Billionaires with links to the Liberal Party are already starting to get substantial financial relief during the Coronavirus Crisis which is at the expense of the poor. Why should the public be propping up Billionaires and media companies that push Liberal Party propaganda like Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Kerry Stokes’ Seven West Media?
It will be at least six to 12 months before we get a real picture of how much Stokes and Murdoch have had their noses in the government’s trough during Coronavirus Crisis but a quick run-down on Kerry Stokes shows he is currently benefiting by:
- Kerry Stokes is using the government-funded Jobkeeper program for his staff at Seven West Media which was already struggling after Stokes has run the company head-first into the ground over the last 20 years. Journalist Stephen Mayne Tweeted on the 27th of July: “The latest Seven West Media accounts reveal net assets of just $20.8m & accumulated losses of $3.4 billion, yet the bloke responsible for this, Kerry Stokes, has been chairman for 12 years and is now 77. Time to go Kerry.”
- Asking the Morrison government for a $400 million taxpayer-funded loan for a BCI Minerals salt mine project which Stokes could easily fund himself.
- Snout in the trough for part of the governments $50 million regional media grants.
- As Chairman of the Australian War Memorial Kerry Stokes is trying to force the government to spend $498 million to upgrade the War Memorial to keep him happy when there is no reason to do so and the country cant afford it.
- Kerry Stokes’s Seven Group Holdings owns $100 million of shares of a company, Estia Health, at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak at its Ardeer and Heidelberg West aged care facilities in Melbourne. Watch for Stokes to ask for more government funding while people die at his aged care homes which he has a $100 million investment. Stephen Mayne again reported: “Unfortunately, Sunrise co-host Natalie Barr failed to make this disclosure before tearing strips off federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck, during a live interview on Stokes’ Seven Network yesterday morning.” (Click here to read more)
Stokes and his companies would currently be busy working out other ways they can bludge off the government which is ultimately the public’s money. Given Kerry Stokes also has large investments in mining and gas one has to wonder if Stokes had any input into the Covid-19 Commission business advisory body planning to advise the government to invest heavily in gas and build fossil fuel infrastructure.
Just to show how much influence Stokes has on government it is worth looking at how easily Stokes gets around quarantine rules everyone else is expected to comply with.
Kerry Stokes breaches mandatory quarantine laws for at least the second time, possibly fourth time
On the 8th of April 2020 “WA Police gave billionaire mining and media mogul Kerry Stokes and his wife an exemption from mandatory hotel quarantine rules on medical grounds after they returned to Perth from the United States on their private jet two weeks ago.” (Click here to read more) At the time Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said he had no involvement or knowledge of Kerry Stokes being granted an exemption.
On the 24th of April Kerry Stokes and his wife flew to Canberra for Anzac Day at the War Memorial on the 25th of April which means they were cutting close to the 2 weeks quarantine they were supposed to have done in WA. Stokes and his wife apparently then flew on to Sydney which means they went from WA to the ACT and then on to NSW in a matter of days. It is unknown if they quarantined in NSW.
On the 23rd of July, the SMH exposed the fact that the quarantine exemption that Kerry Stokes and his wife received in April was after intervention by a federal Minister, who is also a Senator, had discussions with the WA Premier Mark McGowan. The federal politician involved is likely to be WA Senator and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. (Click here to read more) That means Mark McGowan lied in April when he said he had no involvement in Kerry Stokes receiving an exemption.
Then on the weekend of July 18 and 19 Stokes was granted another quarantine exemption in WA after flying from Sydney to Perth, but no one would say why. On the 28th of July, less than 2 weeks after flying to Perth from Sydney, Kerry Stokes had breakfast at a Seven West Media-run business function with WA Premier Mark McGowan as per the below picture. (Click here to read more)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said many times “We’re all in this together” in relation to the Coronavirus Crisis but when it comes to Kerry Stokes, he gets an exemption wherever he goes in the country. Kerry Stokes also gets looked after by politicians when he sticks his hand out for the public’s money.
Rupert Murdoch has his hand deep in the government’s pocket as well which is a bit rich given News Corp has not paid tax for years and is a foreign company. Some of his hand-outs include:
- News Corp also gets part of the government’s $50 million regional media grants.
- The Morrison government have fraudulently given Murdoch’s Foxtel another $10 million to broadcast women’s and underrepresented sport on top of $30 already given to Foxtel for the same thing in 2017.
- News Corp would also likely be taking advantage of Jobkeeper even though it is a foreign company.
- The ACCC has just released a draft Google / Facebook bargaining code that will force them to pay Australian media companies. It should be called the Murdoch tax as it was basically the same as the submission that News Corp put to the ACCC. Small and new Australian media businesses have been excluded because they need at least $150,000 revenue per year which means small players like myself do not qualify. It’s focused on keeping the old media companies happy and excluding new media players which is what Rupert Murdoch would want.
James Murdoch has just resigned from the News Corp board (31/7/20) “due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions”. It basically means that James Murdoch knows that “News Corp” is a dirty word and he no longer wants to be tarred by its dodgy reputation. But I doubt he will be giving back the $billions he made via his shares he was given by his father or the hundreds of $millions he was paid as an executive of the company while it was committing it’s phone bugging crimes and dodging Australian tax etc.
Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes aren’t the only two business people trying to rort the government during the Coronavirus Crisis but they are two of the most successful at doing it. I published an article in June titled “Scott Morrison uses the COVID-19 crises as cover for government corruption” and that is still the case. Unfortunately, many see the Coronavirus Crisis as the perfect opportunity to rip off the government and steal the public’s money and many more scandals of government fraud will be exposed in the not too distant future.
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