Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is now in power so it is worth looking at some of dodgy and corrupt conduct in his background. He has a history of fraud and theft of $11 million when he was Environment Minister in 2007, running a slush fund and branch stacking to get elected to federal parliament in 2004.
Add that to some other “handiwork” when he was in private business and it is not exactly the squeaky clean image that Australia deserves as its Prime Minister.
The Slush fund
I wrote an article in 2012 which is still relevant titled “Malcolm Turnbull the rain man who speaks with forked tongue” which details the fraud and theft when Turnbull gave a $11 million grant to his friend Matt Handbury. Mr Handbury, who is a nephew of Rupert Murdoch, was also involved in helping Turnbull run his election slush fund.
The 2012 article said in part:
Mr Turnbull’s electorate fund-raising is done though an organisation he set up in 2007 called the Wentworth Forum. The SMH reported “Regarded as the country’s most sophisticated political fund-raising machine, the forum offers membership packages that give the most generous supporters more opportunities to gain access to Mr Turnbull.”
“It costs $5500 to be a “member”, $11,000 to be a “sponsor”, $16,500 to be a “patron”, $25,500 to be a “benefactor” and $55,000 to be a “governor”.”
“A governor can host boardroom events, and gets two tables at big functions featuring Mr Turnbull, and attendance at an exclusive dinner for supporters.”
“An analysis of forum donations, fund-raising events and memberships between 2007 and last December shows Mr Turnbull received more than $1.4 million. He personally contributed about $10,000 in catering for forum events. Most of the money was raised before the 2007 federal election.” (Click here to read more)
The fraud and theft
Matt Handbury was one of the donors to Mr Turnbull’s Wentworth Forum.
Before the 2007 election and two weeks after the election was called Malcolm Turnbull announced that the government would spend $11 million funding a trial of rainfall technology. The company in question was Australian Rain Corporation which was then part owned by Matt Handbury.
It says on Mr Turnbull’s Wikipedia profile “During the 2007 election campaign, Turnbull announced that the then Government would contribute $10 million to the investigation of an untried Russian technology that aims to trigger rainfall from the atmosphere, even when there are no clouds. Literature suggests that the technology is based on bogus science. The Australian Rain Corporation presented research documents written in Russian, explained by a Russian researcher who spoke to local experts in Russian.” (Click here to read the full article)
The branch stacking in 2003 to get Turnbull elected to Parliament in 2004
Malcolm Turnbull was elected to federal parliament in 2004 in the Sydney seat of Wentworth. Firstly though Turnbull had to win Liberal Party preselection by beating the then Liberal Party federal MP Peter King. So Turnbull did what any proud crook would do. He started branch stacking and even enlisted James Packer for help. The Age reported in October 2003:
“A federal Liberal MP yesterday accused the party’s federal treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull, of a “millionaires’ plot” to unseat him, as sources confirmed that media magnate James Packer has been recruited to join a branch being stacked with Turnbull supporters.”
“Peter King, who holds the blue ribbon Sydney seat of Wentworth, is under siege from Mr Turnbull, who has more than 700 new members signed up or about to be signed up for the Point Piper branch.”
“In an extraordinary race for numbers before the cut-off date for branch members to be eligible to vote in the preselection, Mr King’s camp has sent out a letter appealing for people to join the party.”
“Mr King said this appeared to be “the largest branch stack in Liberal history”. and that it was “disgraceful” that a federal office bearer appeared to be personally perpetrating it.” (Click here to read more)
And who says money doesn’t talk?
Stabbing Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the back.
Some people say that Abbott was stabbed in the back but that is a bit rich given the whole country knew when the leadership vote in February happened this year that Abbott had been put on notice by his own party.
If Turnbull had not replaced Tony Abbott as Prime Minister there is a good chance that Labor’s Bill Shorten would have become Prime Minister which Turnbull points out in the below video.
Turnbull announces his challenge and the reasons he said justified it
(Click anywhere on the above video to watch)
Malcolm Turnbull says in the above video one of the reasons that he challenged Abbott for the leadership is because Abbott lost 30 polls in a row which he says pointed to the fact that they would lose the next election. While it is not comparing apples with apples it is worth noting that Turnbull also lost 30 polls in a row when he was opposition leader in 2008 to 2009 and was then replaced by Abbott.
21st September, 2008 – Turnbull loses his first Newspoll. It would be the first of 30 straight Newspoll losses.
29th November, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 30th Newspoll out of 30.
1st December, 2009 – Turnbull loses leadership to Tony Abbott.
It’s a big effort to lose 30 polls in a row and both Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull have done that. The difference is that Tony Abbott was Prime Minister when he did it and was up against a very unpopular Labor leader in Bill Shorten. While Turnbull was opposition leader and up against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who was a very popular leader in 2008 and 2009.
All the old dirt like the Godwin Grech / Utegate affair will rise again
Malcolm Turnbull has his critics of which I am one and there is even a new website called “Stop Turnbull“. Everything in Turnbull’s past will be raised again on social media and Turnbull’s relationship with the media proprietors won’t do him much good just as Abbott’s relationship with Rupert Murdoch couldn’t save him. Turnbull needs to meet his critics on social media head on and address the issues raised.
I’m no fan of Malcolm Turnbull but he is going to have to stuff-up extremely badly to get beaten by Bill Shorten at the next election and the Labor Party know it and will likely get rid of Shorten as soon as they can. But if Turnbull acts in the same incompetent and negligent way he did last time he was leader of the Liberal Party then things could change fast.
The first major mistake that Malcolm Turnbull looks like making is appointing Arthur Sinodinos to the ministry as a reward for helping him become Prime Minister. Mr Sinodinos lost all his credibility when he gave evidence at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption regarding his involvement in government corruption.
It is only a couple of weeks ago that Sinodinos had a legal case dropped against him. The SMH reported
“Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos is free of a major legal headache after shareholders in a company embroiled in a corruption inquiry dropped a costly case against him.”
“Senator Sinodinos, a former chairman of infrastructure company Australian Water Holdings, was one of several former directors being pursued by the disgruntled shareholders to recover their investment.”
“The company and former chief executive Nick Di Girolamo, a prominent Liberal Party fundraiser, were the subject of a high-profile Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry last year into allegations the company improperly billed the state-owned Sydney Water for lavish expenses including limousines and airfares.” (Click here to read more)
It would be a massive mistake to appoint Sinodinos as a minister and set Turnbull’s new government up for immediate criticism. Especially on social media where many, including this website, have zero tolerance for corruption.
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