Former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello has his fingerprints all over Prime Minister Scott Morrison as his puppet master, the $50 billion submarine contract scam and the federal government via his chairmanships of ECG Financial Pty Ltd, Nine and the $150 billion Future Fund. There is also documented evidence that Peter Costello has been deliberately hiding his lobbying activity from state and federal governments.
My investigation and ASIC company searches show that Peter Costello is a current financial owner of ECG Financial Pty Ltd and was previously a financial owner of the sister company ECG Advisory Solutions which I reported last week has made $millions from a dodgy deal to give advice in the $50 Billion submarine contract. There’s also a prima facie case that Prime Minister Scott Morrison helped orchestrate the deal for ECG and his mates Costello and David Gazard who is a director and 50% shareholder of ECG Advisory via his company GPJT Pty Ltd.
There is clearly musical chairs being played by Peter Costello and others to hide the truth and the fraud and thefts. Specifically what is being hidden is that Peter Costello makes a lot of money lobbying the government for large companies.
How it works:
There are 2 companies and one of them, ECG Advisory Solutions, is also a registered lobbying company and that seems to have become a problem as it was being widely published on the lobbyist registers that Peter Costello’s private company was a shareholder in the company but he was not listed as one of the lobbyists. Yet he is the Chairman of the sister company ECG Financial.
Where this obviously became a problem for Costello is for example the $50 billion submarine deal where it was reported that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s mate David Gazard was appointed as an adviser. (Click here to read more) That is extremely concerning and needs investigating but it would have been a million times worse if the media had of also reported that Peter Costello and/or his company had been appointed as an advisor. They must have realised a few years ago that having the Peter Costello link was a possible problem so he sold his shares is ECG Advisory but kept his shares in the sister company ECG Financial.
The companies and their shareholders as per ASIC searchs today (23/2/19).
ECG Advisory Solutions – Registered 3/8/2011
Peter Costello and his wife own shares via their company Phomadse Pty Ltd which was registered 2/6/2010
David Gazard owns shares via his company GPJT Pty Ltd which was registered 1/8/2011
Jonathan Epstein owns shares via his company Jonnik Pty Ltd which was registered 30/6/2011
Merle Want – Her shares were held in her personal name.
Peter Costello and Merle Want are no longer shareholders in ECG Advisory Solutions and seem to have sold in 2014. David Gazard and Jonathan Epstein now own 50% of the company each.
ECG Financial Pty Ltd – Registered 20/12/12
Peter Costello and his wife own 50 % of the shares via their company Phomadse Pty Ltd which was registered 2/6/2010
Jonathan Epstein owns 50% of the shares via his company Jonnik Pty Ltd which was registered 30/6/2011
Lobbying state and federal governments
Peter Costello had a shareholding in ECG Advisory Solutions which is listed with state and federal governments as a lobbyist company. The 2 lobbyists listed for the company are David Gazard and Jonathan Epstein who are both former employees of Peter Costello when he was Federal Treasurer.
The problem stands out per below in the 2013 Victoria Lobbyist register. You can see David Gazard and Jonathan Epstein as the lobbyists but at the bottom you can also see Peter Costello’s company Phomadse Pty Ltd as a shareholder.
In 2014 Peter Costello’s private company Phomadse Pty Ltd was also named in a report for regulating lobbying in NSW which might have been a reason he sold his shares in ECG Advisory Solutions at about the same time. (Click here to read more)
Would anyone really believe that Peter Costello is a shareholder in a lobbying company but he doesn’t lobby himself? He is always meeting with government MP’s. For example he met with Finance Minister Mathias Corman this week, had coffee with Josh Frydenberg when he become Treasurer to give him some advice and Costello is well-known for being a mentor to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. These same people wouldn’t spare 5 minutes for the average person and Costello isn’t spending time with them for nothing.
And what about the conflict of interest given Peter Costello’s position as Chairman of the $150 billion Future Fund.
In relation to Nine and the Future Fund this was said to the Senate this week: “Former treasurer Peter Costello will manage any potential conflicts of interest as chair of the Future Fund and chair of the newly-merged Nine and Fairfax, a Senate committee has heard.“
But Costello made no statement regarding his conflict with his lobbying company and the Future Fund. Why? Because he has tried to hide it.
The Future Fund says on their website:
The Future Fund is Australia’s sovereign wealth fund. We invest for the benefit of future generations of Australians.
We were established in 2006 to strengthen the Australian Government’s long-term financial position. Every dollar that we make is a dollar that adds to Australia’s wealth and contributes to its future. (Click here to read more)
Does the future fund invest in any of the companies that Peter Costello or his company lobby for and does Costello declare it to the Future Fund board?
Peter Costello was recently re-appointed as Chairman of the Future Fund and it would be almost certain his mate Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a hand it given they also stacked the Administrative Appeals Tribunal with Liberal mates this week.
It’s worth having a quick look at last weeks post as this article ties in strongly with it. I started off last weeks article titled “Prime Minister Scott Morrison, his best mate David Gazard and the $50 billion submarine scam” with:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s best mate and closest political advisor, David Gazard, is profiting $millions from the $50 billion submarine contract Australia finalised this week with the French state-owned shipbuilder Naval Group. Naval Group is still under investigation for bribing Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak US$128 million.
What is becoming clear is that the $50 billion submarine contact is a money grab for numerous Liberal Party cronies which is disturbing given Naval Group was previously investigated by the Australian Senate in 2016 for bribery in Australia via one of their subsidiaries.
Firstly, we’ll look at the bribery allegations against Naval group and Naval Group’s former Australian operations CEO Sean Costello who was a former Liberal Party staffer and then David Gazard’s relationship with Prime Minster Scott Morrison and Naval Group.
And I also said:
“ECG Advisory Solutions“, a lobbying firm founded by former Liberal party candidate David Gazard, has been advising Naval Group since last year on how to handle the difficult SPA negotiations with Australia.
Mr Morrison discussed progress on the SPA with French President Emmanuel Macron at the G20 summit in late November, and told reporters they had agreed to elevate it “back up to leader-level to ensure it’s finalised in the near term”. (Click here to read the article)
The $50 billion submarine scam uses the same routine of mates looking after mates as exposed this week with the Helloworld travel agency $billion tender scam involving the former Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Finance Minister Mathius Corman.
Peter Costello is Chairman of ECG Financial Pty Ltd and he and his wife own 50% of the company via their private company Phomadse Pty Ltd. Both ECG Financial and ECG Advisory have the same Melbourne address and phone numbers on their websites which is no great surprise but worth noting as it’s another piece of evidence that confirms that they are really the same company.
On the Nine Entertainment Co website it says this:
Independent Non-Executive Chairman
Peter Costello was appointed to the Board in February 2013 as an independent, Non-Executive Director and in March 2016 became Chairman of the Board. He is also a member of the Audit & Risk Management Committee.
Mr Costello is currently Chairman of the Board of Guardians of Australia’s Future Fund and serves on a number of domestic and international advisory boards. His business ECG Financial Pty Ltd is a boutique advisor on mergers and acquisitions, foreign investment, competition and regulatory issues which affect business in Australia. Mr Costello served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1990 to 2009 and was Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia from March 1996 to December 2007.
Prior to entering Parliament Mr Costello was a barrister. He has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws LLB (Hons) and a Doctorate of Laws (Honoris Causa) from Monash University. In 2011, Mr Costello was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia. (Click here to see on their website)
On the Federal Government’s website you can see the companies that ECG Advisory Solutions currently lobby. It has been recently updated to add Navel Group.
|4||Youth Care WA|
|6||Australia Pacific Airports Corporation Ltd|
|7||National Automotive Leasing and Salary Packaging Association|
|8||BP Australia Pty Ltd|
|12||Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia (Incorporated)|
|13||Australian Finance Group|
|15||Brewers Association of Australia|
|16||Afterpay Touch Group Ltd|
ECG Advisory Solutions use a different business name for the federal register called The Trustee for ECG Advisory Trust. How that works I’m not sure but maybe there’s an accountant reading this who can suggest in the comment section below why they would do that. Tax dodging maybe?
Peter Costello has to resign as Future Fund chairman and the other issues raised need answers from the government. The former politicians who keep hanging around government and won’t go away are there for their financial greed, not the good of the country.
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