Australian public getting ripped off after Liberal Party do deal with confessed blackmailer Dick Honan

Confessed blackmailer Dick Honan has done another deal with the Liberals and Nationals which will again see petrol prices rise to make Honan even richer. One of the reasons petrol prices are high in Australia is because of the criminal activity of Dick Honan, who supplies ethanol for fuel, bribing politicians (some call it donations) dating back to at least John Howard and up to the current NSW Premier Mike Baird.

Given Premier Mike Baird’s recent secret meeting with a businessman found to be corrupt by ICAC (Click here and here to read more) one has to wonder what sort of government Mike Baird is running. But Mr Baird isn’t the first person to have secret meetings with the likes of Dick Honan. John Howard was caught lying in federal parliament about a secret meeting with Dick Honan just before Howard gave Honan millions from the taxpayers pockets. (Click here to read more)

In August 2003 Dick Honan was regarded as being so corrupt that the Labor Party banned donations from him. But in 2005 after greasing the palms of Labor crony Con Sciacca, and probably others, Dick Honan was back in favor with Labor. The last NSW Labor Party government were well known to be one of most corrupt governments the country has seen and it’s no surprise they were also on Honan’s payroll.

Dick Honan has a long history of corrupting politicians, to make sure he has a virtual monopoly supplying ethanol, for his own financial gain to the detriment of the taxpayers of this country. Honan also has total contempt for the law given in 2004 he famously confessed in court to blackmailing Chief Judge John Pascoe who was then CEO of George Weston Foods. The blackmail by Honan was to make sure he had a monopoly in the supply of gluten which is a food ingredient. Mr Honan seems to have a real liking for monopolies.

An example of how Dick Honan operates is the current backroom deal with the NSW Liberals and Nationals.

“Ethanol producer Manildra secured 20 meetings with NSW ministers and donated more than $160,000 to the Coalition in a ferocious lobbying effort before the introduction of new laws set to benefit the company, but which critics say will increase petrol prices by as much as 8 cents a litre.” (Click here to read more) How many millions will Dick Honan make out of the deal?

To put the current backroom deal in context you need to look at Dick Honan’s blackmailing and tax dodging history (paid $6.5 million tax on over $1 billion in mandated sales) where he has ripped off hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers with the aid of politicians.

Dick Honan’s scandalous history – He did well from John Howard and the taxpayers

“Dick Honan started food manufacturing company Manildra after inheriting a flour mill from his father in 1952. Manildra’s Bomaderry plant, established in 2001, is Australia’s largest ethanol plant, producing 300 million litres annually. The Manildra group received about 69 per cent – $75 million – of the $108 million government rebates on offer for ethanol production in 2012-13 and about $500 million since John Howard introduced them in 2002. While Honan threatened to shut the plant if the federal government axed the rebates in the 2014 budget, operations are continuing. The Manildra Group is one of Australia’s largest producers of flour, starch, sugar, and ethanol and has operations in Thailand, Indonesia and the US.” (Click here to read more)

I think Dick Honan should repay the $500 million of taxpayer rebates. Why should we be paying for his and his children’s multi-million-dollar lifestyle. The scam started in 2002 by John Howard had its benefits for the coalition.

Alan Ramsay wrote an article titled “A disgrace of the old school” in 2003 and said:

“after Howard had become Prime Minister, he met Dick Honan, the ethanol man, and gave him the ultimate in old-fashioned driveway service: $30.86 million of public money in 16 months.”

“And yes, we know just how grateful Dick Honan is for the Prime Minister’s “support for ethanol, and biofuels generally”.”

“In the 14 months before cabinet’s ethanol decision a year ago, one of Honan’s companies wrote 16 cheques for Coalition campaign donations (12 Liberal, four National Party) totalling $304,250 (plus $66,500 in three cheques Honan gave Labor in the same period). Several cheques went to the 2001 election coffers of individual NSW Liberal MPs, including Howard himself: Ross Cameron (Parramatta) $22,000, Tony Abbott (Warringah) $10,000, Howard (Bennelong) $7000 and Jackie Kelly (Lindsay) $5000. Honan also wrote cheques to “the Liberal Party of Australia” totalling $135,750 and to the “National Party of Australia” totalling $124,500.” (Click here to read more)

The meetings and donations between John Howard, the coalition and Dick Honan in 2001-2002 before they gave Mr Honan a taxpayer funded multi-million-dollar windfall is almost identical to the current Dick Honan, Premier Mike Baird and coalition scandal.

John Howard - Dick Honan

John Howard – Dick Honan

It is interesting to note that Arthur Sinodinos, who was John Howard’s chief of staff from 1995 to 2006, is embroiled in a similar type of donation scandal at the moment (Click here to read more). I wonder if Mr Sinodinos knows Mr Honan?

Dick Honan blackmailing Chief Judge John Pascoe – why wasn’t Honan charged with blackmail

Dick Honan confessed in court to blackmailing John Pascoe and it is outlined in the judgement: Australian Competition & Consumer Commission v George Weston Foods Limited [2004] FCA 1093 (25 August 2004)

The background to the blackmail is: Dick Honan’s company Manildra and George Weston Foods where John Pascoe was chairman were two of the three main wholesale suppliers of flour in Australia. Both companies also wholesaled gluten at the time.

Another director of George Weston Foods, Paul Loneragan, approached staff at Dick Honan’s company (Manildra) to raise the price of flour which is price fixing and a breach of the Trade Practices Act.

Dick Honan had a meeting with John Pascoe and threatened to go to the ACCC with the price fixing attempt unless Mr Pascoe stopped George Weston Foods from selling gluten. Given George Weston Foods had a long history of breaching the Trade Practices Act and this would have been extremely concerning to John Pascoe.

John Pascoe succumbed to Dick Honan’s blackmail and George Weston Foods stopped selling gluten. But someone still went and blew the whistle to the ACCC and they took court action which ultimately cost John Pascoe his business career. So John Howard appointed Pascoe, who was also a big donor to the Liberals, as Chief Federal Magistrate which he is now called Chief Judge with the court changing its name. The blackmailing shows up in the court judgement at paragraph 7 as:

7. On 24 January 2000, Dick Honan called upon Mr John Pascoe (Pascoe), the Chairman of directors of Weston, by prearrangement. He raised a commercial issue concerning gluten with Pascoe and went on:

‘I said: “John, I am also here on another matter which is more serious. If you don’t take action on this gluten thing, I am going to see the ACCC about this other matter.”

Pascoe said: “What is this other matter?”

I said: “Paul Loneragan has rung our office seeking our co-operation to increase the price of flour.”

Pascoe said: “Dick, I have to bring in another director.”

Mr Pascoe excused himself from the room and came back with a colleague who he introduced as Mr Forgie. Mr Pascoe invited me to repeat the point I had just raised. I briefly repeated the gluten issues and continued the conversation in words to the following effect:

I said: “Let me come to the point. Paul Loneragan called my son on two occasions and I have two employees who would swear an affidavit that Loneragan called them seeking Manildra’s co-operation to raise the price of flour. Unless you call me by 5 pm this afternoon, I will go to the ACCC about Loneragan calling our office.”

Both Mr Pascoe and Mr Forgie expressed shock and surprise at this. Mr Pascoe used strong language to express his shock and surprise. The conversation continued in words to the following effect:

Pascoe said: “He knows that he cannot do that, he will have to be fired.”

I said: “I didn’t come here to get anyone fired; I came to see you about stopping the importation and re-export of gluten; otherwise I am going to the ACCC with this information.”’

Later that day, Pascoe informed Honan that the commercial matter was resolved in the manner sought by Honan. (Click here to read the full judgment)

Based on Dick Honan’s confession in the witness stand under oath of blackmailing John Pascoe it would be an easy prosecution for the police.

(I have raised the same court judgment in greater detail in two previous posts on John Pascoe. Click here and here to read the posts. I have also raised it in my book)

Journalist Michael Pascoe (no relation to John) wrote two good articles on the blackmail in 2004 and 2007. (Click here and here to read)

How much is Dick Honan bribing the federal political parties at the moment

The above is another prime example of why we need a Federal ICAC. Dick Honan should have been banned from dealing with all politicians long ago and should have been jailed for blackmail. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and all state premiers should ban Dick Honan from having any association with their governments who are ultimately the people’s governments.

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10 replies »

    • John Pascoe was appointed as Chief Magistrate after the hearing but about 2 months before Justice Gyles handed down his judgment in the ACCC v George Weston Foods case. Pascoe jumped ship before he was pushed.

  1. Will corruption in our Country ever cease – every day, more and more surfaces – unions, government bodies – and we all pay dearly.

  2. The currentc ethanol push by Baird absolutely fails the pub test. It makes one wonder why the mainstream press aren’t all over this like a blanket. This is manna from heaven for honest journalists.

  3. Finally someone who is standing up. There is some interesting secret dealings that he did for a few years. There were significant imports of Chinese gluten that Honan did then it was rebadged at the nowra plant and sent out as australian made. Some of it was brought in as high protein wheat protein. But if you get an import report with country of origin and State of destination you will see a 2000 tonne plus spike and sustained for a long time. Nobody has ever investigate this.

  4. Load of garbage to suggest that ethanol pushes the price of fuel up. I have had direct exposure to suppliers prices and can say with confidence they don’t. Listen to the Institute of Automotive and Mechanical engineers who back it partly on the basis that it (E10) can moderate the price of fuel. RACQ propogate this myth based on the fact that the large oil companies convince consumers that they shouldn’t risk their engine by using E10 and position their premium fuel prices to entice drivers to instead use the more expensive product (in mandated NSW).

    • Monopolies always push prices up, that’s why there is an incentive to create them and laws to stop them.

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