Australia’s #Watergate, the $80 million fraud involving federal MP’s Angus Taylor and Barnaby Joyce, has grown legs over the last few weeks and won’t be going away anytime soon as some predicted it would after the federal election. In fact, Australia’s #Watergate is shaping up as the political scandal of the year if not the decade.
It now includes a $750 million dollar class action by farmers against the Murray-Darling Basin Authority which is the corrupt government department that was overseen by Barnaby Joyce before he was sacked as a minister and is now overseen by David Littleproud. Angus Taylor’s handiwork has now been exposed to also include killing endangered grasslands on a property that he and his brother own and then calling in favours from Josh Frydenberg to try and cover it up, but more on that in a minute.
Farmers are being sent bankrupt as they are not allocated enough water and have to pay inflated prices for water as big business profit from the sale of water. Big businesses linked to Angus Taylor, Barnaby Joyce and David Littleproud have also profited from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan which is overseen by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority which they control as federal politicians.
The story that started generating a lot of interest for #Watergate is the below broadcast on The Project on Channel 10 which gives a good overview of #Watergate.
Australian media starting to dig deep into the #Watergate fraud
Before the federal election social media drove a lot of the reporting on the Angus Taylor – Barnaby Joyce $80 million #Watergate fraud which involved a company associated with Angus Taylor, based in the Cayman Islands, receiving an $80 million windfall for selling water, that did not exist, to the federal government. Taylor refused to answer questions and even threatened defamation action against two journalists. (Click here to read more)
Many were predicting that as soon as the federal election was over the interest in #Watergate by any media would die. That hasn’t happened and in fact, the media interest has grown with A Current Affair running a couple of stories on the issue with the latest being this week:
“Accusations of mismanagement and misleading science have dogged the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the evidence is piling up against them.”
“In a report released last month, The Australia Institute outlined how the Murray Darling Basin Authority failed to comply with its own objectives by denying an allocation to NSW Murray general security holders, while flooding the Barmah-Millewa forest and draining the Menindee Lakes.”
“”While everyone else in the Basin was dealing with drought, the MDBA created a flood and lost large volumes of water,” said Maryanne Slattery, senior water researcher at The Australia Institute.”
“The farmers I met in the Southern Riverina are beyond the tipping point. They’re desperate and living on borrowed time. They want the 2012 Plan to be paused for the sake of their survival. But governments are staying the course, promising to deliver the plan in full.” (Click here to read more)
Also, the ABC’s Four Corners are promoting another #Watergate story to be aired on Monday (8-7-19) with allegations that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is a pink batts for farmers, that it is a colossus waste of $13 billion of taxpayers money and allege that multi-million-dollar subsidies have secretly been handed to big business. Even if only a small part of the allegations in their promotion is proven to be true there will be some worried people in Canberra.
Angus Taylor and his sister
The Guardian has done a lot of the hard yards reporting on #Watergate and in recent days they have opened up another line of inquiry regarding the criminal conduct of federal MP Angus Taylor:
The government will be forced to explain the conduct of two of its senior ministers – Angus Taylor and Josh Frydenberg – in relation to critically endangered grasslands at the centre of an investigation involving companies part-owned by Taylor.
Last month a Guardian Australia investigation revealed Taylor held talks with Frydenberg’s office and senior environment department officials about the protection of the natural temperate grassland of the south-eastern highlands.
At the time of the meetings, Taylor was the minister for cities and Frydenberg was the environment minister. The meetings were requested via Frydenberg’s office. At the same time federal and state investigations were under way into the alleged poisoning of 30 hectares that contained the grassland on a property in the Monaro region of New South Wales owned by Jam Land Pty Ltd.
One of the directors of that company is Richard Taylor, the minister’s brother, and the minister himself holds an interest in the firm via his family investment company, Gufee.
Emails obtained by Guardian Australia showed that Frydenberg’s office raised the grasslands protection with the Department of the Environment and Energy on 8 March, a day after officials from the same department met Jam Land to discuss potential contraventions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
An investigator from the unit that examines breaches under national environment law was also present at the meeting with Taylor and Frydenberg’s office on 20 March 2017.
After lobbying by Taylor, Frydenberg’s office sought advice on whether protection of the grasslands could be watered down without first seeking the advice of the independent threatened species scientific committee, and whether this could be done secretly. (Click here to read more)
Not only is Angus Taylor’s dealings with Josh Frydenberg corrupt but it gives great insight into how Angus Taylor works with government ministers when an issue involves his personal businesses. If Angus Talor operated the same way with the $80 million #Watergate fraud then it is guaranteed that he personally dealt with Barnaby Joyce and government officials to get such a high price for water that didn’t even exist.
I wrote 3 weeks ago: “Prime Minister Scott Morrison had the opportunity to sack David Littleproud with the ministerial changes after the recent federal election. I thought Littleproud had been sacked but Morrison only took the Agriculture portfolio off him. David Littleproud was the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources from December 2017 until the federal election in May 2019 and is now the Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management but he only promotes himself on Wikipedia as the Minister for Water Resources.”(Click here to read more)
It was announced a couple of weeks ago that the ACCC is meant to be investigating rorting of the sale of water by companies but I haven’t heard anything since. David Littleproud made the announcement but made no mention of the $80 million #Watergate fraud and also didn’t mentioned his wife’s cousin, John Norman, is currently facing fraud charges over a $20 million Murray Darling Basin Plan water fraud.
Watergate is not an issue that will go away and the media, opposition parties and independents are digging further and further and it has every chance to at the very least bring down Angus Taylor and quite likely other MP’s like Joyce, Littleproud and now Frydenberg who have helped him. It’s bound to fire up as Scott Morrison and the government dig in to protect them as they only have a very slim majority.
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