Channel 9

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his puppet master Peter Costello

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

Shareholders:

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.

Peter Costello and Josh Frydenberg at a cafe in Hawthorn.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has met with former treasurer Peter Costello to get advice on his new job. (AAP) August 2018

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 titledPrime Minister Scott Morrison, his best mate David Gazard and the $50 billion submarine scamwith:

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:

Peter Costello

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.

1 Wesfarmers
2 Coles Supermarkets
3 Transurban Group
4 Youth Care WA
5 Peet Limited
6 Australia Pacific Airports Corporation Ltd
7 National Automotive Leasing and Salary Packaging Association
8 BP Australia Pty Ltd
9 TPG Capital
10 Oaktree Capital
11 Challenger Limited
12 Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia (Incorporated)
13 Australian Finance Group
14 Workpac Group
15 Brewers Association of Australia
16 Afterpay Touch Group Ltd
17 Naval Group

(Click here to see the lobbyist list)

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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9 replies »

  1. Yes the use of Trusts to shuffle funds and avoid transparency are becoming increasingly synonymous with tax avoidance (and the LNP). Where those like Costello are concerned one should query the effectiveness and objectivity of the ATO in investigating such matters as it is itself a federal body.

  2. Do not forget that Treasurer Scott Morrison MP had a King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) office set up inside the Treasurer’s office. Despite the fact, KWM partners do have a foreign country for their Head Office, that KWM Executive Government appointment occurred without any public tendering process. The Governor-General is the chair of the Executive Government. Is the Governor-General also treasonously corrupt?

    KWM until 2012 was known as Mallesons Stephen Jaques (MSJ). On the 09 October 2006 Treasurer Peter Costello appointed Tony D’Alioisio to head ASIC. At the same even 2006 date of that appointment, D’Aoisio was under David Martin Hoare at the ASX.

    A few weeks later D’Aoisio got over $7.5 million payouts for finishing up early at the ASX.

    Before the ASX Tony D’Aloisio was the managing partner of the MSJ law firm partnership.

    On 09 October 2006, David M Hoare was the Chairman of the ASX.

    During the Commonwealth’s Telstra one & two alleged share floats David M Hoare was the Chairman of MSJ & of Telstra at the same time with conflicting dual incomes loyalties.

    MSJ was the three Telstra share floats legal advisory firm to Telstra, creating further gross conflicts of interests. Until 1995 Stanley Howard a brother of former Prime Prime Minister John Howard was the Chairman of MSJ.

    Before politics, both John Winston Howard & Peter Howard Costello were both MSJ Lawyers. On the 09 October 2006, the Telstra Board Company Secretary Douglas Gration lodged the Commonwealth’s Telstra still invalidly duly unsigned off alleged prospectus with the ASX & ASIC. Gration during the Telstra two share float was an MSJ partner.

    Is an investigations being done to establish if a foreign head office law firms partners without public tender processes being complied with, such as KWM partners appointments inside the Treasurer’s office & inside Treasury in fact then who is actually still shadow directing the Executive Government, Scott Morrison & Treasurer Josh Frydenber given Josh is also a former MSJ lawyer just like Paul Fletcher MP is Ex MSJ as is Peter Howard Costello, is it not in reality KWM partners shadow directing our elected Executive Government without a foreign head office law firm’s partners ever being elected, are KWM being shadow directed by Peter Howard Costello who as the Chairman of the FUTURE FUND as an officer of the Commonwealth has gross conflicts by also being the Chair of Channel 9 & now also of the Fairfax take over media empire?

    Peter Howard Costello out to be AFP investigated not still being AFP protected.

  3. Good work. Regarding the different naming of ECG Advisory on the Federal register, it just sounds different, which helps to obscure the fact that they’re the same entity. For example, the company is usually set up as trustee for the named entity, operating through a trust. e.g. Brown Pty Ltd as trustee for Black Trust, trading as Yellow. Yellow is the entity, but it’s operated through a trust that could be a discretionary family trust, a spendthrift trust, a unit trust, business trust, special disability trust, and testamentary trust. There’s also the option of a blind trust, which allows politicians to say they don’t know what their trustees are investing in. It may be called a blind trust because you’d have to be blind to reason to think that wouldn’t be rorted. Maybe that’s why Lady Justice is typically shown blindfolded….

    While you’re doing a great job revealing all this, don’t get too focused on the detail or you’ll miss the bigger picture. Yes, it’s quite likely Costello is using his clout to benefit himself and the businesses he lobbies for, but think bigger still. The Future fund says it’s for the benefit of future generations, and if you follow the links on their website to other sovereign wealth funds, you’ll see they’re not just linked to other national wealth funds, but also to massive corporations, which means these funds work together to make sure they win. For example, they might invest in company X, then make damn sure that company gets a massive Govt contract, so it’s basically a way to launder our tax dollars. The contract goes over budget, like the NBN, and the winning company doesn’t have to foot the bill, we do.

    Essentially, this is the way the future is created without our knowledge or consent with our money, to be used against us by parasites from both sides of politics, banks, and corporations. Yet another problem is legality, since the Government hasn’t been legally structured since 1973, we don’t have any legal standing, and the courts are owned, so we may get the illusion of justice if we try real hard, but we’d be continuously battling against the tide.

    The end game coordinates the perfect storm of events necessary to give the Govt an excuse to call in UN troops to maintain order, during which time many lives will be lost.
    The Future Fund, therefore, is not for our benefit, it’s for the elite’s so they can say we’re broke while trillions are held by each level of Government in reserve. The same thing is happening overseas in each member country of the UN.

    Therefore, the only real solution is uniting people against the common enemy, which in this case is not Govt, the courts, banks, or corporations, it’s us. It’s our own foolish pride that prevents us from being able to admit error, and seeing the good in everything, not just the bad and the ugly. Being able to see the good in judges is quite a challenge, that’s for sure, especially if we’re blinded by rage. However, when you understand the nature of the game we’re playing here, including who we are and what we’re doing here, it suddenly all becomes clear.

    Shakespeare left quite a few clues, for those with eyes to see. “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.” “The whole worlds’ a stage, and we are but players upon it.”

    Keep up the good work, but don’t let it blind you to all the good in the world

    • The Costello dynasty is demonstrating the value of a law degree when building Chinese Walls through the twisted corridors of parliament. Peter was always a bridesmaid but never the bride under Howard. He is fast tracking his personal wealth accumulation from the public trough. Unless he has found the fountain of youth he will not be around when the first hybrid submarine is launched. If this monumental scam is ever unravelled it will serve as a warning to those of us who believe Australia can regain a place as a great democracy that lawyers must be proscribed from our parliament.

      • Hear, Hear. Liars – sorry, Lawyers, should be made totally redundant, with any disputes heard by unpaid respected elders in the community.

    • There would be some around John. But since they’d be busy talking to people and quietly getting things done, we probably wouldn’t be aware of them.

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