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Corruption – Corruption – Corruption. The Coalition is in deep trouble. The case for a National Anti – Corruption Body.

Saturday 4 August 2018

There have been calls for a National Anti Corruption body for some time now but there has always been reluctance, mainly by politicians, to subscribe. The Greens have been onside, the Conservatives cannot see the reason for having one and Labor have recently declared an Anti-Corruption Body to be official party policy.

The reluctance of the conservatives is understandable because they are embroiled in so much corruption that it would make your hair stand on end. Well, not mine.

No, I’m not forgetting the corruption of Eddie Obeid. It combined with other scandals overwhelmingly presents the case for a national body.

What is corruption?

In general, corruption is a “form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit.”

There was a time when a suggestion that Australia, or indeed its citizens were corrupt, would be treated with disdain. You might accuse other countries of being corrupt but certainly not Australia.

Somewhere along the way, we learnt that greed was good and in all manner of ways, money meant power and money corrupted. And so like rust corruption spread itself in its many guises throughout the community. Throughout business, throughout religion, sport, politics and the media.

The stench of the corruption is so bad that I would be justified in saying that initially, we need more than just a National Anti-Corruption body. In some instances, Royal Commissions would be completely in order to precede the setting up of a permanent body.

As I will demonstrate with the words that follow Australia is inundated with political corruption of the conservative’s creation.

1 When Malcolm Turnbull took over the Prime Ministership Barnaby Joyce took over the water portfolio. It was part of Turnbull’s conditions of employment. The ones the people of Australia were not allowed to see. So much for transparency in government.

After a few too many drinks in a pub in Victoria on the 27 July 2017, Joyce let it all out saying that:

“We have taken water, put it back into agriculture, so we could look after you and make sure we don’t have the greenies running the show basically sending you out the back door, and that was a hard ask,”

“A couple of nights ago on Four Corners, you know what that’s all about? It’s about them trying to take more water off you, trying to create a calamity. A calamity for which the solution is to take more water off you shut more of your towns down.”

Two nights earlier Four Corners had raised allegations of water theft.

In the pub, Joyce said that he had given water back to agriculture through the Murray Darling Basin plan so the “greenies were not running the show”.

His remarks were completely opposite to a press conference where he compared water thieves to cattle and sheep thieves, saying people who broke the law would be dealt with by the proper processes.

From that, you would determine that Joyce himself had broken the law. Later, enquires were held but the terms of reference meant that Joyce would not be accountable.

If the matter had been refereed to a national corruption body he would probably be in goal.

2 Ashbygate: In December 2012 Mr Justice Rare’s found that an attempt was made by James Ashby (now Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff) and others with the express purpose of bring down the Speaker of the House of Representatives and in turn the government. Yes, you read correctly. He said there was a conspiracy to use the legal system to remove a government. Do I need to repeat that or does the reader grasp the seriousness of the judge’s findings? I hate to sound alarmist but when people are found guilty of crimes of this nature you would think it would prompt alarm bells in the community, the media, and dare I say it the AFP.


You would think that after Mal Brough had, on national television, admitted complicity in the affair that some action would take place. But no,

The AFP decided that neither James Ashby nor Mal Brough would be charged over the copying of Peter Slipper’s diary. Then they dropped its investigation.

How the Liberal Party dodged a bullet and how the AFP reached its decision will remain a mystery. The only person to have gotten it right in my view was Justice Rare. And let’s not forget how complicit Christopher Pyne was.

3 How come a small almost undetectable charity by the name of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation was visited by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Environment Department secretary Finn Pratt and offered its Chairman John Schubert $443 million? No tender, nothing.

The company funds climate denial groups and managing director Anna Marsden at a Senate enquiry agreed that climate change was the greatest threat facing the reef. She rejected suggestions that this fact jarred with the membership of the foundation’s “chairman’s panel”, which includes executives from heavy polluters AGL, BHP, Shell and Peabody Energy.

A bit sus you might say. Well, read these tweets. Wouldn’t pass the pub test and is the sort of thing one might refer to an Integrity Commission.

Rob Oakeshott

Want $443 million from Govt in Oz today? 1. Big political donations. 2. Form a group with a fluffy name – Ozn Water, Rain Corp, or even ‘Great Barrier Reef Foundation’ (a group of 55 large energy and banking companies who pay $20k membership) 3. Avoid tenders and go direct to PM.

Craig Emerson

OK, someone has to put a name to this scandal, or it will default to Reefgate

Bernard Keane

So the best part of half a billion was handed to big business pals in a private meeting with no process, no records, and no public servants.

This stinks. And rich indeed from @TurnbullMalcolm who demanded Rudd and Swan resign over faked Utegate allegations.

Kristina Keneally

The Prime Minister’s ‘private meeting’ with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, when he offered them $444m of public funding, was more private than first thought. It now turns out that there were no public servants present. Just Turnbull, Frydenberg & GBRF Chair Dr John Schubert.

Rob Oakeshott again.

Want $443 million from Govt in Oz today? 1. Big political donations. 2. Form a group with a fluffy name – Ozn Water, Rain Corp, or even ‘Great Barrier Reef Foundation’ (a group of 55 large energy and banking companies who pay $20k membership) 3. Avoid tenders and go direct to PM.

This “captains call” looks positively corrupt. I cannot think of any circumstance that would justify it. Come Friday when I scan the morning papers there is nothing to be found on the subject. Well only another tweet from Bernard Keane.

“I’ve administered a Commonwealth grants program. I (briefly) ran a procurement area. I’ve worked on major procurements (Australia Network). I’ve read scores of ANAO reports. The $440m handout to the GBRF is the most egregious case of maladministration I’ve ever heard of.”

David Spencer summed it up nicely with this tweet.

“Absolutely. Imagine if a Labor PM, had given an unsolicited grant of nearly 1/2 billion $, with no transparent process, to a private organisation. The Murdoch press in particular, would be apoplectic, and rightly calling for full disclosure. But this is the LNP, so hardly a peep!”

My view is that giving all this money to a small company who specializes in grants to those who deny climate change, might be a way of securing the votes of those in the Coalition who are prepared to vote against the Energy Guarantee policy.

4 This one concerns the Employment Minister Michaela Cash. Now that the AFP has told the AWU that it was referring the matter of leaking to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, and will formally refer at least one aspect of the investigation to it in coming weeks – meaning criminal charges could be laid.

There was a time when Ministers would resign for much less.

Every time the Minister hears a word with U at the front she seems to get her knickers in a knot.

The raid goes back a decade and concerns a donation the Union made to GetUp!

Cash has repeatedly contended she had nothing to do with any tip-off but it is very strange that the media arrive at these raids before the AFP. It has also happened with other raids of a different nature in the past.

5 Then we have the deplorable case of Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery and former intelligence agent Witness K who are facing prosecution on charges of breaching the Intelligence Services Act five years after details of the operation were initially reported in the media.

At a time when negotiations were taking place with East Timor over rights to oil and gas Australia was spying on them in order to gain an advantage.

That my country should seek to do this makes me sick in the stomach. It’s those who did the bugging that need investigating not the whistleblowers.

All the men involved did was to reveal the truth. Now 5 years later The Turnbull government wants to prosecute the two men where as in fact they should be giving them the order of Australia.

6 John Lloyd is the public service commissioner, appointed by Tony Abbott in 2014. Prior to that, he was a long time member and former director of the Institute of Public Affairs. The institute keeps the funding of its organisation private. Well, one did become known last week with a donation of a cool $5 million from Australia’s richest women.

Lloyd has decided to retire after the release of some emails and a grilling at a Senates Estimates meeting that questioned as to who he was working for.

You can read about it here.

7 Yet another review of the ABC is to be undertaken by former Foxtel head Peter Tonagh. One would think there might be a conflict of interest given he is also involved in a quest for a billion-dollar government contract. He is part of a consortium that includes a friend of the Prime Minister, Scott Biggs, who just happens to be in the race for a Commonwealth government visa-processing contract?

Where is all that transparency Turnbull talks about? It raises the question as to why they should bother tendering when the Great Barrier Reef Foundation didn’t have too.

8 With all this corruption going on the question also arises as to why it has taken years for the Coalition to sort out the what can only be described as a political scandal at its worst. The VET FEE – HELP scheme involving our Government handing out billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money to private Colleges when there was literally no public benefit.

Yet again the government has shown its capacity for corruption.

9 Then we find a person of moderate intellectual capacity, George Christensen, is flying to Japan at the expense of the Minerals Council of Australia to plead for a new coal-fired power station to be built here, at the request of Resources Minister Matt Canavan?. At the very least this is highly inappropriate and yet again demonstrates a Government in Turmoil.

10 Last but not least we need an answer from the Government as to why for two years it held firm against a Royal Commission into the financial sector. We already know that financial advisors acted corruptly for the big banks and that the banks and the government knew about it.

If you are thinking at this stage that I’m making it all up I’m not. I have already written enough about the Governments readiness to use our money to fund Adani and how politically expedient the Nine-Fairfax deal was for the Government.

There was a time in our political history when we could justifiably say in the midst of a discussion about corruption “no, not us” But not under this sleazy lot we can no longer do so. It is time to act.

Back in March 2018 the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur, Michel Forst, delivered a major report following a visit in October 2016.

In the report, he made it clear that he was “astonished” to observe “mounting evidence of regressive measures” being pursued by the government.“ (See link above) and “astounded” with the frequent public vilification by senior public officials” of charities, community groups and democratic institutions critical of the Government

“In February, Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index found that Australia was continuing a steady slide down the scale. Our country ranking had not changed – 13th for three years running – but our score had notably decreased over the last six years. In 2012, Australia scored 85 out of 100, but it had since slipped eight points to a score of 77, down from 79 in 2016. Transparency International’s local chairman, Anthony Whealy QC, told the ABC that Australia’s ranking suggested a failure to deal with serious public sector issues: “These include money laundering, whistleblowing, political donations and the effectiveness of our systems … the Government has simply not faced up to the need to have an independent corruption agency at a national level.” New Zealand topped the rankings, perceived as the least corrupt country in the Asia-Pacific, with a score of 89.

That’s where Australia should be, not third behind the Kiwis and Singapore. It’s time to arrest the slide before it gets any worse.”

And so I rest my case for an Anti-Corruption Body. I’m not fussed about what it might be called so long as it has some balls to investigate matters like the aforementioned.

My thought for the day.

“How utterly dispiriting it is when the hearts and minds of men and women are so utterly corrupted by this virus of political lies, but more demoralising it is that ordinary people catch the same infection.”



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  1. Kaye Lee

    Don’t forget the $30 million to Rupert to show “niche sports”.

    And then there was George Brandis’ 2014 grant to the ballet school so they could buy a $5 million mansion.

    “On the board of the Australian Ballet School is Daniele Kemp, the high-profile wife of former Liberal arts minister Rod Kemp, a predecessor of George Brandis as arts minister. Mr Kemp is now the chairman of the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing lobby group.”

    Or the $12 million to some America/Australia think tank set up by the Murdochs. Lucy Turnbull is the patron and their son-in-law worked there until recently.

  2. John Lord

    I knew I would miss a few. Yes Kaye we still haven’t had an adequate answer on the $30 million to Rupert. We are not talking petty cash this is serious money. The media isn’t even making a fuss about the $443 million.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Not to mention all the jobs for the boys and girls. It’s hard to remember all the dubious dealings but we need to keep reminding each other.

  4. corvus boreus

    Bill Shorten summed up perfectly;

    “The direct involvement of the Prime Minister in this shady brown-bag reef deal looks cynical at best, and clearly demonstrates the obvious need to conduct an immediate clean up of the general state of our parliamentary standards in conduct.
    Therefor, as of now, Labor is moving the establishment of a Federal Integrity Commission forward from a future election pledge to an immediate ALP policy priority..
    We are currently in the process of sitting down in negotiation with all other interested parties on the best way to make this process, for which we already have very firm policy blueprints, happen post-haste
    Both the concept of decency in democracy and the loud and clear voice of the Australian public demand it!”.

    And then I woke up.

  5. Frances Seychelles

    I DONT TRUST THEM!!! I only vote for Pauline Hanson. These guys at the top are legalized criminals and people need to put a stop to this, They dont care about the Australian public any more. They only care about lining their own pockets!!! I wish Pauline could run for PM she would win hands down!!

  6. Karl Young

    The LNP are very clever at deviding the people.As they seem to have attracted a new group of supportors;frustrated men who hate feminist’s and blame the left for their lot in life.

  7. Klaus Petrat

    Is anyone forgetting Dutton and his interference with BF regarding a nameless nanny?

  8. Kaye Lee

    Or the money-laundering scheme known as Parakeelia where Coalition politicians use our money to pay a company owned by the Liberal Party for voter-monitoring software that compiles information about constituents.

    According to Australian Electoral Commission returns, Parakeelia has given more than $1.4 million to the Liberal Party since 2008-2009, including $1.1 million in the past three years.

    ie they claim money for office expenses, give it to Parakeelia, who return it as a donation to the Liberal Party

  9. Kyran

    Once upon a time, I would have agreed with the need for an ICAC or like body. Given the extreme behaviour of this government, it may not be enough. Even if there were ‘custodial sentence’ provisions, would it be enough?
    Fair enough if a transgression was such that a public official (elected, appointed or salaried) gained a personal benefit from an abuse of their position. Toss the buggers in jail.
    But this mob have taken this to new extremes, each new adventure being a further relaxing of standards we used to consider absolute.
    An ICAC may uncover untoward deals associated with the NBN, whether it be the abuse of the sub-contractor provisions, the extraordinary sums being spent on copper, the flip flop on the technology mix, each with a new layer of unrecoverable costs, and so on. And fair enough. Toss the buggers in jail. But what about the costs that we will be paying well into the future to rebuild a near new system? Likewise with so many other areas of this questionable governments questionable spending, based on questionable rationale in the hope of questionable outcomes?
    Beyond throwing the buggers in jail, how about seeking restitution? Strip anyone convicted of all assets and income, then seek restitution orders against the political party responsible (and I really don’t care which party it may be). In the event they can’t pay, strip the party of any entitlement other than branding as a criminal enterprise.
    What about seeking standards based on previously unassailable doctrines, such as the separation of powers? Where is Labor’s guarantee that they will reverse the mega-department known as Dutton’s empire, which is without doubt the most egregious abuse of ‘independent autonomy’ in white Australia’s short history?
    How would an ICAC perform on civil rights abuses? How would it ensure that a minister or other person even contemplating an abuse such as these ‘people’ are currently exercising on Manus, Nauru, let alone Dutton’s domestic abuses of extrajudicial judgements, deporting Australians and penalising people judged as refugee’s through the bridging visas scam?
    Whilst the need for an ICAC is blatantly obvious, it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough to not only rein in these fools, but ensure that their transgressions do not occur again.
    Thank you Mr Lord and commenters. Take care

  10. townsvilleblog

    Yes Karl dividing communities is what the L’NP do best, we need to see a slow and steady release of ALP and Green policies beginning now until the next election, not forgetting to highlight L’NP corruption in the same space.

    What don’t I understand is if the AIM members can remember all these corrupt payments, why can’t the ALP politicians? If they can why don’t they appoint one of their number., probably Mark Dreyfus to continuously highlight this corruption in the nation’s parliament?

    Unless the people are constantly reminded of the scams this govt have pulled they will not vote against them at the coming election.

  11. corvus boreus

    In the wider silence and inaction over the latest cynical displays of blatant corruption, here is a cheerful little summary of other subterfuges and sly deeds being undertaken towards the erosion of civil rights and the accumulation of accountable power.

  12. Karl Young

    So many politicians cannot articulate a clear message for a broad cross section of the community.

  13. Harry

    Labor must pursue the corrupt bastards in the Coalition as far as it can but it must also put in place and/or strengthen processes within government with the aim of making them much more transparent. Donation laws must be strengthened to avoid undue influence on the political process by vested interests.

    Individuals such as Bannaby Joyce and Machelia Cash in particular must be pursued for what amount to water theft and illegal behaviour.

  14. Terence Mills

    Turnbull is digging a hole for himself on this donation to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and couching his media comments with misleading and deceptive implications that this whole matter had been before the parliament, which it hasn’t :

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Sydney, the prime minister said the Great Barrier Reef Foundation was “an outstanding organisation” and the government was “making the single biggest contribution and investment in the health of the Great Barrier Reef ever”.

    “This has been done completely transparently. It was in the budget. It was actually announced before the budget,” he said.

    “It’s been considered by the parliament and it’s been passed in legislation, so it’s gone through the parliament.”

    He added there was an almost 100-page agreement between the government and foundation as to how the money would be invested and spent and it would be subject to oversight from the government and the Australian National Audit Office.

    “So this is a wonderful investment in ensuring we maintain the health of the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

    Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson, who is chairing an inquiry into the grant asked : “What does he mean when he says it was considered by parliament and passed by legislation? There was no reef foundation bill put through parliament this year,”

  15. Klaus Petrat


    Dutton would be top of my list, followed by Michaela Cash then Barnaby. All corrupt and kick Australian laws with their feet. It is incredible that coalition voters do not see this. It is crying to the sky that no Australian Reporter has the guts to poke his finger into this blatant and obvious disregard for the laws the LNP themselves pretend to uphold.

    I had enough. Corruption Sky high. Turnbull needs to be investigated for his generous awarding of a 1/2 Billion fund to Mining and Banking magnates. He also needs to be investigated about his personal tax affairs.

    Dutton needs to be charged with criminal behaviour allowing refugee prisoners to die under his watch. Allowing is not the right word here, ensuring is!

    Michaelia Cash needs to be charged!

    Why is it, that Turnbull’s tax affairs are above the law?

    There is no end to it.

    The most corrupt people sit in the Media. The so called 4th Estate is gone. Democracy does no longer exist in this country.

    We are fast with finger pointing to these African and South East Asian dictatorships.

    What about here? I have the strong sense, no evidence, that the AFP is colluding with the LNP.

    But that is me.

  16. Rezblah

    Great post Kyran!

    This government has demonstrated beyond doubt how utterly broken our system is (after Howard demonstrated just how much you can get away with, this mob of blatant criminals have picked up where he left off and gone off the scale).

    When there are zero consequences for corruption (including bullshitting your way into government and admitting it in national television) them this is what we get.

    Bankrupt the lot of them, bankrupt the party and gaol them for a long, long time

  17. Margaret Wood

    Apart from voting them out, what can individuals do? I’m so frustrated by all of this and feel totally helpless to change anything. When the LNP is challenged they just blame Mr Shorten, turn their backs, walk away and refuse to say anything more on the subject and it all goes àway. Interviewing journalists refuse to ask the proper questions.
    Thank you John Lord for fighting back. Very soon, if they get their way, you could be up on charges and facing a prison sentence for making the govt look bad. Every day our democracy sinks further towards the abyss! Things are not looking good for our country.

  18. Doug Young

    The concept of a federal ICAC is fine in theory, however it is blatantly obvious that expecting ANY politician or party to be fair dinkum about a genuinely independent (dictionary meaning rather than the totally borked political / bureaucratic one) watchdog is akin to expecting a convicted serial murdered to supply the rope to hang him or her. No politician initiates an inquiry without first setting the result in concrete, and the same applies to a watchdog that could potentially turn around and bite its creator or one of his / her cohorts.

    Given the oft-demonstrated contempt for separation of powers by the legislature, buraucracy and judidiary at both state and federal levels, I suggest that all governorsw / governors general, legislators, all bureaucrats, all members of the judiary, all members of the legal profession, all media figures, big business, and anyone associated with any of the aforementioned, must be permanently disbarred from having any input whatsover into the proposed federal ICAC or whatever it is to be called. All these entities have vested interests which conflict with the functions of a proper watchdog, and which potentially limit the scope of watchdog inquiries.

  19. Keitha Granville

    excuse me Frances Seychelles ? Pauline Hanson for PM ? She has learned all she knows, which isn’t a lot, from the LNP. She must have, she always votes with them. And let me just throw in James Ashby – say no more, nudge nude, wink wink

  20. corvus boreus

    Frances Seychelles,
    3 points;
    1) Pauling Hanson is already actively running for PM, she even has a whole political party named after her.
    2) Pauline Hanson One Nation policy currently opposes the formation of any federal anti-corruption body
    3) I don’t think you even bothered to read any of the details in the article, which contained references to the skulduggeries of James Ashby, a particularly slimy little operator who has now firmly attached himself to Pauline’s naked ambitions.

  21. Babyjewels

    I hope you are all doing what I do. Plaster examples of corruption all over their fb pages and groups. I feel that if enough swinging voters and LNP voters read examples of corruption it could sway a few to vote against the Liberals and I think corruption is an issue more likely to annoy people than (sadly) the horrific detention centre scandal, which some swinging and LNP voters, actually agree with. Let’s all do at least one action every day (god knows there are enough examples) to show up the Liberals for what they are!

  22. cjward2017

    The ALP cannot change this system, being part thereof. We live in a kakistocracy and the main beneficiaries are the ruling political class which extends across governments, political parties and big business. Corruption is a way of life and I do not think there is a group or individuals who can dare I say it, drain the swamp. I’m tired, retired and see little future hope.

    I liked “My thought for the day.

    “How utterly dispiriting it is when the hearts and minds of men and women are so utterly corrupted by this virus of political lies, but more demoralising it is that ordinary people catch the same infection.”

    Well worth repeating.

  23. stephentardrew

    Thanks John and Kaye the list is long and appalling and as you rightly pointed out John decades ago this would have been political poison. My how the right have controlled the medium and the message the Fairfax deal another nail in the democracy of balanced non-biased journalism. Much of MSM has forgotten what it looks like and peddle their immoral lies. Global warming for one is anti-science criminal negligence which I hope those involved will face charges for destroying the lives and livelihood of billions. Yes it is that serious. One day they will be held to account and the sooner the better.

  24. lyndal breen

    Poor old ALP. When Roz Kelly, the then Minister for Sport, organised funding for shortlisted sporting bodies by having a group conference and noting the recommendations on a whiteboard, she was pilloried, and resigned, and the ‘whiteboard’ is still used as a metaphor for incompetence. Called out as corrupt by the Australian Democrats and the Liberals, her seat of Canberra subsequently changed hands from Labor to Liberal. When the Liberals and others call corruption on the ALP it sticks, for years. I have friends who immediately cite Eddie Obeid in any discussion that touches on corruption in the Liberal/National Parties.

    There is something about the Liberal/National parties’ standing in the community that allows them to get away with the grossest examples of rorts and corruption, while the ALP is always open to castigation.

  25. Kay Schieren

    Until the private financial management of the country / planet has it’s teeth pulled and does no more than administer, rather than generate policy for “financial outcomes”, we are always going to have enormous random corruption at all levels, starting with investors and their advisers. Money is not a resource, cannot be treated as such, and should only be spent / allocated according to viable policy to ensure maintenance of the life support system with a reasonable quality of life. Not a high standard of living, which really just means waste and excess consumption. That has brought us to the present-day terminal scenario.

  26. helvityni

    ” I have the strong sense, no evidence, that the AFP is colluding with the LNP.

    But that is me.”

    Me too, Klaus Petrat, I’m also pleased that Kristina Keneally is in Canberra. The Libs are making a big fuss about Emma Husar, but don’t mention their own much bigger misdemeanours; shades of Sam Dastyari here….

    Good post, John Lord

  27. Patagonian

    Once in government, I think Labor should go further and establish a number of RCs – heaven knows there’s enough ammunition to do so. They never do though, too busy being ‘positive’ which is terrific, but there are times when they need to go for the throat. Whereas Labor calls for RCs into genuine issues like institutional child abuse, the Coalition pull on RCs such as TURC solely to suit their political purposes.. Labor needs to be much more sanguine about doing the same. They need to drive the wooden stake deep into the heart of the vampire that is the Coalition. Even leaving aside the most recent outrages detailed in John’s excellent article, I still think $inodinos got off way too lightly over the Sydney Water affair, and going back further both the Lying Rodent and his rat pack got away with murder over the Tampa and the wheat for oil scandals.

  28. helvityni

    Yes Patagonian, I’m all for civil interactions between people, but this is about our leadership, you don’t need to sink name-calling, just tell them as it is, list their crimes…this is after all affecting all of us, we have the right know…

    Go for the real baddies…fair crack of the whip for all parties, if you do the crime you do the time…

  29. helvityni

    Patagonian, totally agree with you…

  30. Andreas


    I fully understand your frustration and agree with your sentiments.

    To get more insight, may I recommend today’s Saturday Paper.

    (In the meantime it might be advisable to have your affairs and passport in order before voicing any criticism of Benito)

  31. Florence Howarth

    It is a wonder he hasn’t brought his Rain Dancer back. The one he paid $10 million to end the drought when he was minister. Also in cloud seeding I believe.

  32. Max Gross

    Thanks John. This is probably your finest piece (among many!).

  33. Kaye Lee


    If I type the word ‘bananas’, it means the van has turned up outside. Send help.

    Though I will be in a far better position to make the bastards back off because my antecedents have been here for the requisite number of generations. I could be a complete and utter arsehole. I could be ripping people off left right and centre. I could be doing all sorts of things. But in this country, at the moment, we have other targets – like people who fled our bombs or persecution or violence to ask for asylum, or people who have a different religion or skin colour, or people who have not amassed enough wealth, or those bludgers on welfare (the Coalition probably will rebrand it because ‘welfare’ sends entirely the wrong message), or, to our shame, the original custodians of the land.

    I will stop now and try to remember how many wonderful people are doing amazing things to help others.

  34. LOVO

    So sayith the Lord 📣
    Thanks John, your ‘investigative journalism/citizen journalism ‘ is much needed and appreciated….democracy still lives because of blokes like you putting the info out “there”.
    Thanx cobba ☺

  35. Zathras

    The type of corruption I would like to see investigated includes the methods used to raise party funding.

    As well as entities like The Wentworth Group that “sell” membership with varying levels of access to Ministers there are other methods being used.

    In particular, during the Howard years, Howard met with members of the Exclusive Brethren – a group known for not voting so the meeting could not about gaining electoral support.

    According to an allegation (recorded in Hansard), Howard advised them that if they would incorporate all their religious schools into a national Campus, they would be entitled to significantly more Government Private School Funding.

    In return they set up a shelf company in Tasmania for the purpose of making a sizable donation to the Liberal Party. Again, an odd thing for a sect that shuns politics to do.

    Laundering taxpayer money via private groups into their own coffers could definitely be seen as corruption.

    I wonder how mant more examples would be uncovered by a Federal ICAC?

  36. Peter Overitt

    Zathras, in regard to corruption and methods used to raise party funding, why look further than #Reefgate and the sleight of hand funding of the GBRF? Most of the companies represented by GBRF board members are already making substantial donations to the LNP. The LNP has now donated $443M to that charity. How much of that public money, in the form of donations, will make its way home to the most corrupt Party in the history of Oz?
    We need an ICAC now.

  37. OldWmBat

    John, I have placed a link to this article under Greg Jericho’s piece in the Guardian with the hope that others will read it. Details such as those above need braoder publication.

  38. Henry Rodrigues

    What I and everyone else is waiting for is the full throated roar of outrage from the media and the experienced so called journalists, like the doting, simpering, sycophantic ones, who appear on insiders and bloviate extensively, but say bugger all.

    Oops, sorry, we are talking about the Australian media aren’t we ? Go back to bed everyone, nothing to see here.

  39. Bolshie Gran

    Did anyone mention the scholarships awarded to Tony Abbott’s and Downer’s daughters? Also the suggestion that the military be used on the streets to curb protests? We have a Hitler waiting in the wings and most people refuse to believe that we could be ruled by a dictator in the very near future. Step by step he is positioning himself to become more powerful than the Prime Minister. The fool Turnbull is completely blind in this regard.

  40. Rhonda

    I agree Bolshie, I am worried sick about the heightened power and hate of the Gestapotato, but I think you’re off key about Turnbull’s blindness to it – I reckon he’s just fully focused on furnishing his own safety. He’s ensuring “I’m alright, Jack”. I’m hoarse with screaming for ICAC.

  41. John Lord


    Much appreciated.

  42. John lord

    Margaret Higgins

    There’s also the $10 million of our tax dollars which Mr Turnbull gave to his next-door neighbour (who happens to be Rupert Murdoch’s nephew) for a failed “rain-making” scheme. These thieves love gifting public funds to their corporate masters and big business buddies. Now here’s some more theft of public money for Murdoch’s rabble of neo-con nutters.

    ‘The United States Studies Centre, a foreign policy think tank with close links to the Turnbull and Murdoch families, has been given $12 million by the federal government ……The grant, which was announced on Sunday, will be provided through the AAA, which was co-founded by Rupert Murdoch’s father, Sir Keith Murdoch.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s wife, Lucy Turnbull, is the United States Studies Centre’s “patron”.

    Their son-in-law, James Brown, was the think tank’s research director from 2015 until a few months ago, when he resigned to devote time to the unpaid role as president of the NSW division of the Returned and Services League of Australia, which is going through a financial scandal.
    Mr Brown, a former army captain, remains a non-resident fellow of the think tank.

    ….. The structure of the US Studies Centre was decided in the dining room on the third floor of the headquarters of News Corp in New York City in 2006. Prime minister John Howard promised $25 million start-up capital.

    If the $12 million grant was approved last year that means Malcolm Turnbull’s son-in-law was the “think tank’s research director” at the time the government approved the grant and Malcolm’s wife was “patron”. It is such a blatant conflict of interest and something that Malcolm Turnbull and the government should have declared publicly before the $12 million grant was approved.’

  43. Jack Russell

    Just contemptable common thieves … the lot of them … who have finangled themselves into positions where they can be openly, and sneeringly, smug about it. There are various and many remedies for this behaviour, but it is the outcome of whatever remedies used that primarily interest me.

    My preferred outcome is very substantial actual gaol time with no parole, court imposed bankruptcy, and total asset seizure (including all financial hideyholes, here and overseas) … followed by lifelong state imposed penury on release – and that includes any family members involved.

    Harsh? Absolutely YES! And deservedly so.

  44. Vincent

    I’d like to see a list or chart to compare the performance of the major parties, and minor parties in regard to questionable activities, i have a feeling the LNP would out-perform the rest, easily, by far,and more professional.
    A comment made here used the term “money laundering” about the fundraising arm of the LNP the Parakeelia group which was more like a slush fund.
    The gratuitous donation to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in ways reminds me of the Parakeelia arrangement with its members very cozy,the business background of the members is at odds with the Barrier Reef Cause and it is more of an attempt at greenwash/ astroturfing. The idea of the billion dollar loan to Adani was something else too.The list is growing longer and longer.

  45. Jon Chesterson

    …And still the Liberals are in government after the worst chain of corruption ever dished out by an Australian government ever, a page out of William Bligh, and his authority as Governor resulted in a successful rebellion. What does that tell you about our fake sycophant democracy, honourable institutions, ministers, members of Parliament, the AFP, the Governor General? Look elsewhere there is no honour here, there is no government, not by legal or constitutional definition; Just a band of marauders and nothing or no-one to stop them.

  46. oldfart

    just a thought, I wonder how much of the $443.8 million reef money will suddenly appear in LNP coffers as a political donation?

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