The last few days have been huge for shining the light on political corruption. The federal police charged a Labor Party staffer with electoral fraud, Malcolm Turnbull was outed for having meetings with the Mafia, Trade Minister Andrew Robb took a bribe from the Chinese to polish up a trade deal to their liking and the ABC’s Four Corners broadcast an episode with evidence of widespread bribing of politicians for financial favours.
Federal police charge Labor Party staffer
Last Friday (20/5/16) the Australian Federal Police charged Labor Party staffer Susan Greenhalgh with electoral fraud which was referred to them by the Australian Electoral Commission.
Ms Greenhalgh’s alleged crime is that she was involved in branch stacking and sending false declarations to the Australian Electoral Commission which benefited her boss who is NSW Labor Party MP Noreen Hay. Ms Hay claims she new nothing about the alleged crimes even though she was the beneficiary of the crimes as the branch stacking gave her more votes which helped her win preselection for her seat in parliament.
The NSW Labor Party are looking as grubby as ever and their leader wants Hays gone. The SMH reported on Sunday:
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley has asked for the resignation of controversial MP Noreen Hay after a senior staff member in her Wollongong electorate office was charged by Australian Federal Police in relation to allegations of electoral fraud.
Fairfax Media can reveal Ms Hay is resisting the directive to quit her position as Opposition Whip and the matter is likely to have to be put to a vote of the NSW caucus on Wednesday.
Ms Hay, a former close ally of NSW Right powerbrokers Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi, was only reinstated as Whip less than a fortnight ago after assuring Mr Foley the AFP raid at her office in July last year would not lead to any charges against her.
Mr Foley is understood to be furious after the MP found herself again embroiled in scandal anyway after the AFP on Friday charged her staffer of nine years, Susan Greenhalgh.
In a statement, the AFP would say only that “a person is to appear before the Wollongong Local Court on 14 July, 2016” in relation to allegations of electoral fraud referred to it by the Australian Electoral Commission. (Click here to read more)
Without a doubt the federal police will charge other politicians/staffers in the near future.
Malcolm Turnbull’s Mafia meetings
On Monday (23/5/16) it was reported that in 2008 Malcolm Turnbull had meetings with senior Australian Mafia after they paid numerous bribes to the Liberal Party.
The Mafia bribing the Liberal Party is not knew and in July last year I wrote:
The ABC’s Four Corners program televised an episode on Monday (29/6/15) titled “The Mafia in Australia: Drugs, Murder and Politics”. (Click here to watch) It is part-one of a two-part series that reveals how the mafia is linked to the Liberal Party. At the same time Fairfax Media ran a story titled “Key Liberal fundraising body took Mafia money for access” which starts off:
“Mafia figures donated tens of thousands of dollars to the discredited NSW Liberal Party fundraising vehicle, the Millennium Forum, as part of an ultimately successful campaign to allow a known criminal to stay in Australia.” (Click here to read more)
A key part to the story is that the mafia paid the Liberal Party $1,000’s for the then Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone to allow mafia member and convicted criminal Frank Madafferi to stay in Australia.
The story is an old story as any internet search will tell you and one that also includes Labor Party politicians. But it is fair and reasonable for the ABC and Fairfax to focus on the Liberal Party and this time they have dug deeper than before. (Click here to read the article)
On Monday Malcolm Turnbull’s Mafia meetings were revealed:
Slain gangland lawyer and Mafia associate Joe Acquaro spent two decades cultivating, and donating to, senior Liberal politicians on behalf of alleged crime figures, even having a meeting with Malcolm Turnbull.
Leaked documents and photos tell the inside story of the political activities of Mr Acquaro, who considered himself the long-standing legal, business and political adviser for Melbourne’s alleged Calabrian Mafia cell, and whose political access raises serious questions about Australia’s donations regime.
Mr Acquaro’s lunch meeting with Mr Turnbull occurred after the now Prime Minister became opposition leader in 2008.
It is understood Mr Acquaro’s close associate, alleged Mafia figure and Liberal donor Tony Madafferi, was also present, as were a small number of other donors. Mr Acquaro privately told associates the meeting was organised by Liberal MP Russell Broadbent and connected to Mr Acquaro’s political fundraising activities.
Mr Acquaro also previously sought the help of Mr Turnbull’s office in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to win a contract to supply environmentally friendly light bulbs to government offices when Mr Turnbull was environment minister. (Click here to read more)
Liberal MP Andrew Robb takes bribes off Chinese companies
Australian politicians getting bribes off Australian companies and Australian citizens is a major problem but when it is foreign companies who are doing the bribery then that should be classified as treason because that is what it really is.
On Saturday it was reported:
A Chinese government-backed propaganda unit and a swag of companies that stand to gain from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement have made more than half a million dollars of political donations in Victoria, raising concerns about the influence of foreign donors.
Companies linked to Chinese conglomerate Yuhu Group made a donation to then trade minister Andrew Robb’s fundraising entity the day the trade deal was clinched.
Chinese money has become so important to Australian political parties that, at a recent glitzy fundraiser, Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger made sure there was an interpreter to translate the auction.
Donors with strong links to China contributed $555,000 to the two major parties and fundraising entities in Victoria, a Fairfax Media analysis of Australian Electoral Commission data for 2014-15 reveals. (Click here to read more)
Federal Liberal Party MP Andrew Robb who is retiring at this election and is currently Minister for Trade and Investment should be investigated by the federal police. It is an obvious bribe when Andrew Robb is getting a big fat donation off the Chinese the same day he signs a trade deal with them on behalf of Australia. As someone said on Twitter:
“So it seems Andrew Robb was bribed by the Chinese to commit treason. In past eras we’d have hanged him.”
If the international bribery continues we might have to put a “Made in China” sign on the Australian Parliament House. Given Andrew Robb is now retiring will he now get a job with one of the Chinese companies or have they paid him enough already?
Four Corners – Money and Influence: the shadowy world of political donations.
The ABC’s Four Corners program broadcast an episode on Monday about political donations and the fact that they “can influence outcomes and that’s a soft form of corruption”. It is well worth watching and covered numerous issues that I have covered recently including Dick Honan and his bribing of politicians.
It’s only when you start collating all the political corruption together such as the above article and my previous article that the gravity of the corruption problem in Australian politics starts to become apparent. The good news is that the corruption is being exposed more than ever and change is coming.
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