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GetUp! vs the IPA

By Kyran O’Dwyer

There is a ‘to-do’ over GetUp! and a pending stoush with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) as to whether they are an “associated entity”. As best as I can find out, GetUp! is not currently listed as an “associated entity” with the AEC. The AEC have requested GetUp! complete an “Associated Entity Disclosure Return” by 20th October or risk prosecution.

For the sake of the exercise, according to the AEC:

An associated entity under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (s287) means an entity:

• that is controlled by one or more registered political parties; or

• that operates wholly or to a significant extent for the benefit of one or more registered political parties; or

• that is a financial member of a registered political party; or

• on whose behalf another person is a financial member of a registered political party; or

• that has voting rights in a registered political party; or

• on whose behalf another person has voting rights in a registered political party.

Examples of associated entities include ‘500 clubs’, ‘think tanks’, registered clubs, service companies, trade unions and corporate party members.

Associated Entities are required to lodge an Associated Entity Disclosure Return by 20 October each year.

Presumably, the intent of the legislation is disclosure and transparency. That individuals, groups and corporations have to disclose if they are a partisan entity ‘operating wholly or to a significant extent for the benefit of one or more registered political parties.’

The 2015/16 Associated Entity Summary – Annual Returns is an interesting read. Whilst it is a veritable who’s who of Unions, and some companies, there are notable omissions. The Australian Bankers Association, the Minerals Council of Australia, the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Hotels Association, the Institute of Public Affairs, the Australian Christian Lobby (the list would be endless) don’t get a mention.

All of these groups are ‘conservative’ entities that openly advocate for their member’s interests. Which is fair enough. Just like unions advocating for their member’s interests.

All of these groups are frequently cited in ‘supportive’ arguments for like-minded ‘conservative’ governments. Which is fair enough. Just like unions are often cited in ‘supportive’ arguments for like-minded ‘progressive’ governments.

All of these groups are active and vocal participants in our political arena. And they are unashamedly partisan. After all, they are beneficiaries of generous government consideration. But they are not “Associated Entities”. Their achievements include getting rid of the carbon levy, the mining tax, any suggestion of a Royal Commission into corporate malfeasance. And so on.

But none of these groups are “Associated Entities”. Most Unions are.

GetUp! is an ‘associated entity’, according to the hapless Abetz.

From the GetUp! website:

Powering GetUp

GetUp is an independent campaigning community made up of over one million everyday people working together to build a fair, flourishing, and just Australia.

We’re boldly progressive and people-powered to our very core.

We’re fiercely independent – we’re not linked to any political parties, we don’t have or want charity status, and we don’t accept any funding from Government.

Our independence is woven into our DNA – because this movement is powered by hundreds of thousands of amazing Australians who sign up, contact their politicians, and chip in to power campaigns.

When you support GetUp, you’re powering a million-strong, strategically savvy organisation that makes real change happen. And every dollar you donate to GetUp is used to build a more fair, flourishing, and just Australia.

OK, they state categorically they are not linked to any political parties and are not registered as a charity or in receipt of government funding. (As an aside, the IPA and ACL are registered charities).

And, from any reading of their ‘mission statement’ or any other literature they have produced, they are an ‘issues based’ organisation, campaigning for change on an issue by issue basis, as developed by their members.

“Our work is driven by our values, not party politics. GetUp is, and always has been, an independent organisation. GetUp members come from every walk of life and around a shared belief in fairness, compassion and courage. We campaign on issues that our members care about in the fields of Environmental Justice, Human Rights, Economic Fairness and Democracy.”

So, how did the ‘complaint’ arise? Well, just like in 2005 and 2010, LNP Senators complained to the AEC, who, in previous years, conducted enquiries as to whether GetUp! was an ‘Associated Entity’. Back in 2010:

AEC analysis

The AEC has examined the above additional information. The AEC has also considered the previous information in its possession and the lists of all the GetUp campaigns set out on its website. The AEC readily acknowledges that many of GetUp activities could be reasonably regarded as of some “benefit” to the ‘left’ parties (e.g. the anti-Coalition Senate campaign in the ACT prior to the 2007 election). However, the AEC also notes that many of the activities of GetUp appear to be solely issue based (e.g. climate change, human rights, indigenous homelands, close the gap, internet censorship, economic fairness, buy me a river, paid maternity leave, end mandatory detention, etc.) rather than supporting or advocating support for a particular registered party political.

Taking into account all of the activities undertaken by GetUp since 2006, the AEC has been unable to conclude that those activities which may reasonably be regarded as directly benefiting a particular political party comprise the whole or a significant proportion of all the activities undertaken by GetUp and are of benefit to a particular political party. The AEC is of the view that the present information and available evidence is unlikely to be sufficient to enable a Court in a criminal prosecution to find that GetUp is operating “wholly, or to a significant extent” for the benefit of either/both the Australian Labor Party and/or the Greens.

This time, when the Senator’s complained, the AEC seems to have bypassed any assessment as to whether GetUp! is an ‘Associated Entity’, but issued a demand they complete an “Associated Entity Return”.

Does anyone else think that’s odd? An allegation is made against them and, without any assessment or analysis, a judgement is made and a demand is issued. The ABC gave Abetz a fair run.

The Guardian was a little more diligent:

Under electoral law an associated entity is one controlled by or “operates wholly or to a significant extent for the benefit” of a registered political party. Associated entities face more stringent reporting requirements, including disclosure of donations.

Guardian Australia understands the AEC wrote to GetUp noting it might have to submit an associated entity disclosure because its 2016 election activities benefited Labor and the Greens.

The AEC said it had not come to a final conclusion on whether GetUp was an associated entity, but said the organisation could risk prosecution if it did not complete the return by the deadline of last Friday.

GetUp refused to submit the return, arguing in lengthy submissions that it is independent of the political parties.

Another aspect of the Liberal ‘complaint’ is that GetUp! recently appointed two new Directors to their Board, both of whom have ‘Labor ties’. The cross membership of the IPA and the Liberal party, not to mention the endless supply of IPA muppets in the media, is, apparently, no cause for concern.

But has the hapless Abetz scored an ‘own goal’ beyond his intention? By questioning GetUp!’s independence, he has exposed the hypocrisy imbedded in the system. If GetUp! can be subject to scrutiny, why can’t the IPA, ABA, AHA, ACL and all the other groups? If anyone can ask the AEC to investigate whether an entity is an ‘Associated Entity’ or not, GetUp! have their next campaign mapped out, surely.

As with all things associated with disclosure and transparency in Australia, the ‘process’ is as clear as mud. It does seem, however, that the AEC is being used by politicians to pursue an agenda. This is now a common theme in Australia, the politicization of government agencies.

And, right on cue, the Australian Federal Police have conducted raids on Australian Workers Union offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

The investigation relates to whether donations made to activist group GetUp were authorised under union rules.

The AFP issued a statement confirming they were carrying out the raids on behalf of the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC), the independent regulator of unions and employer associations.

Instead they’ve gone for the circus of involving the AFP — who are just doing their jobs — and executing a search warrant for documents that had they asked for, requested, or served the notice to produce, we would have willingly provided them.

This is an abuse of power, this is an abuse of process, you have not heard the end of this.

By using the AEC and AFP in what appears to be a political exercise underscores the need for the AEC to completely overhaul the whole mess. It also opens up the whole ‘political donations’ box. Another article in The Guardian makes reference to an inquiry into the whole system.

Senior members of the Liberal and Labor parties have admitted voter distrust of Australia’s political donations regime has become so pervasive that it is feeding a general disregard for democracy.

The paper will inform a review of Australia’s donations system, and a possible overhaul of the rules regulating donations and disclosure for political parties.

It draws attention to the role played by modern activist groups that fall outside the federal Electoral Act and are unregulated by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Many Australians do not have sufficient faith in the integrity of Australia’s electoral processes, particularly in relation to donations and disclosure.

Whilst I still do not accept that a political problem is necessarily a sign of the demise of democracy, the paper, and the ensuing allegations against GetUp, may well have an unintended benefit. Ensuring democratic principles are established as precursors of political governance, not excuses for political abuse.

There is absolutely no prospect of this government doing anything. This is yet another example of a chaotic government lurching from one ‘own goal’ to another. Their mind numbing incompetence is, however, underscoring the need for fundamental and significant change to make sure that we, the people, cannot be exposed again to the damage caused by fools such as these. As to the use of government agencies for political purposes, does anyone still believe the Dutton/Pezzullo assurances that they will only use their new powers for good?

By way of disclosure, I have no affiliation whatsoever with GetUp!, other than signing some of their petitions. I have no affiliation whatsoever with any political parties. All of the information used in this post was publicly sourced and no comments or enquiries were sought from or directed to any of the entities cited. I loathe Abetz, and those of his ilk.


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  1. Pilot

    After these lying libs get thrown out of office, I’m sure all those RW organisations will come under scrutiny. We’ve already seen our fed gov try to use their fascist power on Melbourne’s streets and there will be more examples of their abuse of power in the near future. People are getting sick and tired of their antics and it will show at the next election, whenever that should be.

    My bet is that the HC decision on Friday will favour all LNP persons and against all others. The HCoA is under orders from Trumble and his demented cohort of fascists.

  2. Bruce

    When I first read about this issue I joined Getup and made a significant donation. I hope others are encouraged to do so.

  3. Phil

    Agree with the sentiments expressed in this article – absolutely. Just donated to GetUp as a result and will do so again every time this filthy government turns its a abused powers onto this citizens movement.

  4. Terry2

    This politically motivated AFP raid on the AWU offices smacks of desperation on the part of the Turnbull government as part of their campaign to get Bill Shorten which they see as a legitimate political strategy, despite the fact that both the AWU and Getup have openly admitted to a $100,000 donation from the AWU in 2005.

    Perhaps he is trying to divert attention away from the train crash that is his Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and the scandal unfolding over the Murray-Darling rorting of federal funds and diversion and theft of water resources : this is going to be Turnbull’s Watergate as it was he who gave water resources portfolio to Joyce to secure political support from the Nationals. The government are desperately trying to cover up on this maladministration and possible criminality which clearly needs an open and thorough investigation.

  5. Jack

    Getup is clearly a leftist organisation that relies on large donations from wealthy left leaning people. Anyone with half a brain knows this and the government didn’t need to call it out. As the article states, all it’s done is kick an own goal.

    This is just how politics and democracy works, with donations and lobbyists. Getup’s business model is no different to any of the other groups out there, left or right

  6. Miriam English

    The Conservatives are gradually turning our democracy into a dictatorship where politicians are given absolute, unchallengeable power, and the instruments intended to protect society are being turned into tools of the government used to accomplish whatever they desire at the time.

    The LNP is becoming the greatest threat to Australian democracy we’ve beheld in a long time.

    They need to be voted out, Murdoch needs to lose his media in Australia, and the Labor party (as the likely next government) needs to get serious about returning Australia to democracy. An important step would be to outlaw all donations to parties. Political parties should be funded solely from the public purse.

  7. Adrianne Haddow

    No more evidence is needed that the Australian government has slid into fascism.

    Deadeye Dutton’s superministery and the increasing use of the AFP to raid political opponents and organisations which advocate for democratic principles and transparency, are evidence that all is not well in the lucky country.
    The only thing missing is the gulags for political or ideological opponents to disappear into……. oh wait, we do have those…. they’re called detention centres.
    At the moment they’re occupied by hapless asylum seekers who believed the guff about Australia being a fair, progressive country, but soon to be empty and unprofitable to the mates contracted to run them.

    Getup is proving an embarrassment to the coal-ition and the IPA’s agenda of selling, or in the case of Adani, giving the common wealth of this country to the coal-ition’s patrons.
    Therefore Getup must be stopped, or like the unions, vilified.

    The hypocrisy of this Coalition government is appalling and their modus operandi should be of concern to us all.

  8. Zathras

    What a contrived stunt and a typical act of desperation and abuse of power by a terminally ill government.

    It reminded me of the arrest of Craig Thomson where the Victorian Police Commissioner (a friend of Brandis and member of the Liberal Party) sent a couple of detectives to NSW to “arrest” Thomson for allegedly ignoring a summons.

    Although they arrived the day before, the arrest move wasn’t made until the tipped-off media were in place and timed specifically to interrupt Abbott’s Media Conference for maximum effect. They marched Thomson through the streets to the Police Station where he was illegally strip-searched in a hallway before being put into a cell but later released along with the Magistrate’s criticism of the entire event.
    As a bonus, Abbott went “into hiding” for a couple of weeks while the effects of his bungled Botox youth treatment faded away.

    Back then it was all about perception, manipulation and playing voters for fools and this is just business as usual.

    When it comes to character, perhaps it’s time to revisit some of the Turnbull HIH/Goldman Sachs and Cayman Island matters. I’m sure he has a few skeletons in his closet.

  9. SGB

    Get up should attend to the IPA and its role.

    S G B

  10. Kyran

    The link for the 2015/16 returns is here. It is apparent that Unions are widely regarded as ‘associated entities’. Which is fair enough. But, using the same yardstick, why aren’t these ‘corporate’ lobbyists included?

    With regard to the ‘leaning’ of GetUp, I would hope the quotes from their site are explicit. They openly state they campaign on an agenda formulated by their members. Not by any political parties. The same could not be stated for any of the other groups, which clearly have vested interests.
    With regard to the current raids, I always worry when the TV crews show up at the site to be raided ahead of the AFP.
    The link to the ‘AEC analysis’ is a rundown on the 2010 enquiry by the AEC into GetUp and it could not be more explicit. The AEC conducted a similar enquiry in 2005. The raids conducted by the AFP pertain to an allegation from 2006, that, somehow, Shorten’s concurrent affiliation with the AWU, Labor and GetUp in 2006 was the same thing as a concrete tie between Labor and GetUp. This was discredited by the AEC in 2010. Why isn’t there any similar scrutiny of the links between the IPA and the Liberals?
    As to the justification for the raids, the warrant was obtained yesterday by the ROC. The statement issued by the ROC, in part, reads;

    “Investigation into the National Office and the Victorian Branch of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), under Section 331 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009.
    The Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) commenced an investigation on 20 October 2017 into whether donations made to GetUp Limited during the financial year ending 2006 were approved under the AWU’s Rules and separately, whether donations to a range of recipients during the financial year ending 30 June 2008 were approved under the AWU’s Rules.”

    Got that? They started an investigation of an allegation from 2006 on 20th October, 2017. The warrant was obtained by the ROC yesterday, as their ‘powers’ are far broader than most other agencies. That the ROC don’t use those same powers to raid the IPA lends credence to the perception that it is politically motivated.
    There can be no doubt that the doctrine of the Separation of Powers is dead, buried and cremated under this government. Any prospect of reincarnation is reliant on us. In the absence of any political parties with sufficient motivation or inclination, GetUp is an obvious vehicle.
    As to GetUp’s funding, from the link in the article, the average ‘donation’ varies between $17 and $30. The IPA?
    Thank you AIMN and commenters for the opportunity. Take care

  11. Klaus Petrat

    I agree with the entire article, as I agree with all these comments, specifically Miriam. Australia is fast on the road to implement fascist, perhaps more Nazi, like methods to suppress the opposition and all of Australia.

    They act criminally as we can clearly see in our inhuman treatment of Asylum seekers, they blatantly steal water from the Murray Darling with apparently no consequences, they abuse Federal Police power, they militarize the border force, the NSW police is harassing people who they deem to be future offenders, according to profiles which are deeply secret, they would like to crank down on protesters, greens, anyone who stands in their corrupt ways, they destroy the NBN, they destroy the public education system, they deal with the unemployed in a fashion, unheard of in Australia.

    The Robo-debt has now been accepted by the Australian voter, Hanson can blackmail the ABC, the education system is being dismantled.

    The Australian voter sleeps.

  12. Terry2

    Evidently the first the AWU staff new about the AFP raid was the arrival of a gaggle of journalists and a media stake-out at their offices.

    Probably the most important matter that the AFP should investigate is who called the media to make sure that they were in place before the AFP arrived.

  13. Klaus Petrat

    So, the NBN needs to pass a business case but the move of the Pesticide Agency does not?

    What blatant abuse of power from a little brained deputy. Australian federal LNP Pollies run riot with Australia, on the way destroying what can be destroyed.

    Ahhh. Australia watches and sleeps.

  14. Kaye Lee

    In 1987 the IPA restructured itself as a company limited by guarantee, which means that its directors are not liable for any debts it might incur. The restructure enabled it to apply to become an Approved Research Institute (ARI) and thus be eligible for endorsement as a deductible gift recipient (DGR). In other words, donors to the Institute would be able to claim a tax deduction for their donations. DGR status is the most valuable asset of an organisation like the IPA because without it virtually no-one would donate.

    In order for the IPA to become a DGR it had to undertake to use all tax-deductible donations exclusively for scientific research, more particularly, “scientific research which is, or may prove to be, of value to Australia”. In this context, the authorities have ruled that “scientific research” includes social scientific research.

    The rules state explicitly that tax-deductible funds may not be used for “the organisation of conferences, congresses and symposia and the publication of information (other than the results of the ARI’s own research work, undertaken through this program).”

    The IPA devoted considerable resources to staging public meetings to campaign against the Federal Government’s carbon tax. In the year to June 30, 2010 it hosted 40 events around the country.

    In 2011, the IPA paid for two full-page advertisements in the Australian attacking the Government’s climate change policy. The cost would have been in the order of $100,000. Who paid for them? Were they paid for with tax deductible gifts?

    Let’s get real here.

  15. Kaye Lee

    It just gets more and more ridiculous.

    An internal AFP document shows they have had to cancel 23 operations including a huge cocaine importation bust because they are overstretched, in part because they have to guard Malcolm’s mansion, not to mention continually going on purely political raids of union headquarters or to find out who leaked the truth about the NBN debacle.

    The AFP said it was “disappointed” information about daily operations had been made public and advised an investigation was underway with its Professional Standards wing.

    “The AFP is disappointed an internal working document, which sought to provide confidential operational advice and revealed operational sensitivities, has been made public as this undermines the AFP’s ability to ensure its resources are used efficiently, effectively and appropriately,” the statement said.

    So who tipped off the media about the arrest of Thomson or this latest raid? Are they investigating that too?

  16. Adrianne Haddow

    Thanks Kaye Lee for the synopsis of the machinations of the IPA.

    Could your investigative skills run to a list of their donors/members?

    I know Gina Rinehart is the chairperson and director, and that Murdoch’s father was instrumental in the setting up of this organisation.

    As this is our default government we should know more about who forms their membership.
    They have operated in semi-secrecy for so long that when I mention them in conversation many people ask “what is the IPA?”

    What an insult to the Australian people for them to call themselves, the Institute for Public Affairs when their only agenda is to create business opportunities for themselves and their associates.

  17. Steve Bedford

    The IPA is the most evil organization in this country and represents the core of right-wing extremism of the corporate sector. They need to be targeted relentlessly by the progressive movement and exposed at every opportunity for what they are. They have considerable influence with the current government. I would suggest that progressives create a “war cabinet” to deal with them because the IPA are at war with not only the left but society in general. They want to create a U.S. style society based on free-market extremism and right-wing libertarianism. If the progressive vision of a fair and just society based on social democracy is to be achieved, the IPA must be neutralized as a political force.

  18. Adrianne Haddow

    Whoops, my mistake.
    Gina Rinehart is not chairperson and director of the IPA, just another shadowy entity who supplies donations, and direction.
    And takes instruction from Lord Monkton.

  19. kerri

    Does anyone else recall the madness and zeal with which Turnbull, in opposition, attacked Kevin Rudd and the whole “Utegate” and Gidwin Grech nonsense?
    This is classic Turnbull. Grasping at anything to imply the opposition is not composed of honorable fellows. And…. well….. you see…’s just not cricket.
    Adrienne Haddow, Richard Ackland refers to the IPA as the Institute of Paid Advocacy.

  20. Kaye Lee


    Wikipedia links to several very informative article re the IPA’s donors.

    The IPA funded by its membership which include both private individuals and businesses. Among these businesses are ExxonMobil, Telstra, WMC Resources, BHP Billiton, Phillip Morris, Murray Irrigation Limited, and Visy Industries.

    Hmmmmm…Murray Irrigation Limited?????

    IPA donors have also included Clough Engineering, Caltex, Shell, and Esso. Other donors were electricity and mining companies, as well as British American Tobacco (BAT).

    In 2003, the Australian Government paid $50,000 to the Institute of Public Affairs to review the accountability of NGOs. (LOUD COUGH)

    In 2013 the IPA celebrated its 70th anniversary. Notable in attendance at the celebrations were:

    Gina Rinehart
    Rupert Murdoch
    Tony Abbott
    George Pell – Australian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
    Michael Kroger – President of the Victorian division of the Liberal Party of Australia
    Mitch Fifield – Communications Minister
    George Brandis – Attorney General

    And if we want to talk Associated Entities,

    Robert Menzies was present at meetings that established the Council of the Institute of Public Affairs in September 1942. The IPA became the peak non-Labor political fundraising body in Victoria and took over the work of the old National Union and developed into a key research and policy formation unit.

    Menzies took a leading role in the creation of what would eventually become the Liberal Party. At a conference in Canberra in October 1944 he used a paper entitled ‘Looking forward’, by Charles Kemp, economic adviser to Victoria’s Institute of Public Affairs, to argue the direction the new party should take.

    The IPA was one of a number of groups which came together to form the Liberal Party of Australia, and became an important fund raising body for the Liberal Party in Victoria.

    Re-emerging as a think tank in the 90s, “the Institute has close ideological and political affinities with the Liberal Party in Australia. For example, IPA Executive Director John Roskam’s byline on a 2005 opinion column in the Australian Financial Review declares that, “during the 2001 federal election he worked on the Liberals’ federal campaign”. He has also run for Liberal Party preselection.”

  21. Adrianne Haddow

    Thanks Kaye Lee.
    So much information at your fingertips. You are a legend.
    I tried the IPA website but the self serving rhetoric was too stomach turning to continue reading.

  22. wam

    A great read, Kyran! It highlights the impotence of labor leadership. However the police, like the services, are firmly anti-labor and probably would not follow the orders of labor as zealously. I suppose they will raid the commonwealthbank soon to access the evidence of the 50000 breeches?
    The ABC give a ‘fair go’ to all non-labor pollies despite malcolm robert’s assessment of bias towards labor. As for bias, my opinion is the introduction of ABC 24 begin the LNPisation of the whole ABC. Our radio don’t have to try to meet the standard of a right wing jock.

    Pilot born in australia cannot be over ruled by a foreign government but the overseas born and cavanan who specifically sought dual citizenship should go. Slimey xenophon makes unclear whether he applied for or had a greek cypriot or pommie passport.

    Our family got pommie passports when the poms joined the EU because we became foreigners and it was easier to enter britain and to travel in europe

  23. Glenn Barry

    When in recent months the HIH debacle and the confidential settlement, against defendants including Goldman Sachs and Turnbull, for an undisclosed sum, was mentioned in parliament – Turnbull was visibly shaken.

    The skeleton is in the closet, but the one question is, who has the key? Abbott perhaps?

    As to an investigation into all of the potential associated entities such as the IPA, BCA etc etc etc – it would be good to see Shorten get onto the front foot and propose a full investigation into all of them.

    Unfortunately that would draw their ire and a co-ordinated destructive campaign, the likes of which we’ve witnessed previously – we’ve become hostages to power plays between corporations and government – GetUp has them all scared, that is the most heartening element in all of this

  24. Sam

    Should the AFP have some kind of independant overseer to enable it to refuse uses of its resources that are blatantly for political gain and not for the benefit of australia? Or at least this theoretical overseer could be given some kind of power to review any uses of its resources and punish any political party if it’s found to have misused them?

  25. Ella miller

    AIM Network, I can’t thank you enough for this wonderfully informative document. The fog, of lack of knowledge, has lifted over so many things for me. Kay Lee…I love you …more power to you .

  26. totaram

    I am with Bruce. I have recently recruited a friend to donate to GetUp. Contrary to Jack’s assertion (which is neither here nor there according to the allegations made against GetUp because “left leaning” is not a political party). we are not wealthy donors, but we make up for that in numbers. I hope to get more people to donate, especially their time when the elections come around. The big money donated to the coalition cannot match the effect of thousands of volunteers on the ground, as has been demonstrated in the past. I hope there will be many more demonstrations of that effect in the future.

  27. Kaye Lee


    Truth is important to me. Together we all inform each other.

    I must add that I just spent 5 days away with people I love, respect and admire celebrating a dear friend’s 60th. It reminded me the world is full of wonderful people doing wonderful things. I rejoin the fray invigorated 🙂

  28. paul

    pretty clear that when the libs are swept to the kerb, that both the IPA and the federal police need to come under investigation for corruption and political activities , as a matter of urgency . we no longer see justice as even. or the political spectrum as non corrupt

  29. Ella miller

    Kaye Lee, so glad.
    Yes there are wonderful people in the world.
    I am looking forward to spending 3 days with Cody..needless to say we will have some fun ad interesting conversations.

  30. jimhaz

    I wonder why Get UP does not register as a charity like the IPA has – surely they’d get triple the donations if tax deductable


    Kyran. Implied in your great article is that the investigation of, and raid on, the AWU is taking place pursuant to an amendment to the legislation inserted into the Act in 2009? Can you clarify that? If this is the case then, unless the provision in the legislation has been given retrospective or retroactive operation, then donations to GetUP! by the AWU, if any, before that provision came into effect are not caught by the provision or the Act and beyond the jurisdiction and power of the FP and ROC. Is that the case? If so, then the raid, the warrant and investigation are unlawful and, as you say, are an ‘abuse’.

    Further, as you point out, it is certainly odd that a direction should be made to GetUp! by the AEC directing it to report as an associated entity without first having GetUp! declared to be such by a court. Until that time GetUp! are right to with-hold their compliance with the AEC’s direction. The direction by AEC could certainly be challenged as an administrative decision either in the Fed Court or even the High Court where GetUp! would seek to have the AEC’s decision to issue the direction to comply as an associated entity declared invalid.

    Obviously, both the ROC and FP blackshirts of the LNP should all know this, or would be expected to know this, so it’s safe to conclude that their actions are motivated by malice, bad faith and by an improper purpose. No doubt it is a partisan political purpose to discredit GetUp! and deprive it of resources in the lead up to the New England by election and to slur Shorten and the ALP in future elections including the one anticipated soon for New England. No doubt this is also a fishing expedition where the LNP hope ‘evidence’ can be obtained to slur their opponents in the future.

    Can you clarify the points above. Thanks

  32. Kaye Lee


    Please say hello for me and remind Cody of the great things in the world. We become twitter and bisted (as my girlfriends say) if we only focus on what’s wrong. A smart young man like him needs to be nurtured so he comes up with ideas. Angry old women in jammies will hopefully do the whinging for him so he can concentrate on helping us improve 😉


    Miriam. “The Conservatives are gradually turning our democracy into a dictatorship’ No, we are already there.

  34. Kyran

    As a result of some comments, I have tried to find out a little bit more about a few different aspects of this.
    With regard to who can make a complaint to the AEC about ‘associated entities’, there is no mention that I can find on the AEC website to describe the process. From my reading, only members of parliament can make the complaint, which is then referred to the AEC for ‘analysis’. Hint for GetUp, start lobbying independents and minor parties to ‘enquire’ about the IPA, ABA, BCA, MCA, etc.
    That’ll keep them amused for a while. It does appear that the GetUp fiasco started by the hapless Abetz is a separate matter to that being pursued by ROC. Coincidence?
    With regard to the ROC, their web site indicates they have no jurisdiction over GetUp, hence the shot at the union. Unfortunately, their enquiry pertains to 2006. The AEC only requires records be kept for three years. The ATO is seven, from memory. There is no requirement for the AWU to have retained any documents. The ROC does, based on its website, have the capacity to investigate all of the employer unions. Admittedly, their website suggests that only four of the more than forty enquiries launched by the ROC pertain to non-union entities.

    With regard to Ms English’s comment about funding, as a start why don’t the AEC simply restrict donations to those on the Electoral Rolls (ie no corporate donations)? The AEC have had many enquiries into ‘caps’ and seem to think $1,000 should be the level requiring disclosure. If need be, they could increase the public funding level from $2.68 per vote, or tinker with the 4% primary vote level. There is a long article on the AEC about several recommendations arising out of a 2012 joint committee enquiry. It includes many useful recommendations about ‘associated entities’ as well. Needless to say, nothing has been done.

    Ms Lee, from The Guardian ‘live feed’ yesterday;
    “While we’re talking about the AFP and its protection of the prime minister’s Point Piper home, I’ve been reminded of this joke Malcolm Turnbull made on the Today show on 18 October.”

    “I’ve got a big power bill but not least because I’ve got a small police station in my garden, as you know.”

    He’s a wag, our PM. Such a great sense of humour. As to your research on the IPA, I’m grateful. When all of the employers unions are subject to the same scrutiny as the employees unions, some semblance of order may return to this chaotic, inept, corrupt government.
    Mr Barry, if you think reference to HIH makes our PM nervous, it is nothing compared with his involvement in the sale of FAI to HIH prior to the collapse. Williams, from HIH, and Adler, from FAI, went to jail after the RC. Our PM skated through that RC by the skin of his teeth. Of course he gets nervous.
    OTMP, I believe the ROC was created in 2011 and their investigation pertains to the union donation to GetUp, allegedly without passing a motion at a ‘minuted’ meeting authorising same. That there is no requirement for the union to keep records for more than 3 years (AEC) or 7 years (ATO) seems to be ignored, as does the issue of retrospectivity.
    Thanks again for the conversation. Take care
    PS. Ms Miller. Is that THE Cody? All the best to you both.


    jimhaz. I wonder why Get UP does not register as a charity like the IPA has – surely they’d get triple the donations if tax deductable’
    What charitable work does GetUp! do? It does not give any charity to anyone in particular. IPA purportedly gives ‘scholarships’ and ‘grants’ to researchers under the guise of education.


    Kyran. ‘I believe the ROC was created in 2011 and their investigation pertains to the union donation to GetUp, allegedly without passing a motion at a ‘minuted’ meeting authorising same’. But its the AEC investigating GetUp not ROC? What power does the AEC have to require reporting of donations made by associated entities before the insertion of the provision into the Electoral Act in 2009? None? PS. Obviously these are co-ordinated attacks.


    Eric Abetz’s Nazi uncle OTTO would no doubt be proud of his nephew, Straight out of the Nazi text book.. He’s a chip off the old Nazi block head.

  38. wam

    Lucky you, Kay! I just spent a pleasant 7 days on the murray, with relatives, all of whom think there is no truth in anything you or labor says, full stop, end of story, no discussion.

    Should billy stray onto ch9, their disgust is voiced – union dickhead – abused workers funds – lying bastard – to obliterate his comment.

    Their truth, sadly, is just as real as yours. But they have never heard of Get Up or IPA and don’t need to spend any effort in finding justification for their truth because the evidence is seen in every page of the advertiser and on every TV news.
    Is bill or anyone in labor good enough to shake such faith??? No and not till we find a flash boy like whitlam or hawke

  39. Glenn Barry

    @ OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES – Yes I am indeed referring to the contrary advice that Turnbull withheld from FAI investors, with his claim that he thought/assumed the advice had been provided by Rodney Adler.

    It has been a while since I read the in depth analysis of the case and the Royal Commission hearings involving Turnbull, however what stuck with me was Turnbull’s testimony that he thought/assumed Adler had provided the information, coupled with the abrupt termination of that line of inquiry and the end of Turnbull’s testimony. There was subversion in that Royal Commission Turnbull was one of the beneficiaries

  40. jimhaz


    ‘Charitable purpose’ has a special legal meaning, developed over the years by the courts and parliament. The courts have recognised many different charitable purposes, and as society changes new charitable purposes are accepted.

    The Charities Act 2013 (Cth) lists twelve charitable purposes:

    advancing health
    advancing education
    advancing social or public welfare
    advancing religion
    advancing culture
    promoting reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance between groups of individuals that are in Australia
    promoting or protecting human rights
    advancing the security or safety of Australia or the Australian public
    preventing or relieving the suffering of animals
    advancing the natural environment
    promoting or opposing a change to any matter established by law, policy or practice in the Commonwealth, a state, a territory or another country (where that change furthers or opposes one or more of the purposes above), and
    other similar purposes ‘beneficial to the general public’ (a general category).

    I wonder if the IPA FAILS to meet the following:

    “Some purposes are deliberately disqualified from being charitable, such as the purposes of:

    engaging in or promoting activities that are unlawful or against public policy, or
    promoting or opposing a political party or a candidate for political office.

  41. helvityni

    Good post, Kyran and many excellent comments…my mood sinks when I spot an IPA person on the Drum…. 🙂

  42. Shogan

    “An associated entity under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (s287) means an entity:
    • that operates wholly or to a significant extent for the benefit of one or more registered political parties”

    Under that description, News Corp & all it’s gutter rags are “associated entities”!!!

  43. Steve Hall

    Excellent article, particularly the last sentence. Just gave $100 to Getup, nice own goal LNP.

  44. Andrew J. Smith

    The IPA merits its own listing with Sourcewatch and the USA, no doubt in part due to IPA’s local US subsidiary support, including Exxon Mobil (Rockefeller/Standard Oil) infamous for influencing and shaping policy while in the background; amalgam of white conservative and/or nativist sentiment with evangelical Christianity and small govt. helping oligarchs and plutocrats.

    It follows the mid ’80s onward trajectory of how GOP thinks tanks and foundations were weaponised as highlighted by Jane Mayer ergo ‘media assembly line’ originally initiated by Rockefeller et al., very much the Kochs nowadays; compromising institutions, distorting science and astroturfing.

    Of late the flurry of BS coming from the LNP and biased media, similar to the chaos of UK Tories, is due to their being compromised pushing corporate nativist agenda suggesting ‘sustainable’ ‘limits to growth’ steady-state economy for the nation (in fact just top global corporates) with targetting of minority threats aka SSM, environmental regulation, unions, Get Up, cyclists, public transport, education, Greens, refugees, immigrants and population growth (the latter two have been long held obsessions by the old fossil fuels and auto oligarchs, eugenics another class system).

  45. Andrew J. Smith

    Another point, IPA PR generalists get away with whatever they want on ABC etc. because not only are their unsubstantiated opinions seldom challenged, they are seldom up against an expert, or anyone with related knowledge, but often special interest guests without knowledge of the subject at hand eg. SSM advocate has to offer input in climate change vs IPA sock puppet.

    IPA types are interesting in that they don’t have deep knowledge or understanding but use PR tactics well; speak non stop with no gaps, pivot away from inconvenient facts, focus upon the opposing person or messenger, come up with outlier research to make claims, apply ‘what aboutery’ and take advantage of verbal forums where anything within a narrative will be at least plausible, even if not true… Does not say much about journalism in Australia.


    Shogan. but when were the reporting requirements for associated entities inserted into the Act?

  47. silkworm

    The government is targeting Getup because it hopes to undermine Getup’s campaign to oust Dutton from his seat at next year’s Federal election.

  48. Michael Taylor

    There’s a point, silky. I didn’t think of that.

  49. Glenn Barry

    @silkworm – AHA by all accounts the GetUp campaign against Dutton has been gathering momentum, with any luck they WILL succeed


    its about the new england by election thats why they are going now not later. if they lose there they are in trouble.

  51. Peregrine McCauley

    There are three salient features regarding the A.F.D raids upon A.W.U offices yesterday. Firstly, the fact that Cash’s office not only knew of the impending raid ,they were armed with the details pertaining to exact timing and locations of the Gestapo blitz . Secondly , why was it behoven upon the A.F.D , an independent body , through ‘ The Separation of Powers ‘ , to brief their masters beforehand .? Thirdly , Cash’s amueritish denials of foreknowledge of the despotic descent , fell to the wayside , after a belated statement of innocence was proffered . By claiming , that the first she knew of the Sturmabteilung incursion , was she seeing it on the idiot box , the question then asks , what was she hoping to gain , perched afore a screen , when she’s supposed to be working .? Was she leaning , when the commoners were lifting .? Or was she excitedly awaiting the fruits of her endeavours. ?

  52. IPA is an associated entity

    Who was the anonymous tipster who phoned the ROC and claimed the AWU was destroying documents? Perhaps the same person who tipped off the media?

  53. diannaart

    silkworm October 25, 2017 at 10:36 pm
    The government is targeting Getup because it hopes to undermine Getup’s campaign to oust Dutton from his seat at next year’s Federal election.

    I was trying to remember which LNP droog was expressing their disdain for Get-Up. Of course it was Dutton. He’s a bit rattled by Get-up right now:

    New Get-Up campaign to Get Dutton Out

    by Julian Burnside | May 19, 2016 | Asylum Seekers, Human Rights | 2 comments

    I don’t usually publicise Get-Up campaigns, but here is the text of their latest campaign. I agree with them:

    “In a disgusting ploy to win votes, Peter Dutton — the Minister for Immigration — just slandered many of our immigrant communities:

    “They won’t be numerate or literate … They would languish on unemployment … These people will be taking Australian jobs.”1

    This kind of rank bigotry and stupidity has no place in our politics. But it won’t stop until we make it cost votes and cost bigots like Dutton their place in parliament.

    According to experts, Dutton is vulnerable in his electorate of Dickson.2 It’s no easy task unseating a cabinet minister, so to beat him, we’ll really have to fight.

    New Get-Up campaign to Get Dutton Out

    I do believe I recall Dutton asking why “his side of politics (paraphrasing here) don’t have their own Get-Up” and wondered, doesn’t Dutton see the IPA as their personal attack dogs?

  54. Kronomex

    “Do as we say, not as we do. Or else!”

  55. Kyran

    My post yesterday was incorrect with regard to the establishment of the ROC. As noted in other articles, it was created after the 2016 ABCC double dissolution, which inadvertently doubled everyone’s disillusion. From the ROC website;
    “Please note: investigations and inquiries commenced or completed prior to 2017 will have been initiated by the General Manager of the Fair Work Commission.”
    So the baton was passed.
    diannaart, there is a further aspect that should scare the living bejesus out of any rational mind.
    The sentence in the article;
    “As to the use of government agencies for political purposes, does anyone still believe the Dutton/Pezzullo assurances that they will only use their new powers for good?”
    was a poorly phrased reference to one of the ‘agencies’ that will be under the direct control of the super duper mega department wholly owned and operated by the Dutton/Pezzullo duo.

    The Australian Federal Police.

    What could go wrong!
    Thanks again for the conversation. Take care

  56. Kyran

    And the case for the defence, in the matter of AEC V GetUp, calls its first witnesses. The rightly dishonourable PM, Malcolm Turnbull, and his progressive poodle, Christopher Whine, Messrs Roskam, Shelton and Murdoch. The CEO’s of the ABA, AHA, MCA, etcetera.

    “The request from Christopher Pyne was simple but unexpected. Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership was in trouble, and he was hoping GetUp! might help do numbers for him.
    It was the last Saturday of November in 2009 and the phone call was to Simon Sheikh, then national director of the activist group.
    “He complained that conservative organisations, particularly the Australian Christian Lobby, were contacting MPs to advocate support for Abbott,” Sheikh says. “He asked if I could organise for people to email or call MPs in support of Turnbull.”
    Pyne had specifics in mind. He offered to provide GetUp! with a list of about 10 undecided MPs, whose votes might be swayed by a lobbying campaign. Given the events of this week, it seems particularly curious in hindsight.
    Sheikh and Pyne had established a reasonable relationship, although the MP had expressed his frustration that GetUp! did not sufficiently distinguish between moderate Liberals such as himself and the party’s conservatives.”

    But wait, there’s more;

    “The same test might equally be applied to a large number of other entities.
    Consider, for example, the Murdoch media, which campaigns relentlessly against Labor at election time. Arguably a banner headline, such as The Daily Telegraph’s “Kick This Mob Out”, published during the 2013 federal election campaign, marks it as being every bit as partisan as GetUp!
    Why is the AEC not investigating the declaration of News Corp as an associated entity of the Liberal Party? Or, for that matter, the Minerals Council or the Australian Christian Lobby, or the right-wing talkback hosts on commercial radio, whose campaigning might equally be seen as directed “wholly, or to a significant extent for the benefit” of the conservative parties?
    As Professor Graeme Orr, an expert in electoral law at the University of Queensland, told the ABC this week:
    “GetUp! might exist to a significant extent to benefit the progressive side of politics … but it doesn’t co-ordinate with political parties. So there’s no reason to think GetUp! is an associated entity of a party.
    “Merely existing to advance progressive politics, to pull the political centre to the left, does not mean someone is associated with or co-ordinating with one or more political parties. If the government wants greater disclosure from anyone, whether it be News Ltd, through its newspapers, the IPA or GetUp!, it should probably amend the law.””

    An independent media allows these conversations to take place. It allows views to be explored, defined, refined and, on occasions, discarded. That is why sites such as this remain vibrant, whilst the MSM and its increasingly shrill wailing to protect the notion that their views should not be questioned is in decline.
    Thanks again AIMN and commenters. Take care

  57. diannaart

    Excellent work, there Kyan.

    I was not aware of Turnbull & Co actually seeking out Get-up – which really means this mob will try anything… and miss obvious details like Get-Up being progressive.


    Sheikh and Pyne had established a reasonable relationship, although the MP had expressed his frustration that GetUp! did not sufficiently distinguish between moderate Liberals such as himself and the party’s conservatives.”

    I have the same difficulty as Get-Up; Pyne just doesn’t GET that from a progressive point of view, many Labor pollies are viewed as conservative… let alone a self-proclaimed big “L” so-called moderate.


    Kyran. s 252 (5) Fair Work Act requires that a registered organisation must keep its records for 7 yrs. Michelle Grattan at The Conversation says the latest complaint to ROC against AWU was made last week by Cash. It relates to a donation nade in 2005 by AWU to GETUP! The AWU would be justified in disposing of any docs and records dated before 2010. ROC has no legal authority to obtain or seize the records. This will mean the warrant was invalid and the siezure likely an illegal search and tresspass. The warrant will be dismissed and costs ordered against ROC i.e. all of us as the public. It was contrary to Turnbull’s much touted ‘rule of law”.

    Moreover, in order to grant a warrant for the search and siezure of AWU docs the Magistrate would need to have been satisfied that it was justified and s/he would have needed to base that satisfaction on facts given in evidence. That evidence would have been given in an Affidavit or orally or both. Someone who gave evidence most likely lied on the Affidavit or with held relevant facts from the evidence they gave to the magistrate. That is a criminal offence.

    Already we are hearing inconsistent stories about the complainant to ROC. ROC has claimed they received the tip off they acted on from ‘a caller’. It is now clear that the complaint was made by Cash during tbe course of the week. Is ROC lying and has this lie been reproduced in the Affidavit? If so, the directors and commissioner of ROC should be charged with criminal offences. Inconsistent stories are prima facie evidence that one or other of the parties involved is not telling the truth. That would be either Cash or ROCommissioner.

    there will be more to come from this and it wont be good for turnbull and his blackshirt buddies.

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