Katter says tear up Darwin Port lease to China now – he has the numbers to make it happen in parliament
Former LNP Trade Minister Andrew Robb profited enormously from the port deal
Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, MHR has warned the federal Government to tear up the Port of Darwin lease with its Chinese owners, arguing that a “review” will achieve nothing but waste time.
Mr Katter’s opposition to the Port of Darwin sale – a 99 year lease to Communist Chinese controlled Landbridge Corporation – has been tenacious over the last six years, concerned by the economic and security implications of the sale.
Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has joined the crescendo to kick out Landbridge which secured the long-term operational control of the commercial facility in 2015 as part of a $506 million deal with the Northern Territory government.
The lease was signed by former CLP chief minister Adam Giles, but Mr Rudd said key ministers within the federal Coalition government were also responsible for the outcome.
“[It was] all approved, all let through, by Morrison when he was Treasurer [and] Frydenberg was then Minister for Northern Australia,” Mr Rudd said.
He added that former Trade Minister Andrew Robb also took on a lucrative consulting job with Landbridge after he left office.
“For all those political reasons, Dutton, Morrison, Frydenberg know that they are deeply exposed on this issue.
Katter warned Australia’s national security was being severely compromised while the CCP continues to acquire strategic assets across the north of the country, “right on our doorstep”.
He reminded the LNP government that the top half of the Australian continent was already encircled by China, stretching from Cockatoo Island near Derby in Western Australia to Keswick Island near Mackay in Central Queensland.
“Why do we need a review to see if it is good for Australia? Blind Freddie could see it’s not!,” Mr Katter said.
“Darwin is the only port between Cairns and Broome making up half of the entire Australian coastline and the sale should never have happened in the first place.
“You can’t get anything out of the Northern half of Australia except out of a foreign Check Point Charlie (Port of Darwin) which can charge you whatever he feels like charging you.
“Up to 300,000 head of live cattle go through Darwin, and for six years we have been in a situation where a foreign corporation can charge us whatever they feel like charging and decide what goes through the port because they own the port.
“They can close the port to any competing development by Australians and by having control of that port, they control the whole economy of the north western quarter of Australia.
“It is not my aspiration as an Australian, to work in a country owned by foreign landlords where I’ll work as some sort of modern-day serf for whatever amount of money that they feel like paying me”, Mr Katter said.
“I’ve said this before, anyone that would give away their only ‘non-coal loading’ Panamax port in the northern half of the continent to a foreign power has committed treason.
“Don’t waste time with a review. Just tear it up now.”
Mr Katter said that he was confident he had the numbers in the Parliament to suspend standing orders and move for the Port of Darwin lease to be torn up.
“I’ve had a motion drafted and ready for the last few months. I’m confident that I have to numbers to get this up. So who’s going to move first?!”
Landbridge secured the long-term operational control of the commercial facility in 2015 as part of a $506 million deal with the Northern Territory government.
The lease was signed by former Country Liberal Party chief minister Adam Giles, but Mr Rudd said key ministers within the federal Coalition government were also responsible for the outcome.
“[It was] all approved, all let through, by Morrison when he was Treasurer [and] Frydenberg was then Minister for Northern Australia,” Mr Rudd said.
He added that former minister Andrew Robb also took on an $800,000 per annum lucrative consulting job with Landbridge after he left office.
As part of the “confidential” consultancy deal, Mr Robb, the architect of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, began consulting to Ye Cheng the day before the July 2 federal election in 2016.
It’s estimated that Mr Robb pocketed more than $2 million plus expenses from Landbridge. A company document revealed that Mr Robb’s consulting contract was so vague and ill-defined he would be paid even if he did nothing.
“For all those political reasons, Dutton, Morrison and Frydenberg know that they are deeply exposed on this issue.
“Hence, my prediction is that they will seek to scupper the lease and then there’ll be a huge financial liability on the part of the taxpayer.”
Mr Rudd said he was not privy to current intelligence briefings, but he was aware of concerns raised by the US after the deal was signed.
“My understanding from Washington, for example, is that the US administration at the time was absolutely ropeable by the dim-witted nature of this particular decision back in 2015.”
DFAT has previously said the Darwin Port lease was not within the scope of the Foreign Relations Act.
Mr Robb’s consultancy with the leaseholder of the Darwin Port, Landbridge, was trumpeted by the Chinese-government aligned company in 2016, but became intensely controversial when an investigation by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Four Corners revealed his fee, and that he had joined the company straight after quitting parliament.
Mr Robb joins former foreign minister Bob Carr and former Victorian premier John Brumby in taking up lucrative roles with companies or, in Mr Carr’s case, a think tank, founded by businessmen with strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
By Robert J Lee in Canberra
The Liberal and Labor parties are terrified by the extent of the Muslim vote in Australia, particularly in NSW and Victoria.
The Pickering Post last year reported the Muslim bloc vote across both states could affect the outcome of a federal election.
Up to 15 per cent of the primary vote in 15 seats is controlled by the Muslim community and Defence Minister Christopher Pyne’s recent reaction, denigrating Pauline Hanson for her comments about stopping immigration from Muslim countries reveal how scared the Liberals are of offending Islam.
Independent Member for the Far Northern seat of Kennedy, Bob Katter has a bill prepared to do just what Hanson is frightening the Liberals and Labor about.
Katter’s bill is modelled on US President Donald Trump’s controversial anti-Muslim immigration bill that would stop residents of identified Islamic countries from entering Australia.
It will be tabled in the House of Representatives in May.
The Vaucluse vacuum, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull fares no better. His continued public support for Islamic citizens in Australia, more so those in Liberal-held electorates, demonstrates the extent of his fear.
Turnbull wants to continue with the importation of 12,000 ‘refugees’ from Islamic countries, in spite of 500 so far having been rejected on security grounds.
The religion of these ‘refugees’ remains largely unknown, a little bit like the section of the Australian Census form asking for religious status.
The Liberal Party seems oblivious to 80 per cent of Australians rejecting the UN-orchestrated immigration plan, to further inject a large number of Muslim ‘refugees’ into a once homogenous society.
Like a broken record Turnbull, at every opportunity claims Australia is the most successful ‘multicultural country in the world.’
This is correct in part thanks to the ‘White Australia’ policy that ensured the majority of immigrants from the 1950’s to the late 70’s originated from European countries.
Turnbull’s claim has not been relevant since the early 1980’s coincidental with the corrupt regime of the infamous Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke, whom Australia has to thank for the ethnic ghettos of Sydney and Melbourne accompanied by rampant gangland crime.
To expect Muslims or any other person to truthfully reveal their religious ideology is a pipe dream of the Bureau of Statistics. It is easy to mark in ‘Christian’ without fear of checks or balances.
Thus the number of real Muslims living in Australia is anybody’s guess although the ABS claims there are roughly 500,000.
In 2014-15, of the total of 13,756 humanitarian migrants:
- 2,335 were from Iraq
- 2,232 were from Syria
- 1,813 were from Afghanistan and
- 331 were from Iran.
These four majority Muslim countries made up 48.8% of the humanitarian intake. (source Business Insider)
During the 2007-13 Rudd-Gillard-Rudd era of Prime Ministership an estimated 120,000, mainly Muslim refugee immigrants entered Australia by air. It is believed most of these immigrants remained in the country, in addition to the normal immigrant inflow.
Australia’s immigration policy does not discriminate on the grounds of ethnic origin or religion.
Perhaps we should ask the United Kingdom or France how many radical Muslims does it take to make a bomb or drive a car?
Pictures from Google images
Will Billy Gordon protect his indigenous constituents from the lunatic fringe of the ALP and Greens closing down development?
Cape York development uncertainty must be removed
15 April 2016
AgForce has welcomed the State Government’s commitment to develop large-scale business and tourism ventures in remote indigenous communities, but said planned changes to vegetation management laws must be scrapped if the Government is serious about job creation in Cape York.
Representatives from the Queensland Investment Corporation, Treasury officials, Queensland Resources Council and Indigenous groups from Cape York, Palm Island and the state’s north-west discussed the plans at an investment forum this week in Cairns.
Queensland’s Indigenous Affairs Minister Curtis Pitt was reported as saying there was a lot of untapped potential in northern Australia.
“We’re hoping to draw out some of the needs and aspirations of people not only in the Cape but right across the state,” Mr Pitt said. (Source: ABC News Online, 14 April 2016)
AgForce President Grant Maudsley said the Queensland Government could start by removing the uncertainty over future agricultural development in places like Cape York by scrapping its planned changes to the State’s vegetation management laws.
“It’s clear both indigenous & non-indigenous graziers on the Cape will be prevented from developing their properties and growing more of their own hay to feed cattle,” he said.
“Traditional owners and long-time cattle producers are telling us that this issue has united them in a way that hasn’t happened for many years.
“They are angry that there has been little or no consultation by the Government about the proposed changes and this is creating frustration and confusion.
“If Curtis Pitt and his Government are fair dinkum about talking to Cape York communities about developing jobs, and a meaningful future, then they should start with existing businesses like the beef industry.
“It has traditionally been a significant employer and income-earner for indigenous communities and should be allowed to develop to its full potential. But that can’t happen if the tough new vegetation management rules apply.”
Wik Mukan tribal elder and cattleman Willie Lawrence told an AgForce Queensland workshop in Coen this week that he wanted the local State MP Billy Gordon to meet with traditional owners and understand what is at stake if the changes go ahead.
“If Billy Gordon came up here I can talk to him, he can get ideas from me about these new tree laws and the other things like National Parks locking us out of our traditional country,” he said.
“We can have a good yarn and he can understand me and I can understand him.” (Photos of Willie Lawrence at the AgForce workshop are available upon request)
AgForce has been holding workshops throughout Cape York this week and the workshops continue today in Laura and then in Cooktown on Monday.
brisbanetimes.com.au – senior reporter Tim Moore – November 27, 2014 – 2:49PM
Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham has urged the Commission of Inquiry. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
Queensland Independent MP Liz Cunningham has asked in State Parliament on Thursday that a special Commission of Inquiry be called to investigate the “cover-up” of the 1990 decision by the Queensland cabinet to shred documents required by a court.
Ms Cunningham does not want another investigation into the shredding of the documents, which has become known as the Heiner Affair.
She instead wants an investigation into why it took from 1990 until July 2013 – 23 years – for a properly-constituted inquiry to find that there was a prima-facie case against the 1990 Queensland Cabinet members for shredding the documents.
Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. Photo: Glenn Hunt
It would be similar to the 1989 Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry that saw Judge Angelo Vasta removed from office.
It is the “Why did it take so long to investigate?” Liz Cunningham wants answered, not the “What happened originally?”.
The Carmody Inquiry
Inquiry driving force Kevin Lindeberg (pic).
On July 1, 2013 Commissioner Tim Carmody found a case existed against Goss government cabinet ministers.
He reached the conclusion after spending months on the Child Protection Inquiry, which included investigating the shredding of Magistrate Noel Heiner’s inquiry document in 1990.
“The available evidence is legally sufficient, as it stands, for a jury to find that in resolving to hand the Heiner documents over to the state archivist for destruction, the premier and each participating cabinet minister meant to ensure that they could not be used in evidence if required in an anticipated judicial proceeding,” Mr Carmody wrote on July 1, 2013.
However the Office of Public Prosecutions found there was “no reasonable prospects of a conviction”.
The man behind Ms Cunningham’s private member’s bill, whistleblower Kevin Lindeberg, accepts there is now no public benefit in pursuing the previous Cabinet MPs.
But Mr Lindeberg,– and now Ms Cunningham – believes there is merit in investigating the “why”.
“Why did it take 23 years for a prima-facie case to be established?” Mr Lindeberg asked repeatedly.
“…for our State Attorney to make himself the sole arbitrary decision-maker on the substance or otherwise regarding documented Heiner allegations of possible serious prima facie illegality hanging over the heads of certain known sitting Queensland judges, means, to all intents and purposes, he has usurped the authority, duty and rights of the Parliament to himself”.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie told journalists there would be no further inquiry into why it took 23 years to make this finding.
However, Mr Lindeberg and Ms Cunningham believe some members of the Queensland’s judiciary have questions to answer and the Attorney-General – as a sole MP – cannot make that decision alone.
That decision has to be made by the 89 members of Queensland’s Legislative Assembly, they believe.
Mr Lindeberg says section 61 of the Queensland Constitution provides the legal framework for this.
It states: “A judge’s misbehaviour justifying removal from an office is proved only if the Legislative Assembly accepts a finding of a tribunal, stated in a report of the tribunal, that, on the balance of probabilities, the judge has misbehaved in a way that justifies removal from the office.”
Queensland’s Constitution requires that this inquiry be administered by three retired “judges or justices of a State or Federal superior court in Australia.”
That is what Ms Cunningham’s private members’ bill wants MPs to consider.
‘All MPs should decide’
Mr Lindeberg said he has only ever wanted the law to be obeyed.
Mr Lindeberg said each member of Parliament must now decide whether the documented allegations against the key players gave rise to a mere suspicion of possible wrongdoing.
“This is a solemn moral, ethical and legal duty on each politician now that the bill is tabled,” Mr Lindeberg said.
“It must be treated above party politics,” he said,
“It’s a seminal moment in our State’s unicameral, political, legal and constitutional history. I hope and pray that the law prevails.”
Mr Bleijie wrote to Mr Lindeberg in July 2014 and disagreed the issue needs to be taken to State Parliament.
Seven months earlier, the persistent Mr Lindeberg had taken his request to the then-Crime and Misconduct Commission for a new investigation into why it took 23 years to find a prima-facie case existed.
The CMC told Mr Lindeberg it had a “perception of bias” because it had investigated twice – before Mr Carmody found in 2013 a prima-facie case did exist – and sent it back to the Attorney-General.
In his letter back to Mr Lindeberg on July 11, Mr Bleijie wrote that he had discussed the issue with the-then Queensland Chief Justice Paul de Jersey. (Himself the subject of dire allegations of sexual impropriety)
Allegations have been ‘fully ventilated’
“Your allegations have been the subject of numerous reviews and inquiries, most recently the Queensland Child Protection Inquiry, and have been fully ventilated,” he wrote.
“I recently announced that that I had received advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and will not be referring the matter to the Queensland Police, or issuing any ex-officio indictment in relation to it,” he wrote.
“I do not see any reason to instigate any further inquiry.”
Whistleblower calls for fresh inquiry
Mr Lindeberg believes most previous inquiries were politically aligned.
He points out the actual terms of reference for Mr Carmody’s Inquiry did not allow him to investigate anything after December 31, 1990 – the aftermath of the document shredding in the Heiner Affair.
Mr Lindeberg is the original whistleblower on Cabinet’s decision to shred documents in 1990.
The documents related to allegations of abuse and mismanagement at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre at Wacol in the late 1980s. Magistrate Noel Heiner spearheaded the inquiry.
Ipswich solicitor Ian Berry, who is now a LNP MP, represented the manager of a youth detention centre.
Mr Lindeberg was the centre manager’s trade union representative.
A long-time battle waged by one man
Mr Lindeberg is nothing, if not persistent.
He can be pedantic, insistent and at times mildly irritating.
But is passionate, persistent – and given Commissioner Carmody’s findings in July 2013 that a prima-facie case existed – to some degree, he has been proven correct.
He is a former trade-union representative, former light opera singer, an aviation and Bert Hinkler enthusiast, and a cartoonist.
Kevin Lindeberg does not know what will happen if 2014’s parliamentarians do not ask for an inquiry, in the style of the 1989 Judge Angelo Vasta inquiry.
He says he cannot say if today’s action is his final attempt to achieve closure.
“I really can’t answer that,” he said.
“I expect the law to be complied with.
“In other words, you are saying what will you do if this aspect of the law is not complied with?”
“Well, I just can’t answer that.”
“Parliament’s overriding obligation is to obey the law.
“And, no matter the pain or political embarrassment, to always nip in the bud matters of possible judicial impropriety as Mrs Cunningham’s bill and supporting material clearly reveals.”
Mr Lindeberg said the need to have faith in the law is why he has persisted for 24 years.
“So that we Queenslanders can have complete confidence in the integrity and independence of the judiciary and never have to live in fear that our freedoms and rights might be lost through arbitrary abuse of power when you least expect it.”
by Piers Akerman
Wednesday, April, 24, 2013
It would seem that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is not the only Labor figure to reach for the naïve defence when the hard questions are asked.
Yesterday, Dean Wells, a former Labor Attorney General in the Goss government, told the Queensland Child Protection Inquiry which is looking into the Heiner Affair that the Cabinet decided to shred internal documents because they were inexperienced and wanted to protect employees from defamation.
He said the 1990 order to destroy documents from an investigation into a youth-detention centre was the Cabinets baptism of fire as the first damned if we do, damned if we dont decision.
He is the third Cabinet minister to be summonsed to the inquiry – the first under newly expanded terms of reference – that is investigating the long-running Heiner Affair disgrace.
We had been out of office for 32 years, Wells said.
We did not know what was normal and within the area of the Cabinets concern.
What we did know that a minister had a problem that an inquiry that had been established by her predecessor had been pulled up.
The Heiner Affair centres on the destruction of documents from retired magistrate Noel Heiners investigation into allegations of mismanagement at the John Oxley Youth Centre.
It later emerged a girl, 14, was raped at the centre in 1988 and claims grew of a coverup of sexual abuse allegations.
The girl, now a woman, at the heart of this matter, still wants justice.
She was awarded approximately $140,000 in a hush-hush ex gratia payment or possibly compensation in June, 2010, by the Bligh Labor government.
Commissioner Tim Carmody asked why the government would offer to indemnify a man, then destroy the documents which might be produced in a court in a case against that same man.
That suggests no one thought about those two colliding facts, he said.
Wells said the government believed it wrong to keep documents which he believed contained untested allegations of misconduct which did not involve criminal behavior.
But Carmody said the Cabinet knew it was dong something quite risky which required serious thought.
It was such a serious decision it was deferred twice, he said.
Yet the Cabinet did not appear to apply careful consideration before green-lighting the shredding.
It (the consideration given) seems to have been less than might have been expected, Carmody said.
The questions that seems to have been obvious dont seem to have been asked.
Carmody suggested the documents contained not so much allegations of child sexual abuse but accusations related to industrial strife inside the John Oxley centre.
But he also suggested there were two competing sides in the equation – one side wanted to keep the material and one side wanted it destroyed.
He suggested the Labor Cabinet had taken one side, and allowed the destruction of the documents.
The inquiry continues and the commissioner is due to decide on the criminality of the shredding of the documents on May 6.
In as much as a number of the most senior judges from across the nation have in the past decided that the shredding of documents foreshadowed to be needed as evidence was prima facie a crime, Carmodys decision will be eagerly waited.
The Heiner Affair has never been properly investigated despite 11 reviews and it has cast a shadow over the Goss Cabinet and a number of senior public servants including the former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who was Premier Wayne Gosss chief of staff and later director-general of his Cabinet office.
It may be that the Newman government will finally see justice done in this long-running scandal.