Some interesting snippets from Senate Estimates
A few observations from Monday’s Senate Estimates hearings:
Ministers Michaelia Cash and Michael Keenan both declined two requests from the AFP to be interviewed and provide witness statements regarding the media tipoff about the raids on AWU offices.
ASIO made it very clear that they did not provide any advice about boats restarting due to the medevac bill and they were pissed off that The Australian (and some politicians) had suggested otherwise. Their only advice related to the people who could be excluded by ministerial discretion under ASIO rules.
Home Affairs boss Mike Pezullo said Peter Dutton had nothing to do with the contract to Paladin to provide services on Manus. In fact, he was rather dismissive saying “He makes the policy. I make the decisions.”
Derryn Hinch asked if there was a relationship between Paladin employee Karen Dutton and Peter Dutton. The question was taken on notice.
Paladin was given $89 million in the months before it signed a contract. There was no tender process. The department approached them directly.
Senator Linda Reynolds has officially joined the dark side after her promotion to assistant minister for Home Affairs. To say she was obstructionist would be understating her lack of contribution and her actual interference with the process.
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Tried to contact Paladin myself in their HQ in a beach hut at the end of a dirt road. A spokesman came back to me saying that it costs more than 89 million to connect telephone services in such a remote area, so until the further 400 million or so became available I was advised to be patient. He was unaware they were expected to provide security services for this paltry amount as someone called Dutton had signed off on the deal, but because of the meagre amounts involved was not aware of any details. He did say though the HQ was to be relocated to three penthouses on the Gold Coast asap.
Kaye, they are rotten to the core, how 49% of the voting continue to support them is a mystery to me, such a scandal ridden government, the likes of which escapes my memory, I can only go back to Billy MacMahon.
Corruption’s what this ruling rabble does best….and how can two unionists be charged for not divulging what they said to members about safety concerns and the Harpy, Cash and the retiring Keenan can be allowed to tell the AFP to “eff” off?
This bunch of salarymen are always causing problems on Parliament’s computer network with their ‘Sugar Daddy’ website browsing.
Also from yesterday’s estimates…
In Mr al-Araibi’s case, Mr Outram said the fact that he had a protection visa should have been passed on to the AFP and the Department of Home Affairs.
“The officer in this case has simply forgotten to send an email, and it’s as simple as that,” he said.
Fnance Minister Mathias Cormann’s flights for a family holiday to Singapore were paid for by a travel company controlled by Liberal Party Treasurer Andrew Burnes within weeks of that company winning a $1 billion contract from Cormann’s department.
Pezullo says “This sort of contract –even though it’s a large sum of money, we’re very careful with every single dollar of the taxpayers’ money that we get.”
The lucrative deal has helped propel Canstruct, based in the Brisbane suburb of Yeerongpilly, into wealth. Its latest filings with the corporate regulator revealed a $43m profit in seven months running the centre. Human rights lawyers believe the company could make $110m profit by the time the contract expires at the end of April.
Cry, check ‘the most read’ on the Guardian….Sport and some bloody Bachelor are the favourites…no wonder the leading rabble can do what they like…and then say: we forgot….
If they didn’t call open tender, how do they know there was no one else avaialble?
Isn’t it Border Force who could not account for 2 billion dollar last year, perhaps the year prior to this?
And have we already forgotten the 440 Million to the GBRF?
They are so obliviously corrupt and beyond reproach at the same time, that I get the ill feeling, half the Government Departments are colluding with this corrupt mob.
Your honorable(s)my ass.
Re Cormann and Travel Company – read Helloworld. Mr and Mrs Burnes have deep and enduring connections to the Liberal Party – both at the Victorian and National levels. They know each other. Thus it is a sign of absolute arrogance to accept free flights when there is at least a perceived conflict of interest. And it’s not the first time that Cormann has supped when the alarm bells should have been ringing in his ears. Flights to Broome for dirty week-ends and all that – aan from the public purse.
Then again his best mate in Parliament is Dutton Perhaps there is a vaccination available – an industrial strength variety is badly needed.
I have been combing the news to see if Cormann has submitted his resignation following the Dastyari precedent.
Can we expect see Mathias popping up on Dancing with the Stars ?
After all Dastyari received gifts of travel from Chinese entrepreneurs which he disclosed : Cormann pretended that he knew nothing – it was all a mystery why he handed paid for this trip himself.
“The government plans to send sick refugees and people seeking asylum to Christmas Island. This is utter bastardry and a denial of the Parliament’s intentions.”
So the opening of Christmas Island is not to deal with an expected influx of boats. That is where they are going to send the sick refugees.
The Government is bringing them to Australia as the legislation requires. (That’s why a bit of pedantry can be so very, very important. Perhaps it’s why we shouldn’t refer to taxpayers when we mean citizens. Conceptual clarity always helps – particularly in the longer term.)
Hey Kaye Lee, how about an article on the many and varied cock ups of Bridget Mc Kenzie?
They just said in estimates that FOI requests have increased significantly in the last three years and by 42% in the last six months.
The secrecy is getting worse.
Christmas Island hospital doesn’t even have facilties for minor operations – patients are Medivacced to Perth for that. It is totally unsuitable as a place to treat refugees removed from Manus or Nauru on medical grounds.
So out of touch with reality are these pollies that they never bother to check their credit card statements for a bill of $2780 for 16 months. No one will buy that obviously obvious fib Mr Conman!
Oh my giddy aunt! What a rubbish of shit record of corruption… This Fed incumbency will go down in history as possibly the worst ever
Oppositions, media and the like engage in trawling operations hoping to come up with something so that grenades can be tossed. Taking info out of context becomes par for the course.
One of the hardest positions to staff (and retain) is that of the FOI officer. It involves lots of face to face contact and you just can’t win. The staffer from the Opposition office is never pleased because you deny some access while the staffer from the Minister’s office is likewise never pleased because you have provided too much access. Best to rotate people after short stints. Even so – staff can’t wait to go elsewhere.
While FOI is essential to a well functioning democracy, there are some practical thorns to deal with.
The FOI public servant is doing well in handling the questions about the complexities of her job. I don’t blame her at all. Linda Reynolds, on the other hand, is continuing her obstruction today and Ian McDonald as chair is doing the same. She really is rewarding her masters for her promotion. Sad….I used to have respect for her.
“Attack Dogs” – Reynolds, McDonald, Morrison, rAbbott, Dutton, Porter, Cash, O’Sullivan, Canavan, etc, etc, etc. The disreputable Adani lawyers AJ & Co are now turning to the methods of these Coalition pollies. It is disgusting and alarming to see the tactics of the Coalition non-Government being adopted by parts of our judiciary. Standards are indeed plummeting – we are fast descending into American Trumpism where lies count more than facts.
I’m still shaking my head over the MSM’s lack of coverage of The Paladin Affair.
So much shaking that I’ve given myself a headache.
I guess that with an election around the corner they don’t want to damage the government.
Meanwhile, however, I keep reading that Labor will weaken our borders. 💤
Murray Watt is asking the DPP why no-one was prosecuted for the leaking of the AWU raid. The DPP was confirming that there was prima facie evidence a crime had been committed but the lack of witness statements from the Ministers was a factor in them determining little chance of success (the DPP said 9 witnesses refused to give evidence) so McDonald shut the hearing down for 5 minutes then came back and said Watt’s time for questioning was up.
Kaye, this is beyond a joke. A confidence motion should be put to the house.
Next they will suspend sitting on Wednesday and Thursday, take their ball and go home. It will then be all over until Budget goodies are handed out to the 1 percenters in April. Where are you Sir Peter?
I say a confidence motion because I would enjoy seeing the ‘government’ supporting a proposal put forward by the opposition.
This just keeps getting worse. The Nauruan government have just passed a law saying all transfer referrals must now come from the Nauru hospital, and then be approved by the Nauruan government. They are fighting hard to keep a very lucrative business going. No refugees, no money.
In August the Nauruan government legislated the creation of a Nauruan RPC corporation in anticipation of the takeover, which has a three-person board appointed by cabinet to procure and manage all refugee services.
At the same time it passed amendments which transferred the power to make agreements with service providers from the secretary of justice and border control to the administrative head of the department of multicultural affairs. The latter role is held by Barina Waqa – daughter of the Nauruan president, Baron Waqa.
In October the Nauruan government legislated for all revenue which came through the RPC corporation – by then known to be the wholly state-owned Eigigu Solutions – to be held separately to treasury funds, and for it to be released on the joint approval of secretary and minister of multicultural affairs.
When you are ripping people off, it’s best to keep it in the family.
It sounds on Twitter like Kerryn Phelps has promised to support the government in any No Confidence motion, but quite a lot of people calling on her to reconsider now that the government have stabbed her in the back with this Christmas Island thing. I don’t think enough of the cross benchers would support it though.. so many of them are Liberal Lite…
Choke. Scott Morrison just said …
“In relation to border protection the Labor party has always failed because they’ve always looked at it through the political lens, and always focused purely on the politics of it. Whereas our position is authentic.”
What are you doing to me, Kaye? First I shake myself into a headache, and now I’m starting to choke.
Must bang head somewhere.
I wouldn’t bother with a no confidence motion but I would definitely introduce a bill or an amendment or at the very least make a god almighty fuss about the Christmas Island thing. The election will come soon enough and every day there is a new scandal.
In the Labor caucus, one MP noted the opposition had to consider 17 government bills last week and 25 bills this week and ventured the view “it is impossible for all of these to be passed”.
Tony Burke said there was “nothing normal” about introducing this much legislation before an election and he “can’t see any logic” in what they’re doing.
Could it be the scatter gun approach to keep everyone busy with trivial stuff to avoid facing anything substantive?
The stink of corruption from The Corminnator and his mate in the travel business just keeps getting stronger –
“Cormann says he has no evidence the travel was provided to him at a discount. He says the travel was never intended to be free. His failure to pay the bill was an oversight. ” Meaning, “Shit, I’ve been sprung!” Scramble, scramble…must work fast to come up with lies to try and cover it up and then get it buried as fast as possible.
Why hasn’t he blamed Labor yet for causing the problem in the first place?
As a stopgap measure it would be preferable to move the whole refugee cohort from Nauru to Christmas Island immediately. Nauru has been a failed state for some years and should not be propped up by Austalia or NZ.
NZ stopped foreign aid to Nauru back in 2015 because of the corruption and human rights abuses.
A good summary of the immoral and inhumane Christmas Island and failed State Nauru tactics here:
I wonder if the Senate Estimates committee would care to comment on this?
Australia’s gold also may have been lost at Bank of England
Submitted by cpowell on Mon, 2019-02-18 19:00. Section: Daily Dispatches
2p ET Monday, February 18, 2019
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Venezuela’s gold isn’t the only monetary metal raising questions about the custodianship afforded by the Bank of England, Bullion Star gold researcher Ronan Manly writes today.
According to Manly, Australia’s gold reserves were largely packed off to London years ago and leased into the market and then sealed off from audits and freedom-of-information requests. Indeed, Manly writes, there’s no verifying the true location of the Australian reserves anymore.
Manly’s analysis comes in an interview with Russia Today, headlined “Hey, UK! It’s Not Just Venezuela — What Happened to Australia’s Gold?” — and it’s posted at RT here:
As I recall, it was Peter Costello who rushed to the aid of the UK Government when George (Swartz) Soros raided the BoE. There was at least 26 metric tonnes of Australian Gold involved. (Probably closer to 2,600 MT due to fractional reserve banking calculations)
I am forever grateful we didn’t have Abbott and Costello running the country after Howard was dumped.
You REALLY need to stop watching RT. The information you are passing on is FALSE.
London is the world’s largest trading centre for gold. Storing gold at the BoE allows the RBA to readily access this market, as most gold market participants prefer to take delivery in London. The Bank of England provides a very secure and cost-effective storage location for central banks and other market participants. The RBA’s gold is held at the BoE in an ‘allocated’ account, such that individual bars (with specified bar serial numbers) are attributable to the RBA.
The Reserve Bank has processes in place to ensure that its specified gold bars are maintained appropriately. Inventory reconciliation – including of unique serial numbers – is undertaken periodically, or after any movements on the RBA’s account. Additionally, the Reserve Bank audits its gold processes, including gold holdings at the Bank of England.
Yes Michael Taylor, I, too am curious at the lack of response and in fact right across media , not just here, as to Paladin.
The Corman thingie actually seems a diversion, given the seriousness of the Paladin matter, apart from showing up again immeasurable arrogance of an LNP government minister.
I am also feeling very cynical about any prosecutions for people in the Kill Bill Affair, despite it being incredibly suggestive that a group of people were too gutless to turn up and answer questions honestly. Failure to present should be evidence to continue inquiries; if no wrong had been done why would a person not show up?. NOT turning up increases suspicions rather than alleviates them.
As for Xmas Island which of course does eventually link to Paladin in a roundabout way (think about that), it is more government grandstanding to show that not even humanitarian mercy will be shown to refugees on Nauru…big “statement” on lauranorder protection.
And Labor chickened out?
Little wonder after the caning they received in the polls for trying to do the right thing earlier.
Never has there been a stronger case to drop “The Honourable” from their title.
Also flying under the radar is the mooted privatisation of the visa processing system which the Coalition seem to want to fast track
Scott Briggs, Liberal Party heavyweight and friend to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former colleague of Immigration Minister David Coleman, is one of two bidders for the contract.
Responses from the bidders for phase one of the project must be received by tomorrow, before the April budget and predicted announcement of a federal election in May, meaning the decision could be made before the caretaker period begins.
Kaye Lee, privatisations are always about an abdication of responsibility and headlong flight from accountability.
Speaking of accountability, what might the following be about?
Also, on accountability, where is federal environment minister Price?
Safe to drill?
Why, they say so themselves!
Honorable? The Honorable Peter Reith of “children overboard” and Patricks dispute fame was awarded a gong in the Australia Day honors. That is how Liberal Party cheats and liars are rewarded. No doubt gongs will be lined up for the likes of Dutton, Cash, Keenan, Conman and sundry other low lifes. Hockey and Bookends were rewarded by other nefarious and lucrative means.
Yes Kaye Lee, I hear that Labor is trying to head off this privatisation of the visa system before the election. We need an election to be called NOW.
Whilst trying to head off both the visa privatisation and the deportation of convicted dual citizen moves by this Coalition non-Government, Labor is facing a “perfect storm” – Scummo, Dutton, Porter and Pezzullo. A formidable team of arrogant, unprincipled, over-ambitious scumbags.
“Never has there been a stronger case to drop “The Honourable” from their title.” How about The Execrable or The Malodorous or The Horrendous?
As for Reith getting a gong in the recent honours list, there must be are lot of arseholes who get that award but this may be the first time an award was given to someone for simply being an arsehole.
This new precedent means a lot of politicians must already be reserving cabinet space in “the pool room”.
Zathras, as my old dad used to proclaim “the world is full of arseholes and I know every one of them”.
Re the Visa ‘sell off’.
In Britain, there is a strong push to re-nationalise ‘essential services’ such as railways, water and the like. In the US there is a growing movement towards increased State intervention – like health care for all. It would seem there’s stirrings – particularly among the young.
Should Labor in Australia attempt to get in front of the curve? To construct a new social and economic world – rather than wait for the ‘other’ to act and therefore we become the inheritors? To be architects or simply worker bees – that is the question?