Malcolm Turnbull let the cat out of the bag that he had personally donated $1.75 million to the Liberal Party for the 2016 Federal Election. Normally, this donation would not be made public until later this year, when the slow grind of the donations system finally lets you see who has donated money to which party. Needless to say, Turnbull stated that he stood up for what he believed in, and ‘can’t be bought by anyone’.
Turnbull also laughably stated that “I have contributed my money, my after-tax money, to the Liberal Party, standing up for the values that I believe are critically important for Australia’s future”. We presume he means dealing with climate change; oh, wait, no. Maybe he means the health of the Murray-Darling Basin, ah, sorry, no. Maybe marriage equality, oops, no. Maybe those useless data retention laws, um, nope. Maybe he is just bullshitting. Yeah, that would be it.
Turnbull also stated that he could not be bought by anyone, and was not, like Shorten, “a wholly owned subsidiary of the CFMEU”. The CFMEU, in total gave about $540,000 to various branches of the Labor Party in the 2015-2016 financial year, which is a lot of money. However, on Malcolm Turnbull’s logic, then the Victorian Branch of the Liberal Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cormack Foundation Pty Ltd. This is an ‘associated entity’ of the Liberal Party that was established to raise funds for the Liberal Party and in 2015-2016 it donated over $2.5 million to the Victorian Division of the Party, and $400,000 to the federal branch.
In the 2015-2016 financial year, Cormack Foundation Pty Ltd, an investment company, received funds from its portfolio of shares in the Commonwealth Bank ($1,114,490), Pershing Securities ($311,177), Wesfarmers ($552,075), NAB ($556,399), BHP Billiton ($218,297), Rio Tinto ($244,414), ANZ ($228,674), Westpac ($187,000), Telstra ($186,000), Transurban Holdings ($86,000), Woolworths ($48,000), Milton Corporation ($62,062), Argo Investments ($58,240).
While most people would know the big four banks (ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth, NAB), and the big miners (BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto) in the list above, not many people would have heard of Pershing Securities. It is a company which provides agency brokerage services, financial advice, securities lending and collateral management among other services. It is a subsidiary of BNY International Financing Corporation, which is a US company based in Wall Street, BNY is, in turn, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon which is a US based worldwide banking and financial services company. It is the largest custodian bank, with over $30 trillion in assets.
Cormack Foundation Pty Ltd has eight listed shareholders, who are also the company’s directors. Shareholders include John Calvert-Jones, Hugh Morgan and Charles Goode.
John Calvert Jones (born 1937, UK) is a former federal treasurer of the Liberal Party and is a brother-in-law of Rupert Murdoch, having married Rupert’s sister (Elisabeth) Janet Murdoch. He was also a board member of the right wing ‘think tank’ the Centre for Independent Studies. He is also famous for turning a $7 million holding in Range River Gold, to $120,000 when the company encountered problems and had to be rescued via a 1 for 60 share consolidation.
Hugh Morgan (born 1940) is a former member of the board of the Reserve Bank and was CEO of Western Mining from 1990-2003 and president of the Business Council of Australia from 2003-2005. He was also one of the original funders of the Centre for Independent Studies and helped to establish the H.R. Nicholls Society. He has also funded the Institute of Public Affairs and is on the board of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and is a known climate change denier, being the president of the Lavoisier Group. He was central to a campaign to prevent the then Liberal Government from acting to cut CO2 emissions. In 1997, it was revealed that Western Mining had quadrupled its forward gold sales at the same time that the Reserve Bank was planning to sell two thirds of its gold reserves. Morgan was a member of the board at the time, but did not absent himself, nor was he required to absent himself, from the board discussions of the gold reserve sale. If that is not unethical, then insider trading probably isn’t either
Charles Goode (born 1938) is a former chairman of ANZ Bank, a non-executive director of Woodside Petroleum and is a former director of the Singapore Government-owned Singapore Airlines. He is a former President of the right wing ‘think tank’, the Institute of Public Affairs.
None of these three shareholders/directors have been elected to any government position and at least one of them is a known climate change denier. Fortunately, they are all getting very long in the tooth and will either soon be dribbling down their shirts or not be around too much longer. Not only do they donate to the Liberal Party, but now it has been found to be bankrolling the Liberal Democratic Party (senator David Leyonhjelm) and the Family First Party (replacement for senator Bob Day). This is presumably a bribe to help these cross bench senators see that voting with the Liberal Party is in their interests.
So, who is a wholly owned subsidiary of whom? Given Turnbull’s logic, it seems that the big miners and the banks own the Liberal Party, despite Turnbull kicking the tin to the tune of a little over half of Cormack’s share.
Turnbull needs to stop lying by omission. I am sure there are gullible Liberal voters and One Notion voters out there, who think Turnbull was telling the truth about his being unable to be bought, but it is all just bullshit! Bullshit, bullshit and more bullshit. It makes me sick to my stomach, and it will have to change. The purchasing of politicians must stop.