Kerry StokesKerry Stokes

Kerry Stokes, Australia’s number one perjurer, also becomes the number one bribe taker if new media laws passed

Kerry Stokes, Australia’s number one perjurer, is set to become Australia’s number one bribe taker if new media laws are passed next week in federal parliament. It will hand the free to air television networks a billion dollar plus election year bribe via a permanent reduction in annual licence fees.

It makes no sense to do this at all, let alone in a time of multi-billion dollar budget deficits.

This is important because the public are reliant on the media for information which helps us decide who to vote for. Even if media organisations skew their election coverage only a few percentage points in favour of one political party in can help that party greatly.

The reason I refer to Kerry Stokes as Australia’s number one perjurer is outlined in a previous post I did on him in 2011. (Click here to read the postMr Stokes took offence and sent me a threatening letter from his lawyer which was baseless. I responded with another post on the threat and basically said get lost and never heard from him again. (Click here to read the post) He tried to stop my legitimate reporting, so I think he is hardly the type of person that we should be giving a government handout for his media assets.

Firstly though we should look at where this first started with the 2010 “election year bribe” as Tony Abbott then put it.

2010 Election Year Media Bribe

In February 2010 the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy announced a temporary reduction in “licence fees networks pay by 33 per cent this year and 50 per cent in 2011″.

“The issue has begun to gain traction in the electorate, as Senator Conroy has declined to discuss how his department came up with the formula that will generate at least $250m for the networks at the expense of taxpayers, and amid ongoing revelations about his private meetings with Seven Network executive chairman Kerry Stokes.” (Click here to read more)

Only a month before this was announced in 2010 Stephen Conroy met Kerry Stokes at Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Colorado USA for a meeting and a few ski runs, as you do when on holidays. Also “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is a previous recipient of Mr Stokes’s hospitality, staying in Mr Stokes’s mansion in Broome, WA, last year“. (Click here to read more)

Tony Abbott at the time called it the $250 Million election year bribe. He said “It looks like at this stage, unless the government can justify much better than it has so far . . . an election year bribe,” he said. “Maybe there is more to this, which the government hasn’t told us about, but . . . it looks like they’re buying favourable coverage.” (Click here to read more)

And “Asked if the government was ”bribing the media so they’ll be nice to the Labor Party”, Mr Abbott said: ”Absolutely right, that’s what it looks like.” (Click here to read more)

2013 Election Year Media Bribe

While the new media laws are expected to be rejected by parliament, it is a very close call and there will only be one or maybe two votes in it. This is the case with most of the legislation since the minority government was formed after the 2010 election.

There are so many unanswered questions with the new media laws and it all seems rather suspicious. It would have to be one of the fastest rush jobs parliament has seen. Yes, there has been numerous inquiries and media laws have been in the spotlight for quite some time, but the legislation has not. The government announced the new media laws this week and are trying to pass the laws next week with as little scrutiny and debate as possible.

Why the government would want to drop the television licence fees on a permanent basis when there is no logical reason to do so, can in my mind only be explained as an attempt to gain more favourable election coverage.

It is not just Kerry Stokes who benefits from the reduction in licence fees, Channel 10 and Channel 9 do as well. But the reduction seems to have been driven by Mr Stokes in 2010 at least and most likely again now. If the government are trying to buy better election coverage, Mr Stokes and Channel 7 would be the target as they are unlikely to get better election coverage from Channel 10 with Gina Rinehart on the board. Ms Rinehart is well-known to dislike the Labor Government and apparently helped Andrew Bolt get his own show on Channel 10 which seems to spend most of its time attacking the Labor Government. Channel Nine did the infamous Mark Latham report on Sixty Minutes before the 2010 election which embarrassed the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, so one can hardly say they took a bribe then, although they now have new owners who might be swayed.

Why Tony Abbott and the opposition have not picked up on the current bribe attempt is unknown.

This post might seem off topic but it is an extension of the posts that I have done on Kerry Stokes as well as the two posts that I did on the Finkelstein media inquiry.

Update Tuesday 19/3/13

“The first – and only non-controversial – part of the government’s new media  laws has passed the House of Representatives.”

“The Television Licence Fees Amendment Bill 2013 halves the annual license fee  for commercial TV networks, making it a maximum of 4.5 per cent of gross  earnings.”

“It passed the lower house unanimously.” (Click here to read more)

I suppose this post was too little too late. The rich get richer and the poor get the picture.

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33 replies »

  1. Shane, why has Stokes publicly attacked the package. Prompting MT’s comment in parliament that Conroy couldn’t sell fresh fish to hungry seals! Is is a smokescreen?

      • It helps to cleanse your hands by looking like you’re a bit unhappy with the new laws, what with being media and all that, but in fact you don’t really care and indeed may be quite happy to see the laws go ahead. Australia has no honest, patriotic media owners. They are all corrupted globalist traitors. And yes that includes News LTD. Especially News LTD.

  2. Shane, I think you have hit the nail on the head, I was wondering when I heard about this
    enormous amount being paid to the free-to-air I am sure that is what it’s for.
    I will straightaway write to my MP, just in case they have not thought of it.
    Good thinking ninety-nine!

  3. How sly is this I say! In America six companys own the entire media there. Australias rate… i am unaware of… but is probably similar? If this is not control than what is?

  4. Stokes is backing losers and Comrade Steven is happy to get his nose in the trough while he can. Cde Steve would be runner up No. 2 Bribe taker if someone could pursue him.

  5. Another worry about fraud and corruption – this government is very worrying – bribes, more bribes, more billions of our money – when will they stop?

    • The whole state and federal political administrative system, including police, the judiciary, customs etc. functions on corruption. Always has.

  6. Why should I believe anything this Gillard led Labor government said!!! This is a flurry of ideas to make it hard for any incoming government lead, by Tony Abbott, hard to govern without looking like they are doing the wrong thing by the Australian people. Gillard is gone! Labor is gone! They are trying to leave behind as much venom as is possible for a future government. THE SOONER THEY ARE GONE THE BETTER OFF THIS COUNTRY WILL BE.

  7. Shane I know this may sound a little blunt but I can tell you right now everyone who reads this shouldn’t have to much to worry about in regards to Labor being voted back into power at the next election as I can tell you right now if Labor by some miracle gets re elected then Australia will see its first uprising and coup de tat to get rid of them as there is now way Australian’s will put up with Labor for another term.

  8. I really believe that there is not any more corruption in the government than previously. What is different, is that they make little on no attempt to hide it. The apathy of the citizenry is such that politicians and the public service seem do what they like. There are no consequences of being found out. The chances of committing political suicide by being caught with your hand in the till is ancient history.
    Why do we hear about so much garbage and nothing is done about it?
    We don’t just need a change of who is in charge, we need a new a clean sweep.

  9. Hope someone from KC was watching the Senate Inquiry today. Stokes came over pretty well and not at all the way this article portrays him.

    • I agree with Grumpy, I watched the Inquiry too. Shane, your post seems to pass judgement on something that hasn’t happened. The word “if” in your headline, means to me that maybe you should have waited to see if the legislation is passed.

      • If you read the post, the TV Networks have already had a $250 million discount (total) for the 2010 and 2011 years. So I thought I should not wait to see the outcome of the vote first. Get in before it happens and try and make sure it doesn’t. Did anyone hear Stokes complain about the reduction in TV Licence fees when he addressed the Senate?

  10. When are gutless independents going to stand up and be counted in this outrage.
    Surely they can see this is a total sham and need to do something about this!!

  11. Leave them go. The ALP has always been short on talent and national management skills, and long on autocracy. We can see now that they can’t even find anyone to take them to glorious defeat singing ‘solidarity forever’.

    My opinion, after the last election, was that Julia’s obsession with power would be her nemesis. Government at that time was a poisened chalice, to be sipped very carefully.

    This episode is just one more fiasco that will bite them on the throat whenever she gives up and goes back to the people. I can’t see her lasting to September, that’s just her worst case scenario.

  12. I thought this post would have gained more interest as in comments. Maybe lots of people are still asleep and complacent.

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