The current federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud has direct family links to the $20 million Murray-Darling Basin fraud which has resulted in police charges in Queensland. David Littleproud’s wife’s cousin, John Norman, is the kingpin of the alleged $20 million fraud and was charged in August 2018 after the police raided his farm in October 2017.
Yet David Littleproud is the one Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the government has overseeing complaints and an investigation into the separate $80 million Murray-Darling Basin Watergate scandal involving federal MP’s Barnaby Joyce and Angus Taylor.
This is shaping up as one of the biggest fraud scandals the country has seen.
There is a federal $13 billion Murray-Darling Basin plan which put simply covers rivers / water flow in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia. It says on the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) website:
“The Basin Plan aims to ensure the water resources of the Basin are shared between all water users in a sustainable way. It is about striking a balance and maintaining a healthy and productive system to sustainably support industries and communities.“ (Click here to read more)
Buying back water rights and/or giving grants to farmers for water-efficiency projects are two ways the Murray-Darling Basin plan is meant to achieve its stated goals. But water buybacks and the water-efficiency projects have been left wide open to fraud. David Littleproud’s wife’s cousin, John Norman, claimed $millions for water-efficiency projects on his properties and he is alleged to have actually used the money for farming instead.
While the $80 million fraud involving federal MPs Angus Taylor and Barnaby Joyce involves a water buyback fraud at inflated prices and the money being funnelled to an overseas company based in the Cayman Islands that was originally set up by Angus Taylor. There are still many unanswered questions and both Barnaby Joyce and Angus Taylor are refusing to answer those questions.
The main focus of this article is David Littleproud and his perceived bias and links to a number of water frauds. But if you are new to the story watching the below video gives a very good backgrounding to the Angus Taylor / Barnaby Joyce $80 million fraud.
For backgrounding on this story it is also worth reading the article I published a few days ago titled “Lawyers for MP Angus Taylor fail to back-up $80 million #watergate fraud defamation legal threats”
David Littleproud and his connection to John Norman and the $20 million fraud charges
In 2016 one of John Norman’s neighbours, Bruce Lamey, started making complaints to local, state and federal governments about whether commonwealth money was being diverted by John Norman for other uses. The Guardian reported in April 2018:
Lamey says he contacted his then-newly elected federal member, David Littleproud, in 2017, urging him to stop the commonwealth grants to Norman Farming and find out how the money was being spent. He says he didn’t hear back from him.
Littleproud is now the minister for agriculture and water resources. His office says the grants were a state responsibility and Lamey needed to take it up with the Queensland department. And despite the fact that Littleproud’s wife, Sarah, is a cousin of both John Norman and his wife, Virginia, the minister dismisses any family connection.
His spokesperson said: “The minister has no idea and no interest in whether the Normans are somehow related. “Norman is his wife’s second cousin whom he hasn’t seen for years. There are zero business links between the minister and Norman Farming.” (Click here to read more)
The below video is the news report from August 2018 of John Norman being charged by the Queensland police.
In researching this article I came across a document which seems to be a chronology of events of Bruce Lamey’s issues and is from The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission which was set up and run by the South Australian government.
Two entries in the chronology of events of Bruce Lamey that are relevant to David Littleproud:
26/7/17 Lamey-Mark Coulton no progress Littleproud no help, I think it’s time to go to the media, is there anything else that can be done.
25/1/18 Littleproud generic reply it’s a state issue not a federal issue. (I hit the roof) (Click here to see the document)
It has now been reported by The Saturday Paper that:
“Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty is examining links between political donations and the issuing and buyback of agricultural water licences, amid concerns that undeclared conflicts of interest could be fuelling corruption.”
Who appointed Keelty?
“Keelty is conducting inquiries in his capacity as the Northern Basin commissioner for the Murray–Darling Basin, a position to which the federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud, appointed him in August last year with the support of the Labor opposition.”
And what will Keelty do? Bugger all!
“Mick Keelty emphasised his role is not to investigate the purchase of the two licences, but to ensure the appropriate authorities follow up concerns as they arise. In this case, he says that authority is the auditor-general.” (Click here to read more)
The below video from February 2018 is David Littleproud getting very upset and refusing to answer the question asked by federal MP Rebekha Sharkie in relation to an overpriced water buyback. Which specific buyback it was I don’t know but it might be about the $80 million fraud involving Joyce and Taylor as mentioned above.
Another video worth watching is the Lateline story below from the 31st of August 2017 which is titled “Murray-Darling Basin plan a ‘failure’: Farmers claim water backed up in Queensland” and also deals with David Littleproud, John Norman and Bruce Lamey.
The Guardian reported on the 25th of October 2017 that the police raided the farm the day before and said it was 2 months after the police started their investigation. That means the coppers got off their rear ends almost to the day when the below report was aired on Lateline on the 31st of August 2017. Nothing like a bit of media to motivate law enforcement officers to do their job.
Not only does David Littleproud have a huge conflict of interest but his electorate is where a lot of the water fraud and alleged water fraud is taking place so he is the last person who should have been made Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
A lot of people are hoping this story goes away but it is important that there is a Royal Commission into Australia’s Watergate as it shows how federal politicians are up to their necks in grand scale fraud for personal gain and how they launder money of which at least some makes it way back to the political parties.
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