Thanks to The Chaser for compiling a list of 124 corrupt acts committed by the Liberal Party in the last 7 years (published 18th February 2021)
Here's the transcript of those 124 corrupt acts.
"Thanks to the Facebook news ban we’re now somehow the only news site in Australia, so here’s some serious journalism listing all the questionable decisions that ScoMo and co made after he forgot to check with Jenny first.
With Matthew Davis/www.mdavis.xyz
The federal government has:
- Cut $14 million from the national audit office, after that office discovered substantial improprieties and wasteful spending (such as the sports rorts, and paying 10 times too much for land for the new Sydney airport).
- Voted against a binding code of conduct designed to ensure politicians act with integrity.
- Blocked a research-backed design change to increase the effectiveness of beverage warnings about drinking during pregnancy (recommended by an independent body) after meeting with lobbyists from alcohol companies who have donated over $300,000 to the Coalition.
- Gave $345,000 to News Corp to build a spelling bee website, discarding any pretense of propriety or fairness by skipping the usual parliamentary checks and tender process, instead just choosing to hand the excessive amount of cash to a company whose industry is neither website building nor education.
- Hid a record-breaking number of expenses from the public in an annual budget, including cash handed to a private rail project, maintaining an abandoned oil rig, and legal action relating to military bases which leaked toxic chemicals.
- Loosened political donation laws.
- Committed a crime by ignoring a ruling of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
- Appointed a failed Liberal candidate to the SBS board instead of any of the ones recommended by the independent nominations panel.
- Prevented parliament from debating whether to set up a National Integrity Commission.
- Set up the COVID-19 National Coordination Committee with no terms of reference, no register of conflicts of interest, and then stacked it with gas company executives who unsurprisingly ended up recommending irrationally pro-gas policies. 690 documents about potential conflicts of interests were deliberately kept hidden.
- Blocked parliament from debating significant environmental protection repeals, rushing through the legislation without allowing anyone to discuss it first.
- Lied by claiming they appointed a Liberal party staffer to a job paying half a million dollars per year through an “open merit-driven, competitive process”. It was actually a limited tender not open to all, exempt from procurement rules which guarantee fairness and impartiality.
- Tried to get parliament to vote on new legislation without giving copies of the bill to the people voting on it, and used unprecedented methods to prevent any politician to speak against it.
- Paid tens of thousands of dollars to a company which was known to be corrupt, through a tender that was not opened up to all competitors.
- Illegally forged a document to publicly criticise a political opponent.
- Cancelled The Rule of Law and then preventing journalists from reporting on the case against a whistleblower who leaked truthful information in the public interest about senior politicians and law enforcement officials who flagrantly violated serious international laws. The court case is held in secret. The whistleblower’s name is illegal to publish. The witness and lawyers’ residences were raided, and the evidence against the government was confiscated.
- Extended exemptions for political donation transparency, which are 25 years old and were only supposed to be temporary.
- Paid $39 million to a naval boat manufacturer when not required to because the company failed to fulfill the relevant contract clauses, and they coincidentally donated to the Liberal party.
- Illegally failed to respond to freedom of information (FOI) requests within the statutory 30 day deadline in 92.5% of cases.
- Bought water rights for 50 times more than many valuations, and double the price of the seller’s valuation.
- Lied by claiming that Kevin Rudd had travelled overseas and back during COVID while many Australians are still stranded overseas, when Mr Rudd had actually never left Queensland.
- Refused to release a report into COVID policy communication strategies, which cost over $500,000.
- Introduced a mandatory code of conduct to force companies like Google to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to large private news companies (but not ABC news nor independent news, nor the Chaser). Google currently drives over 3 billion clicks per year to Australian news companies. Therefore this is like a local plumber demanding that the Yellow Pages pay the plumber for the act of directing plumber-seeking customers to the plumber. This will also undermine the fundamental principles of the web itself, according to its inventor. The laws are written based on the incorrect assumption that news makes up 10% of Google searches when it’s only 1%.
- Introduced red tape and distorted the free market by forcing Google to give special insider knowledge of proprietary search algorithm changes to large news companies but not small, independent journalists. It includes ambiguously written clauses about giving news companies access to Google users’ private data.
- Introduced protections for company executives who trade while insolvent during the pandemic. This is only for cases where the debts are incurred “the ordinary course of business”. Those who try to adapt to the challenging circumstances will not be exempt. In this way the government is incentivising executives to not adapt to the unique circumstances.
- Refused to release the minutes from an important meeting of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee giving COVID advice to the Prime Minister.
- Created the ABCC ostensibly for reducing corruption, but the ABCC boss himself violated rules and endangered people by ignoring COVID flight restrictions, travelling across the country to interview workers about a rally that happened 8 months prior.
- Refused to release a multilateral trade agreement with China, which involves spending government money on infrastructure in other countries. The lack of transparency exacerbates existing concerns about burdening these other developing nations with unsustainable debt.
- Deleted records of a $165,000 political donation from a political consultancy with stakeholders who stand to benefit from the government’s $1 billion visa privatization plan, and refused requests for further explanation.
- Kept secret a government-funded report that showed that less than 1 in 3 Australians trust our public service sector. The justification was that the government believed that the report which they wrote would mislead and confuse people.
- Lied by claiming that all grants issued under the controversial $100M sports grant program were eligible for funding, when only 57% were.
- Failed to declare a property worth $1M in a minister’s declaration of interests.
- Failed to declare 2 properties worth more than $1M in another minister’s declaration of interests.
- Approved a $36,000 grant to a shooting club without declaring that the approving minister was a member of that club.
- Allocated sports grant funding based on which candidate projects were in marginal seats, rather than which were the most worthy. Then refused to release legal advice about whether such pork barrelling is illegal, and destroyed evidence about the funding choices.
- Merged the Australian Federal Police into the Home Affairs department, allowing the minister to exert political influence on investigations.
- Ignored a Royal Commission report which found the government’s Murray-Darling Basin Plan is illegal, whilst refusing to publish their own report which they claim provides a valid rebuttal.
- Abandoned standard tender processes when awarding a $423 million contract to a company with $50k in funds, little experience, no phone number, no mail address, housed in a shack.
- Refused to publish a report used to justify a $53 million contract to outsource Centrelink call handling.
- Declared that they will violate a new law, because they don’t like it.
- Spent $87,000 fighting against a Freedom of Information request about back-room deals, and then lied about the cost.
- Drastically increased the amount of government money spent without a proper tender process, up to $34 billion per month.
- Handed out $17.1M to private TV stations for a grant they didn’t ask for, without offering the money to the public broadcaster.
- Refused a Senate Order to release details about expensive contracts for security, health and infrastructure in their detention camps in PNG.
- Excused the conflict of interest arising when the head of the My Health Record (appointed by the government) privately received money for consultations about the My Health Record.
- Spent 2 years trying to hide documents from Freedom of Information requests, about a serious breach of top secret documents, and mishandling of those documents by a minister.
- Hid a report by the Governor General showing that the government paid twice as much as necessary for new combat vehicles, because such publicity would be bad for the private manufacturer’s future profitability. The company is not even Australian.
- Lied about the Immigration Minister having no personal connection to someone who benefited from the direct intervention by the Immigration Minister in a visa case.
- Spent an undisclosed amount of public money on legal defence for a minister who broken the law for political gain.
- Broke an election promise by cutting $84 million from the ABC (again).
- Exempted a facial recognition system storing data of innocent citizens from standard procurement policy disclosure rules. The excuse is a reliance on security through obscurity rather than actual security. Accuracy figures are also not published.
- Increased the jail time for journalists who report on whistleblower’s truthful allegations by a factor of 10.
- Refused to publish the percentage of calls to the veterans’ suicide help line which go unanswered, because that want negatively impact the brand of the private call centre operator.
- Prohibited public servants from liking social media posts critical of the government, even if anonymous.
- Failed to declare multiple $1600 Foxtel subscriptions gifted to ministers by a lobby group.
- Gave $30 million to Foxtel to boost “under represented sports”, and was unable to explain why free-to-air channels didn’t get the money, because the decision was made without any emails, letter, or supporting documentation.
- Paid a minister $273 per night to stay in his own home.
- Prevented university newspapers from attending the release of multiple annual budgets like all other newspapers. These particular budgets contained multiple changes which negatively impact university students.
- Refused to release the results for the trial of a national health register.
- Spent over $3,500 to send a minister to watch the AFL with his wife.
- Spent over $2,700 on a trip to watch polo.
- Spent $10,000 per day to send a single minister to the USA.
- Broke a promise to scrap free lifetime travel for former ministers. The excuse is that the government is to busy to pass legislation through parliament, despite that being the job of the government and of parliament.
- Falsely advertised the closure of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, despite Parliament rejecting the closure attempt.
- Refused to publish the cost benefit analysis on the agriculture minister’s decision to move a federal agency from Canberra to his own electorate.
- Personally appointed George Brandis’ son’s lawyer to a $370,000 job, without making a conflict of interest declaration.
- Tried to privatise the database of ASIC (the corporate watchdog). Under private hands the cost journalists must pay to obtain information about potentially corrupt companies would increase.
- Spent over $140,000 for 5 ministers to travel to a country we have no trade or diplomatic ties with, visiting tourist sites and dining in 5 star restaurants.
- Refused to release 5 year old taxi receipts to assist in a fraud case, on the grounds that terrorists could use travel information from 5 years ago to help plan an attack against the minister in question.
- Spent $10,000 to fly the family of 2 ministers to a tropical island for a weekend holiday.
- Voted against a motion asking the Housing Affordability Inquiry to update the senate on how they are progressing with the recommendations the government supported.
- Rejected an inquiry which recommended that citizens accused of tax fraud be treated as innocent until proven guilty.
- Spent $30,000 on a private jet to fly one minister and their partner from Perth to Canberra (instead of catching a normal plane) because a non-business event ran overtime. This is despite the alleged budget emergency.
- Voted against increasing transparency about how much tax large corporations pay.
- Violated parliamentary anti-corruption rules by not declaring a substantial loan for almost 2 years.
- Broke an election promise to conduct and publish a cost benefit analysis for all infrastructure projects over $100 million.
- Spent over $20,000 in a legal fight in order to hide modelling for the impact of university fee deregulation.
- Spent thousands of government dollars on taxi rides to the Opera in just 8 days. The government claims that the expenditure is reasonable because the minister didn’t pay for the tickets either.
- Spent thousands of government dollars on limousine rides, and fudged the declaration paperwork to say they were taxi rides.
- Spent $10,000 trying to chase down someone who leaked information to the media about how the Prime Minister deliberately and knowingly used false information to justify opposition to a defence force pay rise.
- Spent $27,000 on travel expenses for politicians to attend free sports events.
- Voted against a royal commission into corruption and misconduct in the financial service industry, following a series of scandals.
- Reaped $1000 per month of government money to pay for Joe Hockey to stay in his wife’s house.
- Proposed an exemption so that Australia’s richest companies no longer have to publish basic information about how much tax they are paying.
- Accidentally leaked the personal details of 31 world leaders, and chose not to notify them. They still claim your metadata will be safe though.
- Breached the criminal code of conduct by offering the independently appointed Human Rights Commissioner a new job if she resigned.
- Flew across the country on a taxpayer funded private jet to attend the private birthday party of a millionaire who has made large donations to the Liberal party.
- Refused to publish cost estimates for the data-retention policy which were provided by the industry.
- Voted to keep the text of the China Free Trade deal secret from the public.
- Abolished the $10,000 limit on political donations.
- Broke the law by missing the deadline for publishing the Intergenerational Report, as stipulated by the Charter of Budget Honesty Act.
- Spent $10,000 trying to identify a whistleblower who told the media that the Prime Minister knowingly mislead the public using information he knew was incorrect.
- Started an online petition to stop job losses at the ABC, just 36 hours after cutting ABC funding by 5% (which broke an election promise).
- Contracted out the managing of the Do Not Call Register to a marketing company.
- Secretly and retrospectively changed the official record of what was said in parliament.
- Broke an election promise by cutting ABC funding again ($120 million this time).
- Spent $900,000 in just 2 months on private jet flights for ministers.
- Forced all community TV stations off the air, claiming that moving online will be better for stations and viewers. Meanwhile they continue to fervently defend foreign corporate stations like HBO, who stubbornly refuse to make content accessible online.
- Introduced new laws which mean Edward Snowden type leaks are punishable by up to 10 years of prison. No exemptions are made for anti-corruption leaks. If journalists report on anyone (including innocent bystanders) being killed accidentally or deliberately by security personnel, they will be jailed for up to 10 years.
- Spent $50,000 on upgrades of curtains and upholstery for the Prime Minister’s office.
- Moved to abolish the role of freedom of information commissioner, abolish the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and charge $800 for reviews of Freedom of Information Request denials.
- Refused to publish any submissions it received for or against the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, even though the government says the changes are to protect free speech. They refused to state what proportion of submissions supported the changes. The government defended this secrecy by claiming that all submissions were made with the expectation of confidentiality. This is false. The Senate Inquiry Submission Guidelines state that to make a Senate Inquiry Submission confidential, you must explicitly justify a request for confidentiality, and that such requests are generally denied.
- Lied about the Australian Federal Police advising Tony Abbott not to visit Deakin University for safety reasons.
- Gave the Minister for Infrastructure the power to silence Infrastructure Australia (an independent body) without justification. (See section 5A.2 of the link.)
- Deliberately hid the cost of the $4.45 million renovations on The Lodge.
- Spent $50,000 on one dinner for 60 G20 guests, including food specially flown to Washington from all over Australia.
- Voted against the creation of a federal anti-corruption watchdog.
- Cut $38 million from Australian television and film funding.
- Broke an election promise by cutting $40 million from the SBS and ABC.
- Broke an election promise to not cut ABC funding, by cutting all funding to the Australia Network (part of the ABC).
- Claimed a 2.5% reduction in funding every year for the ABC is not a funding cut.
- Increased the fee for lodging Freedom of Information requests.
- Paid a public relations company $97,000 for 3 weeks of work to help improve the Education Department’s image, then refused to release the report that came of it.
- Proposed the scrapping of regulation which prevents media monopolies and duopolies.
- Spent over $15,000 on a custom made bookcase to replace a $7,000 custom bookcase which holds $13,000 worth of taxpayer funded books and magazines in senator Brandis’ office.
- Spent $22,000 taxpayer dollars buying new cutlery and crockery for the ministerial wing of parliament.
- Chose not to mention a $882 million payout to News Corp. when outlining a $16.8 billion budget black hole. The payout was the single biggest item in the black hole.
- Denied any wrongdoing after a government aid married to the head of a junk food lobby pulled down a government website providing simplified nutritional information within hours of its launch.
- Violated Youtube’s policies regarding deceptive content, resulting in the suspension of Abbott’s whole channel.
- Criticised the ABC because they aren’t biased towards the Government.
- Spent over $120,000 on Kirribilli House, including $13,000 on an imported luxury rug, paid for by the taxpayer.
- Tried to silence the media to stop them criticising the upcoming private jet deal for politicians.
- Changed the ministerial code of conduct so ministers no longer have to sell shares which create a conflict of interest.
- Made Orwellian threats about cutting ABC funding because the government didn’t like one of their stories, and because their quality of journalism is too high, thereby creating competition which threatens the corporate newspaper duopoly (who are now floundering because they didn’t see the internet coming).
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