Paying the power bill
While everyone reels from Turnbull’s captain’s pick to neuter the Dutton threat by handing him unprecedented power, this is one of many actions by Turnbull to shore up his own job.
In August 2015, just before Turnbull staged his leadership coup, he offered Queensland conservative powerbroker and LNP President Bruce McIver a new job as a board director at Australia Post.
McIver announced his resignation from the LNP executive on September 7, a week before Turnbull challenged for the leadership.
On 10 December 2015, McIver’s appointment was confirmed without going through the selection process required of previous appointees.
A few days later, despite having retired as LNP president in September, McIver used his influence and vote on the LNP executive to help block federal Liberal MP Ian Macfarlane’s attempted defection to the Nationals.
McIver was at the infamous Rolex dinner before the 2013 election, hosted by dumped Minister Stuart Robert, where Chinese mogul Li Ruipeng met with then Opposition leader Tony Abbott, then shadow resources minister Ian Macfarlane, and Liberal donor Paul Marks, the man Robert accompanied to China to lend support to a mining deal.
McIver is also a longtime friend and business partner of Clive Palmer, acting as a director for Asia Pacific Shipping Enterprises and four related companies. Queensland LNP senator Barry O’Sullivan, the parliamentarian who owns 33 properties, is a long-time McIver ally,
No wonder they avoided a selection process.
In February 2016, the day after his first board meeting with Australia Post, McIver headlined a Liberal Party fundraiser despite government guidelines requiring directors of government business enterprises to “in undertaking their business, avoid activities that could give rise to questions about their political impartiality”.
Also on the Australia Post board is former senator Michael Ronaldson, a Turnbull ally who, in response to being left out of the Ministry, announced his retirement in December 2015, paving the way for the IPA’s James Paterson to fill the casual vacancy.
After leaving parliament in March 2016, Ronaldson, the former minister for veterans’ affairs, began his gig as an Australia Post director two months later.
In late 2014, Turnbull, as Communications Minister, also appointed Dominique Fisher, the wife of former Liberal Party federal president Alan Stockdale, to the board though her selection was through an executive search process conducted by an independent recruitment agency.
Unlike Vanessa Guthrie, former head of the Minerals Council, who Turnbull appointed to the board of the ABC despite her not even making the short list from the independent selection committee, or the IPA’s Tim Wilson who was gifted a role at the Human Rights Commission, at the expense of the very competent Graeme Innes, purely because he was being groomed by George Brandis, as shown by his premature resignation as soon as a safe Liberal seat became available.
And if you have a disgruntled ex-treasurer who may want revenge, send him out of the country to the top job in America and give him a nanny and housekeeper thrown in.
Add in a lazy million or two towards a cash-strapped campaign, and the power bill should be well and truly paid for.
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Are we surprised anymore by Turnbull’s politcal corruption and desperate need to remain PM?
Sadly no. We have become accustomed to nepotism and corruption.
Nepotism and corruption … two of the ingredients in the treason cake.
The end goal
Australia Post has become profitable again thanks to a Muslin CEO who then was axed for his efforts mainly because of the crap that he was a Muslim and that he was on $5M a year.
Murdoch promoted Hanson to the hilt of getting the axing of the CEO, how dare a Muslim gets paid millions from the government when it’s only the preserve of Hanson and the LNP. The gall of the man!
The board is now stacked with libs, apart from the easy money to be made as a director, it could quite easily be in the view of preparing Australia Post for privatization to one of their favoured mates.
I can read their minds.
Still reeling at the Dutton thing.
Excellent work, Kaye Lee.
I particularly admire your clear succinct writing – straight forward with no room for ambiguity. You cannot imagine how much I value your work.
Now the Minister for Whatever He decides he wants it to be, Dutton, is calling for postal plebiscite for marriage equality. Where next will Dutton’s tentacles reach?
It is Michelle Guthrie, not Vanessa.
Mike Seccombe wrote a good article in the Saturday Paper “How the church is splitting the Liberal Party”
Look at those who have supported Abbott’s insurgency or defied Turnbull: Kevin Andrews, conservative Catholic; Eric Abetz, a member of the Christian Reformed Church; Michael Sukkar, who recently provided Abbott a forum to attack Turnbull, conservative Catholic; George Christensen, Antiochian Orthodox.
Even among those senior figures on whom Turnbull depends for support, we find the religious right: Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, for example, is a conservative Catholic. As is Barnaby Joyce. Treasurer Scott Morrison is a conservative evangelical. The list goes on.
Suzanne, there is a Michelle and a Vanessa – one is managing director, the other is on the board
“The Coalition has handpicked Western Australian mining lobbyist Vanessa Guthrie to sit on the ABC board, bypassing the independent nomination panel.”
“Is Michelle Guthrie a Turnbull sap or a Murdoch toady?”
The Great LNP Swindle continues with impunity, self-entitlement and utter disdain for the ordinary mug punter. No wonder I feckin’ drink!
Kaye Lee … thank you for this article ( and links ) ….. for what it may be worth, I believe M.G. is decidedly a Murdoch ‘plant’ … and as for M. Turnbull, ($ millions $ and all ) , his P.M ship relies solidly on Murdoch.
Yes, the Crikey question…sap or toady has long disturbed this writer’s tranquiilty, like Buridan’s Ass I am concerning it.
In the end, the only safe conclusion to make is that whatever other differences, Turncoat and the Monk are in unison as to fascism.
Excellent work Kaye! Your indefatigable digging continues to yield dividends. The more we get to know, the better. It reveals the “stacking” of these organisations by the coalition once they come in. The result has been the increasing bias of these organisations towards the “right” over the last two decades or so. What bothers me is the reluctance of Labor to “un-stack” these organisations once they come in. Such obviously “political” appointments need to be reversed, and it can be done without much opprobrium when the reasons are laid out. There is a whole gang of these self-serving “neoliberal warriors” who are brought in by incoming coalition govt.s and they should be sent packing the moment a Labor govt. comes in, since most of them have no real talent or qualifications. But will Labor do this? If not, why not?
Why does Dick Warburton keep getting gigs when he was complicit in the Securency/One Note bribery case? On and on it goes. I saw Stuart Robert standing with Turnbull in a doorstop a few days ago. No doubt he will make a resurgence like Sinodinis did. They really don’t seem to see anything wrong with what they are doing.
Turbull has one character fault, he does not like to be wrong or to lose. Once Abbott replaced him 2009 he considered quitting politics but soon decided to stay on. This is to ensure he will be a winner and go out as such. Bet you any money if the polls reverse and he looks like he is guaranteed to win next election he will hand over the job and the only thing that will stop him doing it is his ego and how long he wants to be in the sun.
“The bonfire of regulations highlighted by the Grenfell Tower disaster, the destruction of state architecture through austerity, the budgeting rules, the dismantling of public services, tuition fees and the control of schools: all these measures follow Buchanan’s program to the letter.”
“Complete freedom for billionaires means poverty, insecurity, pollution and collapsing public services for everyone else. Because we will not vote for this, it can be delivered only through deception and authoritarian control. The choice we face is between unfettered capitalism and democracy. You cannot have both.”
Kaye, the info you dig up is gobsmacking. Like you once said, it’s there on the web for all to see, but I don’t think anybody else bothers to look.
Thank you for looking. You do us all a service.
Cronyism and Nepotism yes. Nepotism used to protect power – an overreach. This article commences with Turnbull doing Dutton a favour to protect his power and concludes with how to protect power by warding off a disgruntled treasurer who make seek revenge and to “pay the power bill”. This article frames nepotism as a mechanism to protect power.
However, this appears to be an article about basic nepotism. Not about how nepotism is used to protect power.
For example, Tim Wilson is a moderate, hand picked by Conservative Tony Abbott for HRC. He then won a democratic vote beating two or three other candidates for his candidacy. There is no relationship evident to how his HRC position or democratically elected Liberal candidate have any link to protection of power.
McIver resigned because he wanted to enter the corporate world. He is highly regarded amongst the LNP and the link to how this relates to Turnbull is not clear, except it is jobs for the boys. McIver was head of QLD LNP and many LNP MPs don’t even vote in the leadership spill because they sit under Barnaby Joyce in the Nationals.
Fisher who won her appointment through a proper selection process shows no link either. The Rolex inclusion – no link.
The examples used in this article are weak as a link to the premise of the argument put for the protection of power. Also, no causal links to how these examples of nepotism were used to protect power is demonstrated.
Really? One wonders what Brandis would say? Here’s a (historical) clue:
One wonders as to the role of Abbott? Possibly on his bike at the time?
I think the article falls into place quite nicely after that. A statement was made, and in my opinion it was quite suitably backed up.
And there’s this one, Matters Not:
If one reads the first paragraph of Kaye’s post, then that is what she is getting at: jobs for the boys. The way I read it, it was the manner in which his replacement was found – not about McIver’s resignation.
Roswell: My point is that the article fails to demonstrate any link to how these examples of nepotism have anything to do with protection of power. Yes, agree, the article is about jobs for the boys,which I suggested. It doesn’t demonstrate the premise of the article which is about protection of power. Why make the suggestion of protection of power, if it is just examples of unrelated nepotism? I don’t see the point.
Perhaps point out how the examples relate to protection of power, because I can’t see it. No explanations are given.
MN – Are you suggesting that Wilson is not a moderate? Brandis may have had something to do with it, but others also said Wilson was hand picked by Abbott. In any case, how does Wilson’s appointment have any connection to protection of power? It doesn’t.
Trish, I liked the post and I do not have to justify to you – or anybody else – why I did.
You didn’t like it. Fine.
Me thinks you’re only being critical because it’s Kaye’s post. I’m sure that if your read all the posts published today you could find a word out of place in them too. But because it’s Kaye, well … that’s different.
My intent was to show a few connections so the article does tend to jump around a bit.
I found the timing of the McIver offer, which was before he resigned, interesting and the fact that he did not go through a selection process relevant. The Rolex dinner gives context to McIver and McFarlane which I felt relevant as McIver blocked McFarlane’s attempted defection which shored up Turnbull’s stability. Particularly strange as I thought Barnaby supported the move.
Did/does Malcolm need support in Queensland maybe? Was McIver suitable for the position?
The lack of selection process was the link with Guthrie and Wilson. The media is being tamed and we now have two more IPA members of Parliament, with Paterson scoring his position because Ronaldson resigned, which makes me wonder when he was offered the Australia Post gig.
Fisher was mentioned, in part because she DID go through a selection process, and partly because she was another Turnbull appointee with Liberal Party connections.
This was not meant to be a treatise on any one topic – just a look at the tangled web of actions and connections. Rather than trying to prove a case, I leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions.
Wow Roswell. What a pathetic accusation. I’m sure I’ve never heard you say a harsh word to Kaye Lee for the hundreds of critical and harsh comments she has left on my posts over the years. In fact, quite the opposite. Do you ever pop onto my posts and ask her or others to go and find criticism with other posts? No, I have never seen you do that.
Because it is Kaye, well…..that’s different. I seriously do not have a record of being overly critical on Kaye’s posts or any posts on this site. In fact, I don’t hardly ever comment on Kaye’s posts or other posts, I normally just hit the like button on posts, as a show of support.
Seriously, the introduction and the conclusion do not fit the body of the article. The claim of nepotism connected to political protection is weak and misleading. Just because you like it, doesn’t mean it isn’t misleading and not well thought out. As a writer, that is the type of criticism about the structure of an article, I welcome, not condemn.
I think I have a right to comment as much as anyone else. If you want to criticise my comment, and join in with some banter with MN about my comment, surely I have the right to comment back to you. Or possibly there are rules for some and not for others it seems. I’m being critical because it is warranted. I think your criticism of my personal motivations for commenting is the one that is unjustified.
i reject your accusation. Frankly, I find repetitive unwarranted, unjustified or harsh criticism from Authors on another Author’s post, just so their voice is heard, is unprofessional and repulsive. It is something I do not participate in.
Ok that last paragraph made me LOL.
It’s ok Trish. You are entitled to your opinion and have every right to comment. I will however reiterate that this was not an article purely about nepotism though that plays a part.
Kaye, find a few connections to what? Sorry, either your article is about the act of nepotism to preserve power, which the title, introduction and conclusion suggest, or it is about nepotism and has nothing to do with the preservation of power, which leaves me confused as to the title, introduction and conclusion.
Kaye, I’m not sure why you found it funny. I don’t participate in harsh, unreasonable or repetitive comments on other Author’s articles. It certainly is not my style. It is not something I joke about, nor like being accused of.
Well that has left me very confused. If it is not about nepotism, what exactly is the article about?
Thank you for that somewhat didactic dissertation.
I think that you are fundamentally correct in the opening and closing remarks that frame your critique.
Kaye Lee didn’t keep the entire body of her work strictly themed within the referential framework constructed by her intro and finale, which seemed to be Turnbulls policy of basing his positional appointments upon PYA principle..
Informational items were introduced and incidents cited that did not properly display direct evidence of causality with the theme of Mal meddling impurely in order to keep his arse on the throne.
Strict and proper referential framework is a vitally important aspect of effective public communication, whether the intention be predominantly influenced by social interactionalism or phenomenological considerations..
Kaye Lee can do much better.
I am sure she, as an author, will value your comments and consider them a constructive form of criticism.
Ps, The ‘moderation’ of Tim Wilson is a relative matter.
By some benchmarks (eg in the company of some of his more far-right LNP colleagues and a few of his IPA ex-fellows) he may seem comparatively moderate, and on a few issues (notably same-sex marriage) he assumes a more progressive stance than many of those he faces across the parliamentary floor.
However, my own definitional parameters of ‘moderacy’ do not encompass the ex ‘Freedom Commissioner’, a man who sees fellow citizenry engaged in peaceful protest and immediately screams for water-cannons
“your article is about the act of nepotism to preserve power”
No it isn’t. It’s about captain’s picks. It’s about buying influence and allegiance. It’s about the lack of due process. It’s about silencing dissent. It’s about manipulation. It’s about connections between people. It’s about the timing of events. It’s about the independence of statutory positions. It’s about the infiltration of the IPA and the taming of the media. It’s about following threads in a tangled web.
I have not followed the format for an academic essay because it isn’t one.
Kaye Lee and Trish Corry
How about you two collaborating on something? Let’s see an article “Written by: Kaye Lee and Trish Corry”
Put your differences aside and set a positive example for a change. Your petty feud is nothing compared to the problems that we face.
Toss a coin to decide whose name appears first.
“There are only 23 years between these two photos, and the transformation is terrifying – from pristine South Pacific gem to the final resting place for enormous quantities of the world’s waste.”
“if all we ever do is clean up, that is all we will ever do.”
I don’t have any differences with Trish Harquebus. We are on the same side, with the possible exception of opening new coal mines and coal-fired power stations.
At least readers will now know that you were not implying that Turnbull needs to pay the “power bill” through nepotism to save his own skin as everything about the article suggests.
This is not an academic forum, so sorry if you have taken my well intentioned criticism of the structure of you article as something it was not. I was of the understanding structure is important in all writing.
No thanks H.
It’s just information for the reader to make what they will of it.
That’s how I saw it. And I repeat; it was a good post.
Excellent piece, Kaye Lee. Always a pleasure to read your articulate, concise, well-researched articles for the AIMN. Your plain-English, succinct style of writing makes the information accessible to every reader, which is the whole point of writing for a well-respected site such as this. Thank you.
I agree that this latest power-sharing arrangement with Dutton successfully neutralises any potential leadership threat from within – for now. Handing unprecedented power to Dutton’s new super-ministry means the AFP now come under the same departmental umbrella as the people and agencies they are investigating, a move that ANU security expert John Blaxland has said will create an “institutional weakness”. Precisely how this will improve “accountability and integrity” as the Turnbull Gov has asserted remains a mystery. What is needed is a Federal ICAC, a move supported by former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery. This is what Turnbull ought be pursuing if he was sincerely interested in promoting accountability and integrity, which he is not.
Sadly nepotism is and always has been the modus operandi of the Liberal Party. Malcolm Turnbull is a lame duck PM who has taken nepotism to new heights in order to shore up his somewhat tenuous grip on power. It’s all a game of smoke and mirrors. His self-interested love affair with power supersedes any concern he has for the integrity and efficacy of his own government, and by default the interests of average Australians. This makes him a weak, ineffectual leader who can manoeuvre all he likes, but ultimately it’s Australian voters who will decide his fate in 2019, an election that cannot come soon enough for my liking.
Thank you, Kaye Lee, fa said it all, another of your informative articles. I trust your articles completely, well researched and well written. Probably best not to comment on ms. Corry’s paranoia and her base desires to denigrate all that don’t follow her way of thinking.
Oh shit, no I’ve done it, the can of worms been opened.
Trish writes excellent articles that always promote lots of thoughtful contributions. Her work is a valuable addition to the site as are the comments that follow – except when we get to the bickering which I agree is draining for all. I hope we can move past it.
I will say further, I don’t see the comments section on the AIMN as being to, for, or about the author. I have always viewed it as an evolving discussion between readers with the article only acting as stimulus to kick it off. It is what attracted me to this site (and Cafe Whispers) in the first place.
fa, I don’t hold out much hope for a federal ICAC, as delicious as one would be. However, the more we demand one the more suspicious the electorate will become if the Liberals keep avoiding the issue. But at this stage, not even a desperate lane-duck PM will support it.
We wouldn’t need a federal ICAC if the existing bodies did their job but they don’t. The absolute reluctance to pursue foreign bribery cases highlights this as does the different treatment of different people. Why is Kathy Jackson still swanning around living the high life? Why was the review of Michael Lawler’s sick leave claim never pursued? As for politicians’ entitlements, have a review by insiders (which may or may not be released), rap a few knuckles, repay some money without admitting guilt, say everyone does it, and move on.
We should also take appointments out of government hands and give them to an independent boards be they public service, or legal, or media or whatever is applicable. Politicians shouldn’t be using appointments for their own political purposes.
Kaye, that’s what I liked about Cafè Whispers. You could pull up a chair and join a group of people talking about whatever, or if you liked you could pull up a chair at another table and join in the discussion going on there.
That is the way I’ve seen The AIMN evolve. I do like the engagement the site encourages and there are always other tables to move to.
AIMN is one of the best sites for a diversity of (mostly lefty) opinion. Keeps us on our toes, keeps us engaged when ennui threatens and most of all makes us think.
I have tried to engage on right-wing blog sites only to receive scathing insult and (predictable) banning. Yet, as Kaye Lee, noted the uber-conservatives do not believe they are behaving appallingly towards others. Although, I have seen similar behaviour from those on left of the spectrum. It has something (apologies for inelegance) to do with holding tenaciously to a single opinion or dogma to the point of rejecting anything else. Harquebus (sorry mate) is an example, with the “we are doomed and nothing will change that” rhetoric.
On the matter of a Federal ICAC, I would submit that simply establishing such a body, in order to oversee the current ‘ bent ‘ legislation, is simply a ‘ marking time ‘ ploy !
Were the Australian Labor Party to achieve Treasury benches ( possibly ) through presenting a united front, on a tight revolutionary Legislative agenda aimed at changing / passing laws to cleanse our corruptive / destructive Legislative system ….. it would need to be trusted & capable of delivering ! … a driving desire for REAL change ?
Could we be aiming just a little low in pursuing an ICAC facility where clearly it represents a prolonged crumb cleaning exercise … whilst the serious neocon club simply laughs …. whether IN Gov. or not ! … Seriously !.
Simply treating the ‘effect’ whilst ignoring the ’cause’ …. e.g. the Pharmaceutical industry ! …
We live in potentially revolutionary times, and REAL change is there for the grasping ….. to the benefit of our Australian Society ! …. thus curbing the current unsightly surge of Inequality ! ….. Maybe it’s time to push for the ” Australian Society ” .as a whole ? … National Pride ?
Is the Left’s call for an ICAC (laxative?) simply to prove to the Right that it is imperfect?
“we are doomed and nothing will change that” if we continue business as usual. Even the ALP is hell bent on continuing the madness. My pessimism is justified.
“Why is Kathy Jackson still swanning around living the high life? Why was the review of Michael Lawler’s sick leave claim never pursued?”
It seems either odd or fortuitous that you write an article on nepotism and her name only appears in the comment section. Nepotism, whether ‘familial’ or ‘ideological’ remains as nepotism. Your previous articles give a little background.
Add Peter Wicks to the conversation, and the nepotism becomes more apparent.
David Rofe passed away last Friday.
“All up, there are about 25 Rofe wills in existence — most signed after 2010.
Some in Mr Rofe’s circle claim that a 2006 will, signed well before his health declined, best reflects his life experience and wishes.”
“Kathy Jackson could lose the bulk of an apparent $3 million inheritance windfall from a wealthy Sydney¬ barrister because the Health Services Union wants to claw back the money as her bankruptcy creditor.
The death of David Rofe QC on Friday night sparked immed¬iate interest in his $30m estate at the weekend, in large part ¬because former union chief Ms Jackson is named as an executor in the 85-year-old barrister’s last will and bequeathed $3m.”
I’m feeling queasy citing an article from The unAustralian, but they seem to be pursuing this story reasonably well.
“So far, Ms Jackson has not paid a cent to the HSU after she filed for bankruptcy.
She faces proceedings later this year with 164 charges laid against her for alleged theft and fraud that relate to her time as secretary of the HSU’s No 3 branch, representing Victorian health professionals between 1996 and 2010.
Ms Jackson’s successor as HSU No 3 branch secretary, Craig McGregor, said his union was very interested in recovering the $2.4m-plus the union says it is owed. “The great bulk of this came from the Victorian ¬allied health branch and we want it back,” Mr McGregor said.
“But we won’t be taking a cent of the money unless we are satisfied that Jackson is a legitimate -recipient. I’d want to know that Mr Rofe was of sound mind when he wrote Jackson into his will.””
“Rofe family members and other potential beneficiaries are concerned about the validity of Mr Rofe’s last will.
Preparing for a potential court marathon, they are set to contest the validity of almost any will signed after his dementia diagnosis in October 2010. But they appear most keen on trying to rule out a last batch of wills providing a large inheritance for Ms Jackson.”
A la Ms Rinehart, the kids are likely to spend a truckload of the estates money contesting illegal, improper or unacceptable conditions. The lawyers will have a picnic. The media will be transfixed on all sorts of vagaries. The ‘media consumers’ will be consumed by all manner of ‘celebrity’ and ‘wealth’.
It seems entirely appropriate to note the union, prosecuting the case against a bankrupt who defrauded their members of millions, shows more respect for Mr Rofe’s family than those who will leach off the estate.
The problem with nepotism is that it has no conscience. Invariably, those fighting nepotism are thwarted in their endeavours by their conscience.
Thank you Ms Lee and commenters. Take care