Last week Malcolm Turnbull announced new measures which would force bank CEO’s to front a Parliamentary Committee supposedly to keep the banks honest. At the same time Malcolm Turnbull was making this announcement his wife Lucy was having coffee with the Chairman of the ANZ bank David Gonski which is highly suspicious to say the least.
On Monday this week Tony Abbott was on the ABC’s Four Corners program calling for reform in the Liberal Party “alleging the NSW branch is controlled by factional warlords who are also lobbyists for commercial interests”. Add Lucy Turnbull’s secret meeting with the ANZ Bank Chairman to Abbott’s comments then there is clearly serious questions for the Turnbull’s to answer. (Click here to read more or watch the Four Corners episode)
“In NSW the Liberal Party is corrupt” – former Howard government minister Jackie Kelly
Before we have a closer look at Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull’s suspect behaviour it is worth noting that the internal focus on corruption in the Liberal Party seems to have started with former federal MP Jackie Kelly. In June this year Ms Kelly said on national TV that “In NSW the Liberal Party is corrupt” and “The Liberal Party is full of lobbyists“. The below video is Jackie Kelly on The ABC’s The Drum Friday June 3, 2016 which is what seems to have started the internal debate in the Liberal Party which Tony Abbott and others raised in the Four Corners show on Monday.
Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison announce a crackdown on Banks
Last Thursday it was reported: “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison have announced the nation’s major banks will have to face the House of Representatives Economics Committee at least once a year to explain their treatment of customers.”
“It follows this week’s decision by the Reserve Bank to cut official interest rates to a record low 1.5 per cent — a cut that has not been passed on in full by the major banks.“ (Click here to read more)
Lucy Turnbull’s secret meeting with ANZ Chairman
The Australian reported the same day: “Guess who first lady Lucy Turnbull was having coffee with at exactly the same time her husband, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, joined his Treasurer Scott Morrison to announce a tough new “accountability” measure for the big four banks?
Step forward David Gonski, the chairman of ANZ — one of the big four banks with which the PM was apparently getting tough.
So where would Lucy and Gonski elect to meet?
Where else but the coffee shop at 1 Bligh Street, home of the commonwealth government’s offices in Sydney — the very spot that the PM and his Treasurer held their press conference to make their supposedly tough-on-banks announcement.
No wonder the Labor Party is having such fun using bank bashing as a proxy for going after Turnbull, once the head of investment bank Goldman Sachs down under.
And no wonder ANZ’s boss Shayne Elliott (who Gonski appointed last year) was so quick to endorse the PM’s “necessary initiative”. (Click here to read more)
Questions for Malcolm Turnbull
Lucy Turnbull is not an elected official so the public cannot demand that she answers questions. But Malcolm Turnbull is the Australian Prime Minister and the public have a right to know in regards to why his wife was meeting with the Chairman of the ANZ bank at the same time he was announcing a crackdown on the banks.
Some questions for Malcolm are:
- When having coffee with the ANZ Chairman David Gonski was your wife Lucy telling him not to worry as the crackdown on the banks was just for show to fool the public into believing the government was actually doing something about banking corruption?
- Given that in 2015 your “estimated net worth was in excess of A$200 million” did Lucy use the meeting to get better rates from ANZ for your business dealings and/or personal dealings with the bank?
- Given that Lucy now runs your business interests estimated to be worth over $200 million do you think it is appropriate for you and Lucy to coordinate your political meetings with her business dealings?
- Does Lucy Turnbull get some sort of benefit from the ANZ for pushing the ANZ’s agenda with Malcolm Turnbull? Is Lucy Turnbull a lobbyist for the ANZ?
Those are the sorts of questions all the journalists from the major media companies in the Canberra Press Gallery should be asking Malcolm Turnbull.
Four Corners – former Australian Prime Minister and current MP Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott didn’t miss on Monday night in regards to corruption and perceived corruption in his own party. He said:
TONY ABBOTT, FORMER PRIME MINISTER: “Wouldn’t it be nice to see a bit of democracy inside our party? If Mike Baird wants it, if Malcolm Turnbull wants it, if John Howard wants it, if Barry O’Farrell wants it, if Tony Abbott wants it, it surely is good enough for the factional warlords to have it!”
MARIAN WILKINSON: The Liberals dismal loss of seats in NSW gave Abbott the opening and he seized it.
MARIAN WILKINSON: Can you just take us to that night and why you thought it was important to use that venue to make your call?
TONY ABBOTT: As a re-elected Member of Parliament, you’ve got the opportunity to say something, not just to your electorate, but to the nation, and in particular to the wider Liberal Party. Ah and this is a very important message.
MARIAN WILKINSON: Now relegated to the backbench, Abbott is declaring war on party powerbrokers who oppose his right-wing faction. His targets are a small group of well-connected lobbyists who he says can wield influence over choosing MPs and Senators for both the federal and state parliaments.
TONY ABBOTT: I want to empower the membership, ah make every member count. And the best way for that to happen is to say you count when it comes to choosing the Liberal Party’s representatives in the parliament. Now, the difficulty at the moment ah is that because there’s a smaller, ah less representative party, ah it’s easily controlled ah by factional warlords. Some of these factional warlords have a commercial interest ah in dealing with politicians, whose pre-selections they can influence. Now, this is a potentially corrupt position, ah and the best way to see off the factionalists ah is to open up the party. The more members we’ve got the harder it will be for the factional warlords to control.
MARIAN WILKINSON: In an interview with Four Corners, Abbott threw down a challenge to the Liberal Party.
TONY ABBOTT: The point, Marian, that I made as soon as I became Prime Minister was that you could be a lobbyist or you could be a powerbroker, but you couldn’t be both. Now, a lobbyist is someone who makes money out of getting people in front of politicians. A powerbroker is someone who controls or influences the pre-selections of those politicians. Now, ah if you are making money out of the people whose pre-selections you control or influence, there is obviously a potential for corruption. And that’s the last thing that we should have inside the Liberal Party. (Click here to read more or watch the show)
Tony Abbott did not expressly mention Malcolm Turnbull and Lucy Turnbull using Malcolm’s position as Prime Minister to further their financial interests but by Tony Abbott raising the issues he has then it was always going shine the light to some degree on the Turnbulls which I am sure Abbott would have known. This is nothing new as former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife Therese Rein sold their Australian assets when he was elected PM so their would be no allegations of corruption which I investigated extensively in 2013. (Click here to read more)
Former federal Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella rises again
Right on cue, it was announced on Friday (12/8/16) that Gina Rinehart, Australia’s second richest person, has hired former Liberal Party politician and failed candidate from the latest federal election, Sophie Mirabella, as a “lobbyist and spin doctor in Canberra“.
“The dumped Indi MP was named on Friday as the first general manager of government and media relations for Ms Rinehart’s company Hancock Prospecting.“ (Click here to read more) While Sophie Mirabella’s appointment to her new job is not exactly corrupt it is not far off it and most voters would find it quite disgusting. From previous numbers I have seen I suspect Mirabella would be getting paid somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million by Rinehart to make sure the federal government does what Rinehart wants.
Cleaning up corruption within the Liberal Party will be an ongoing battle and very important for Australia’s democracy given they are one of the major parties so I will keep a close eye on it and it’s good to see people within the Liberal Party driving the issue.
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