When Greenpeace, with the assistance of journalist Michael West, took on the ground breaking task of investigating the reasons why the fossil fuel industry has so much influence over politicians, using them to further its own interests in Australia, what was found proved to be revealing.
Interviews were carried out with dozens of political operatives, current and former staffers, executives of external lobby firms, and resources sector analysts. Previously hidden details began to come out about the identity and background of federal ministers’ parliamentary staff; and publicly available information about listed companies and their operatives.
Connections between these individuals, ministers and some dodgy dealings were made.
There is the close relationship between the coal companies, lobby groups and Murdoch’s media. For instance, there is the association with Sir Lynton Crosby’s lobbying giant Crosby Textor, the $444 million given to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, with no transparency, accountability or application process.
Another case is the sale of Vales Point Power Station to Trevor St Baker for just $1 million, which was valued at $730 million. Mention should be made of the approval for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.
This is only the start.
Most disturbing, if not really unexpected, is the behind the scenes web of connections between the corridors of power in Canberra and Rupert Murdoch’s empire.
But there is enough here to prove that the integration between government and big business is solid, that it takes a specific form in Australia, and suggests that corrupt practices are the normal way of doing things, rather than the exception.
Watch this revealing video.