What do the four things in the title have in common? Another C word…..Campbell Newman. Let me explain in 5 steps….
1. A coal company (X) wants to do something dodgy that will damage the environment (surprise surprise)
2. Coal company X donates a large amount of money to the the conservatives (surprise surprise)
3. Conservatives employ coal company X person to assist in developing environmental policies
4. Coal company X person still paid by coal company X while working for conservatives.
5. Coal comapany X granted permission by conservatives to damage environment and bypass environmental legislation requirements.
Corruption: n Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery (Oxford, 2014)
from the Sydney Morning Herald
A mining company’s corporate affairs chief has been in charge of developing environmental policy for Queensland’s Liberal National Party government since 2012, the ABC reports.
James Mackay also worked full-time for the LNP during the 2012 election, while he was being paid $10,000 a month by the company, QCoal, the broadcaster says.
QCoal is embroiled in controversy over plans to divert Coral Creek in north Queensland to mine the coal underneath.
QCoal’s owner, billionaire Chris Wallin, is one of the LNP’s biggest donors, according to the ABC.
The diversion was approved by the State Government without requiring a new or amended environmental impact assessment, despite being classed as an assessment that carried “risk of serious harm”, the ABC says.
It says Mr Mackay has chaired the LNP’s state environment and heritage protection committee, which develops policy for discussion at the party’s annual conference, since joining the committee in 2012.
QCoal boss Mr Wallin gave $120,000 to the party in two donations just before the 2012 poll, the ABC says. One of those donations was for the “loan” of Mr Mackay to the LNP between January and March 2012.
A funding disclosure to the Australian Electoral Commission shows QCoal described the $30,750 donation to the LNP on March 23, 2012, as “an administrative staff member donated in kind”.
The diary for Energy and Water Minister Mark McArdle shows he met Mr Mackay on March 22 last year “to discuss QCoal”. The diary provided no other details.
QCoal won a water licence from the government to divert Coral Creek to extend the life of its Sonoma mine by six to eight months.
Now, I like to consider myself a smart guy. I mean, I’m a scientist with a publishing record. I’ve lectured at university. I’m pretty good at scrabble and I kick arse in Cluedo. Does this look really really really dodgy? It does to me. What do you think this is?
I’ll give you a hint. It looks, walks, smells and quacks like a duck. It’s a duck. So if the story above highlights something that looks, smells and sounds like corruption? It is corruption and it is way past time Queensland had its own Independent Commission Against Corruption so that dodgy dealings like those between Campbell Newman’s government and QCoal can be investigated and brought to the voting public’s attention. I suspect it would find a whole lot more than an overrated bottle of Grange.
For the full SMH story go here