Australia’s $90 billion submarine contract was only finalised in 2019 after Scott Morrison’s best mates David Gazard and Peter Costello were cut into the action by Morrison. That alone says there needs to be an open and public inquiry into the contract.
On Wednesday (6/5/20) further details were reported about suspect financial decisions regarding the deal.
The Australian defence force approved Australian taxpayer-funded pay rises and bonuses for the staff at the French-owned Naval Group Australia even though “the project is already billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule”.
Defence has refused to reveal who in the department approved the remuneration changes and referred all questions on Naval Group’s employment conditions and pay to the company.
South Australian crossbench Senator Rex Patrick labelled the pay rises and bonuses granted during the coronavirus pandemic “offensive”. (Click here to read more) Someone somewhere in the government pulled strings to make it happen and who phoned them to make it happen? Was it David Gazard or Peter Costello?
When the contract was announced in 2016 it was valued at $50 billion. I published an article in April 2016 titled “Bribery allegations against Australia’s $50 billion submarine contract winner” and said:
Australia has just awarded a $50 billion defence project to build Submarines and even before the ink is dry on the contract hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars have landed in the pockets of Liberal Party crony and former staffer Sean Costello. To make matters worse the French company DCNS (now known as Naval Group) which has won the $50 billion contract is currently under investigation by a French court for bribing Malaysian officials to win their submarine contract in 2002.
DCNS is alleged to have bribed officials linked to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and the corruption also involves allegations of murder. This is on top of other previous allegations of bribery against DCNS.
Another suspicious element of the Australian tender is that DCNS employed former Liberal staffer Sean Costello as its CEO for the bid. Mr Costello was chief-of-staff for former Defence Minister David Johnston who was sacked from his position in 2014.
The contract is said to be the biggest defence contract in this nation’s history. The contract itself really has to be re-evaluated in light of the French court proceedings and Sean Costello’s appointment as CEO of the winning tender. There should at the very least be a Senate Inquiry. It looks like another reason why we need a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). (Click here to read the full article)
The video below is Sean Costello on the Lateline show 26/4/16 and raises many questions. (Click here to watch the full story)
In May 2016 I published an article titled “Australian Senate corruption inquiry investigating $50 Billion Submarine contract winner” and said:
The Australian Senate is already investigating corrupt conduct by French arms firm Thales who is the parent company of DCNS which won the $50 billion Submarine contract. They are in effect one company and why the government didn’t address this issue when they announced DCNS as the winner of the Submarine contract is scandalous.
The corrupt conduct by Thales under investigation by the Senate is the rorting and rigging of a $1.5 billion contract with Airservices Australia who are a government body responsible for airspace management in Australia which includes the management of airport control towers etc. (Click here to read the full article)
While the submarine deal was announced in 2016 the final contract was not signed until February 2019 after intervention by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Wind the clock forward to the 16th of February 2019 and I published an article titled “Prime Minister Scott Morrison, his best mate David Gazard and the $50 billion submarine scam“
That shows that David Gazard is one of Scott Morrison’s closest advisors and friends if not his closest.
A few minutes after publishing the article it was brought to my attention that another company called ECG Financial has the same 2 directors, David Gazard and Jonathan Epstein, as ECG Advisory Solutions. Also, ECG Financial has a Chairman who is none other than former federal treasurer Peter Costello who is also mentioned above as the other person that Scott Morrison sought advice from in September 2015 during the leadership challenge. (Click here to see their website)
The ABC reported (11/2/19):
A long-awaited contract for the $50 billion Future Submarine program will be signed in Canberra today by France and Australia, following months of tough negotiations and the recruitment of a high-powered lobbyist.
The ABC can reveal one of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s key political confidants was recently hired by the French state-owned shipbuilder Naval Group to help improve a rocky relationship with the Defence department, and to secure a crucial Strategic Partnering Agreement (SPA).
“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 Gazard, who was chief of staff to former New South Wales Liberal leader John Brogden, began his friendship with Mr Morrison when he was the Liberal Party’s State Director for the 2003 election.
In a statement, Naval Group confirmed the arrangement but did not disclose how much Mr Gazard’s company was being paid for its lobbying services.
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 more)
In December 2018 the Financial Review reported:
The other significant “mate of Morrison” who straddles the business and political worlds is David Gazard, a former staffer to Howard and Peter Costello turned lobbyist.
One Liberal source says Gazard is “number one” in terms of who Morrison talks to first but Gazard, who calls the PM one of his best friends, maintains he is way down the pecking order. (Click here to read more)
The $50 billion contract and the direct involvement of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his mate David Gazard has got the smell of the Malaysian bribery scandal all over it. Naval Group were having trouble finalising the details of the $50 billion deal with Australia, so they hire Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s best mate as a “consultant” and pay him $millions to get the deal finalised.
How do I know David Gazard is getting paid $millions? I don’t. But former federal MP and trade minister Andrew Robb is being paid $880,000 a year, even if he does nothing, for a consulting deal with a company closely linked to the Chinese government. (Click here to read more) So it would be a fair guess that David Gazard is being paid $million if not more for “consulting” on the $50 billion submarine deal. The exact deal and how much David Gazard is being paid is something that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has an obligation to make public. For Scott Morrison to say it has nothing to do with him is not believable. The French didn’t employ Morrison’s mate for nothing.
Naval Group has a long history of employing dodgy consultants to bribe government officials. And in November 2018 Prime Minister Scott Morrison decided the $50 billion deal would be finalised “back up to leader-level to ensure it’s finalised in the near term”. That is about the same time that David Gazard was hired by Navel Group. It raises many questions.
Did Scott Morison suggest to French President Emmanuel Macron that the French government-owned Naval Group should employ David Gazard and pay him $millions to finalise the $50 billion submarine contract? Should Australia trust any of them with our $50 billion? I don’t think so.
The scandal involving Morrison, his mate David Gazard and the $50 billion submarine contract should be front-page news and the end of Morrison’s career as there are too many unanswered questions but once again the old media have failed to hold the government to account as you won’t read the above anywhere else. (Click here to read the full article)
A couple of weeks after publishing the first article above naming David Gazard and Peter Costello as being financial beneficiaries of the $50 billion submarine deal via their consulting business ECG Advisory Solutions I published another article on the 24th of February 2019 titled “Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his puppet master Peter Costello“. The article started off:
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 are 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 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. (Click here to read the full article)
As you can see from the above there are numerous Liberal Party cronies, some who are friends with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who are and/or have been profiting from the $90 billion submarine contract. That likely explains why in the middle of the Coronavirus crises, where millions are losing their jobs, Naval Group Australia was able to get the government to give their staff pay rises and bonus even though they are behind schedule and over budget.
With so many Liberal Party cronies with their snouts in the trough with the $90 billion deal they want things to run smoothly so I suspect they have jumped on the phone to the government and made things happen. And given it was David Gazard’s and Peter Costello’s company that was paid to help negotiate the original deal were they paid to negotiate the pay deal with the government?
This week it was also reported that the federal government has spent almost two years trying to hide a critical report being made public regarding another $1.3 billion defence contract with French company Thales. Apparently the report suggested Australia could have paid half the amount for a different vehicle through a United States military program. As I said above, Thales is well-known for bribing government officials which is a possible reason why the government is trying to hide the report. (Click here to read more)
So how did the contract go from $50 billion in 2016, and again confirmed in February 2019 as being worth $50 billion, to now being worth $90 billion? Whose pocket is the extra $40 billion in?
David Gazard and Peter Costello are not only Scott Morrison’s friends but also his political advisors and the whole $90 billion submarine contract with Naval Group Australia absolutely reeks of fraud and theft by Liberal Party cronies.
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Categories: Prime Minister Scott Morrison