometimes interesting. Other sites, such as Climate Audit, have discussed the data in great detail. Statistical knowledge is required.
      Would you have all discussion of Al Gore’s antics banned from this site?
      How about Tim ‘it will never rain again’ Flannery?
      Then there is the Union of Concerned Scientists having Kenji (cute dog) as a member?
      Was it wrong to cover the hearing when Aaron Mair, Sierra Club President, was reduced to stammering and frequent awkward pauses which he used to receive whispered advice from staff?

      These sorts of things are important, perhaps more so than data, in showing what a sham the CAGW bandwagon is.
      I do agree this woman should be considered “innocent until found guilty in a court of law.” It doesn’t mean a person accused of fraud should not be discussed, and being “chief scientist” in a state with climate related issues is a strong reason for WUWT to cover the story.

    • The article seems to be about the “trust us, we’re scientists” mantra. If scientists are such saints that we must trust them implicitly, being charged with insurance fraud does call that into question. It would have been best to wait for a conviction, but rarely are charges such as these brought without mountains of evidence in the form of a paper trail (at least in the US). Perhaps a convicted scientist would have been a better example.

  7. What was the cost to build this facility? David Middleton quoted $50,000. That does not sound possible. A dozen panels would cost that.

    • How much will the solar farm cost?

      The project will cost $50.4 million, with the key components including the contracted design and build cost ($37.5m), site related costs ($4.3m), the Energex connection ($2.5m), approvals and consultancies ($2.7m), a Research and Development/Visitor Centre ($1m) and buffering works ($0.5m).

      https://d1j8a4bqwzee3.cloudfront.net/~/media/Corporate/Documents/Environment/Solarfarm/solarfarmfaqs.pdf?la=en

      $50 million AUD ~ $40 million USD. About $2.67 million/MW. That’s not unreasonable.

      What is unreasonable is claiming that this will save taxpayers money. At a 7% (real world) discount rate, the taxpayers are just paying for the council’s electricity 30 years in advance.

      In the oil industry, future revenue from *proved* reserves is discounted at a rate of 10% (PV10). The net present value (NPV) of this $40 million “investment” at a 10% discount rate (PV10) is $22 million.

  8. The way “science” works today, the government pays for all aspects of science. Since the government is going to lie to you about everything, both large and small, one should expect that today’s “scientists” are every bit as honest as the politicians you vote for.

    This story is just one more data point in the on going fraud called modern “science”. (they can wear all the white coats they want, but that don’t make them honest)

    Disclaimer: Yes, any generalization is not totally correct. There are a few honest men and women in “science” just as there are black swans.

    • I think of this when looking at the wealthy running ripshod over the population. The rich tend to be selfish and nasty, always going for more money. They care about themselves alone. However, there is one very wealthy person where I live who is genuinely caring, generous in money and time. I was thinking about the rich and their behavior recently (having been bulldozed over by wind companies) and she was the only rich person I could come up with who actually demonstrated caring for others. She’s an outliers, definately. Generalizations do have exceptions, but often the generalizations are very accurate.

  9. If this was a US State, typically $45000 would be a rounding error in a major budget item.The principle seems to be impunity for loyal party members illegality, both in Australia and the US.

    • This is a matter of personal fraud, not institutional. The powers-that-be notice that sort of thing when it’s at that level.

  10. I somehow doubt being allegedly involved in a $45,000 insurance “scam” would even make the local papers in the US. I thought everything in Oz was big? Sort of like Texas on steroids?

    This is news? Do the names Mike Mann and Phil Jones ring any bells?

    • I, for one, believe it Mann or Jones were charged with personal insurance fraud to the tune of $45,000, it would make the US papers.

  11. This is insurance fraud, not climate science fraud. I’m not one to defend fraud of any kind, but I do believe that it is possible for a scientist to separate fraud in one area from fraud in another area.

    I’d like to know the circumstances that motivated her to acquire that money. Was she struggling somehow? Was there a financial crisis? Was she underpaid? Under compensated? I just need more details, before condemning her outright.

    It seems that Pres. Trump might have been into some fraudulent dealings in areas unrelated to his climate polices, and yet he seems dedicated to his objectives in this area, and everybody who questions human effects hold him in high esteem in this regard.

    Digging up dirt and dirtying up everything about a person because of this specific dirt is something that I try to avoid. Maybe she could apply her savvy in defrauding the insurance industry to somehow undermining fraud in the area of climate science. I don’t know what her stance is in the area of climate, but, if she were anti-Catastrophic-Human-Caused-Climate-Change, then she might be able to help in a “creative” way.

    Sorry, but I have to play devil’s advocate on this one.

    • I’m puzzled about what she did exactly.

      A CCC spokesman clarified the allegations related to “the conditions of the woman’s employment contract not the making of a claim against her health insurance fund.” link

      Could it just be a contract dispute?

      • Yes, not clear but it seems that she said she was eligible for free medical insurance through the museum when she may not have been (said she was there on a visa when she had become an Australian citizen apparently, although I can’t find that reference now). She does not seem to have made a claim against that insurance. So the charge seems to be that she avoiding paying the premiums herself.

    • Agreed, Robert. How one treats insurance claims does not alter advice on ‘climate’ issues. We so far know nothing about how she advised on climate issues. Basically the topic is “backbiting”.

      Do we need to stoop so low? Let’s get on with the problems of advocating 50% renewables in Queensland where those renewables are not hydro that runs 24/7. What is her advice on that subject?

      The rest is literally noise.

    • RK

      Using your logic, I’m assuming you’d be comfortable hiring a drug gang killer to baby-sit your child…

  12. Peter Campion: “Colour me sceptical, but shouldn’t the role of “chief scientist” only go to someone with impeccable credentials, excellent character and the highest ethical standards?”

    Yes, but obviously, money is more important to them than ethical standards of the scientific method and data.

  13. Poor cow – this thing seems even more bizarre than Climate Science.

    She defrauded the health insurance company of 45K

    45K don’t get a lot of health – was it a claim to get 2 pimples removed from her arse when she only had one?
    That would cover it. (The medical bill, not the pimple or her arse)
    Wasn’t it the insurance company’s look out to check the legitimacy of any incoming claims and if they do do their checks and pay out, then that is that.
    End

    You can shag me senseless with a six foot shagging stick if the lawyer’s bill isn’t already 10 times that amount already.
    Have they not got anything better to do in Australia?
    Maybe build a desalination plant or put up a few sunshine panels.

    Wait…

    Crosses visit to Aus off ‘Must Do B4 I Die Bucket List’

    • Yeah, 45k isn’t much – only one-third the price of a new Tesla electric car. Peanuts really.

  14. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, in my eyes at least. The court of public opinion is ugly.

    • The court of public opinion is indeed ugly, Paul, and it has smeared and harassed innocent sceptics at every level. When those who self-identify as beyond reproach (trust me, I’m a chief scientist) fall face-first in the mud of a nationally-publicized criminal charge it is only logical to rush over and have a good long look at them and to tell your mates what’s happening.

      • Sorry Peter, but I treat everyone the same in this regard, friend and foe alike, otherwise I’d be no better than those hypocrites that I despise. I will not revel in other’s misery and I will not be quick to judge them guilty before all the facts have been weighed.

  15. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk did not even know if the chief scientist was suspended with full pay, saying, “I’d have to check with the director-general but she has definitely been stood aside pending the outcomes of this investigation.”

    Quick translation: Yes, she’s being paid. Second, the investigation is simply a dog and pony show until she’s reinstated.
    Can anyone say: ‘Phil Jones’?

    The psychology is so predictable – ends justify the means, so never question the ends.
    I doubt that last part even occurs to them.
    And it seems like pretty much a universal policy across the entire Progressive Left.

  16. Everyone has the right to a fair trial . Let’s see what she has to say .
    If guilty she has a much bigger problem than $45,000 .

  17. Your politicians like ours heap prestige on useful idiots, stooges, and frauds. Mutual scumbagism. I am not surprised and neither are you.

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