In an interview with ABC Illawarra on July 26 regarding his lobbying of Josh Frydenberg to change the endangered status of a species of grassland that his family was accused of illegally poisoning, Angus Taylor seemed to admit to using his position to push for changes to financially benefit himself and his family.
MELINDA JAMES: They do say – I mean, you said it has the potential to have a big impact on landholders, one of those landholders being a company that is-
ANGUS TAYLOR: One of the landholders is me. I’m a farmer, so are many, many people in my electorate and many people who’ll be listening to your broadcast right now. I mean, look-
MELINDA JAMES: But a big impact on a company that is, one of the directors of which is your brother.
ANGUS TAYLOR: Melinda, this discussion was about the technical aspects of a listing, which had the potential and still has the potential to have a very big impact on farming across the region. I make absolutely no apologies for standing up for farmers in my region. That includes me and other family members. I mean this is, you know, what my job is as a local Member of Parliament. It is my job to stand up for us. If I’m not standing up for my farmers in the Federal Parliament, then who is?
Well that might wash had Taylor not failed to declare his interest in Jam Land, the family company under investigation.
Scott Morrison’s Statement of the Ministerial Standards makes clear that ministers must declare any private interests that can give rise to the perception of a conflict of interests.
After media exposure, Taylor produced a letter, which he claimed was from a concerned farmer, to show he was acting in the interests of his constituents and not himself when he sought a meeting with Frydenberg.
Except it was actually from a lobby group, the NSW Farmers Association, and was written nearly six months after the meetings were held.
A national review of how conservation laws affect the agriculture industry was prompted by a complaint on the radio from Richard Taylor – the brother of Angus Taylor – according to Senator John Williams.
Let’s not forget that Angus kicked off his run for politics by opposing wind farms on properties near his family’s property, presumably because they would spoil their view.
And then there is his brother Duncan, husband of NSW Nationals MP Bronwyn Taylor, who was given a $16 million grant for the Country Universities Centres project despite a cost-benefit analysis showing the project would be unlikely to deliver a positive benefit to the state.
Taylor’s latest brain fart, giving a forged letter to a media outlet to attack a political opponent, just seems to stem from his climate change denial and political rather than financial gain – but will it be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back?
If not, then it’s a fucking strong camel.
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