Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s wife, Therese Rein, is estimated to be worth over $200 million via her company Ingeus Limited which she started in 1989 with Labor Party government contracts.
The evidence suggests that it was no rags-to-riches fairy tale and that Kevin Rudd had a huge hand in backroom government deals to help their company get rolling. As we know if it’s seems too good to be true then it probably is and some of the evidence leaves one very disturbed.
It says on Wikipedia: “Rudd joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1981, serving there until 1988. He and his wife spent most of the 1980s overseas at various Australian embassies, including in Stockholm and in Beijing.”
“Returning to Australia in 1988, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Opposition Leader in Queensland, Wayne Goss. He remained in that role when Goss was elected Premier in 1989, a position he held until 1992 when Goss appointed him Director-General of the Office of Cabinet.” (Click here to read more)
What does Ingeus do? This is what it says on their website:
“The Ingeus group evolved from a small rehabilitation company that commenced operations in Australia in 1989.”
“Work Directions Australia quickly established a reputation for inspiring people who were cut off from work due to disability, illness or injury, by assisting them to address the physical and psychological aspects of their condition and helping them back to work.”
“In the 1990s, this expertise was adapted to provide individually tailored and enabling services to assist people who were on unemployment benefits back into work. Services were subsequently expanded to include nationally accredited training, labour hire and recruitment services.”
“In 2002, we re-branded as Ingeus and took our unique approach to assisting those people most isolated from the labour market to the United Kingdom.”
In 2007 the Australian business was sold off as it was seen as a conflict of interest for Kevin Rudd.
It is now operating in numerous countries and “In 2011, we re-entered Australia with the acquisition of Assure Programs, a business psychology organisation specialising in organisational development and employee assistance programs throughout Australia and New Zealand.” (Click here to read more on their site)
Background: Historical timeline of Therese Rein’s company now known as Ingeus Limited and relevant political events. (Click here for the abstract of the company details)
1989 – 21st June – Lake Metcalfe Pty Ltd registered. I assume by Therese Rein - ACN: 010948731 – 4 directors – Therese Rein, Frances Edwards, Julie Graham and Rodney Graham. Registered office is 145 Flockton St Everton Park which is the home address of Julie and Rodney Graham
1989 – 20th July – Julie and Rodney Graham cease to be directors and the registered office changes the day before on the 19th July to 549 Stanley St South Brisbane. They were directors for only one month, so what happened? Maybe they decided they did not want their names on any of the paperwork.
1989 – 31st July – Registers business name Work Directions Australia - BN3745685 – I assume uses this as the trading name.
1989 – 2nd August - Company name changed from Lake Metcalfe Pty Ltd to Therese Rein & Associates Pty Ltd. Lake Metcalfe Pty Ltd lasted just over one month, why is that?
August 1989 – Government report published titled “The Workers’ Compensation Board of Queensland report on future rehabilitation services throughout Queensland” for the then Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Affairs, Vince Lester. I cannot get a copy of the report but one assumes that it recommends the outsourcing of rehabilitation services . I make this assumption given the 1990 Act that follows. It is listed on the National Library of Australia Trove website which gives the August publication date. (Click here to see) I wonder when Kevin Rudd had a copy.
1989 – 2nd December – The Labor Party win government in Queensland in a landslide with Wayne Goss as Premier and Kevin Rudd as his Chief of Staff. It was obvious to all that they would win government as the Fitzgerald Enquiry report was submitted on 3 July 1989. “Based on the inquiry’s final report, a number of high-profile politicians were charged with crimes; notably Queensland Police Commissioner (Sir) Terry Lewis was charged with corruption.” I think the Fitzgerald Enquiry report is important to the degree that the then National/Liberal state government were basically finished and Kevin Rudd knew he would have power after the election to help his wife’s business.
1990 – The Queensland government legislate the Workers Compensation Act 1990 which has provisions for the outsourcing of the rehabilitation of injured workers to companies such as Therese Rein’s. What month in 1990 I do not know, but one would suspect Therese Rein and Kevin Rudd would have been very keen for it to pass through parliament and legislated as it meant big dollars for them and their business. What was Mr Rudd’s involvement in having the Act legislated? Did Mr Rudd tell his boss Wayne Goss he had a conflict of interest? (Click here to read the Act) The key relevant part of the Act is section 152 which says:
Board’s liability for cost
152. If a rehabilitation program is accepted by the general manager as necessary for a worker in respect of whose injury the board has accepted a liability under this Act, the board is to pay such cost of the program as the general manager accepts to be reasonable, having regard to the injury, in addition to compensation under this Act otherwise payable.
Bingo. Therese Rein is up and running with her company and Kevin Rudd is in a position to influence who gets the business/contracts. Would Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein do something like that? We will have a look at some of the things that they have done later in the post.
Is this the Smoking Gun?
Interview with The Australian 15th March 2013
“In 1989, the then 30-year-old mother of two resigned from her job over a difference of opinion about the way the business was being run. She talked to Jane Edwards, a physiotherapist and former Catholic nun who had a practice in the same building. “She asked me if I had ever thought of starting my own company,” Rein recalls. “She said: ‘Southeast Queensland needs a high-quality, ethical, rehabilitation provider and I think you could do that. And if you were prepared to do it, I would be prepared to invest in it.’” A stunned Rein returned to her office and took out some paper.”
“I landscaped it,” she says, taking paper and a blue pen and redrawing the diagram she did more than two decades ago. “I went: OK, if you have a psychologist and an occupational therapist with access to a physiotherapist, what are the services that each of them can provide and what services can they provide together? Who would benefit from those services and who would pay for them?”
“Rein scribbles furiously, recreating the conceptual map (or “meme”, as she calls it), with three people in the middle and lots of squiggly lines stretching out to thought bubbles. The most likely client, she decided, would be the Workers’ Compensation Board of Queensland, but she could envisage other clients down the track.” (Click here to read more)
“The most likely client, she decided, would be the Workers’ Compensation Board of Queensland” How did she know they would be looking to outsource the rehabilitation of injured employees when she registered her company in June 1989? Kevin Rudd would have known as “The Workers’ Compensation Board of Queensland report on future rehabilitation services throughout Queensland” report was published less than two months later in August 1989 and he quite possibly had a draft copy at the time Therese Rein registered the company. At the very least Mr Rudd would have known what was coming in the report as he was Chief of Staff to Wayne Goss and it was his job to know these things. Are we to believe he never discussed it with his wife when she says she decided to set up the business? And what about the Workers Compensation Act 1990, did he discuss that with his wife? Of course he did.
Goss Government Contracts?
What contracts Therese Rein did or didn’t get from the Goss Labor government is unknown. But the above quote “The most likely client, she decided, would be the Workers’ Compensation Board of Queensland” seems to suggest that she did win contracts. Did she declare that Kevin Rudd was her husband when she tendered for business. Did she have to tender or were contracts given to her?
An article on crikey.com on the 8th July 2013 says; “Therese Rein’s significant wealth comes from her multinational business Ingeus, which she founded with her late business partner Frances Jane Edwards in 1989 (it was then known as WorkDirections Australia). The company’s main business was helping those with injuries or disabilities enter or re-enter the workforce — a business built on Rein’s earlier career as a psychologist counselling injured workers.”
“It was a good time to kick off — governments were outsourcing programs to private providers. Rein won her first government contract from the Hawke government, and went on to execute major contracts for the Howard government’s Job Network agency.” (Click here to read more)
If that is correct and Therese Rein won her first government contract from the Hawke Labor government then that is not much better as we have a Labor girl getting business from a Labor government.
.(Click anywhere on the above video to watch)
The key thing that I find odd in the video is when Therese Rein says that the Commonwealth Bank lent her money to buy shares in the company that she started. If she owned the company then why is she buying shares in it? Were there hidden shareholders such as Julie Graham and Rodney Graham?
Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein’s form guide
Ingeus Limited expanded to the UK in 2002. In 2011 in partnership with the accounting firm Deloitte it won a massive contract with the David Cameron led UK Government valued at $1.4 Billion in controversial circumstances.
“David Cameron has been accused of cronyism after a City firm which bankrolled the Tories was handed contracts worth £773.5million.”
“Deloitte won the deals as part of the Government’s work programme. The firm has given the party £700,000 since Mr Cameron became leader in 2005 including a £28,000 donation in kind to Welfare Minister Chris Grayling.”
“It has a 50% stake in Ingeus Deloitte, which will pocket the £773.5million if it meets targets on cutting jobless figures.” (Click here to read more)
Ingeus is clearly in breach of their own statement of ethics. It says on the Ingeus website:
Statement of Ethics
Ingeus does not tolerate, permit, or engage in bribery, corruption, or improper payments of any kind in our business dealings, anywhere in the world, both with public officials and people in the private sector.
- We will not give or offer any money, gift, hospitality or other advantages to any foreign public official with the intention of influencing them to our business advantage.
- We will not use intermediaries or contractors for the purpose of committing acts of bribery. (Click here to read more) But Therese Rein will go into partnership with them.
Wayne Goss, Ingeus and Deloitte
It is worth noting that Kevin Rudd’s former boss Wayne Goss was a director of Ingeus from 2003 until 2007. Was it payback for helping the company get started? Mr Goss was also Chairman of the Australian firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (commonly known as Deloitte) for 8 years until his retirement in May 2013. Did Mr Goss help and/or benefit from the partnership between Therese Rein and Deloitte?
During Kevin Rudd’s last tenure as Prime Minister he had a long history of looking after Labor Party boys and girls. So would he look after his wife’s company which in reality is his as well. Of course he would.
There is no doubt that Therese Rein went on to grow the business way beyond anything Kevin Rudd did to help and she did win business from the Liberal Howard government. But that is quite often the case. People rip off others then make money in legitimate businesses like the Mafia do. Just ask the former NSW politician Eddie Obeid who was a master of using government inside information to make a fortune and he was not the first.
If the wife of the Chief of Staff of any Premier or Prime Minister was to set up a business and win government contracts today there would be a call for a royal commission and rightly so. Unfortunately it is so far back the document trail is hard to find but I will keep on the job and see what I can find. In saying that the above alone raises many questions that could and should be answered by Kevin Rudd as he is the Prime Minister of Australia and the public have a right to know.
Update: I have written another post on the above subject which has a video interview with Des O’Neill who is a former Executive Member of the State Public Services Federation in Queensland. He was able to shed further light on how Kevin Rudd, Therese Rein and their company Ingeus (then known as Work Directions) was able to get its start to mega riches which now stands as an estimated $210 million. (Click here to read the post and watch the video)
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