So much for sovereignty. Australia is locked out of repairing key US components of our submarines’ computer systems, and the government has committed our fleet to the extraordinarily dangerous role of helping the US conduct surveillance in the South China Sea. Brian Toohey reports.
The Joint Strike Fighter has been plagued by problems since it was just a sketch on paper, when in 2002 John Howard jumped the gun and committed to buying them. But the F-35 still has its champions in Australia with some wanting to buy 200 to get ready for a war with China.
Brookfield’s make-up artists are hard at work. They’ve taken “coal” out of the title, hired every broker in town to flog the thing and, in the most telling move, are rushing to get the deal done before the end of the year. Michael West reports on the ASX float of Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure, which looks set to siphon off Aussie cash to an offshore haven, with yield-hungry retirees paying the price.
Crown chair Helen Coonan is chair of a PR firm whose clients have been involved in questionable financial transactions including money-laundering and stumping for shady sharemarket promoters and mortgage brokers fighting commission bans. Her PR role is in conflict with her position as chair of financial complaints ombudsman AFCA
Investor State Dispute Settlement processes in trade agreements hit the headlines when US multinational Philip Morris tried to sue Australia over its tobacco plain packaging laws. Australian mining companies are increasingly using ISDS processes and are being awarded billions based on dubious calculations of potential lost profits by unaccountable international tribunals. Patricia Ranald reports.
New Zealand and the US compile public registers to ensure their Jobkeeper-type subisidies are not rorted by businesses. But no such transparency for Australians. As the Government singles out bureaucrats such as Australia Post chief Christine Holgate for corporate excesses, Tasha May shines the torch on pandemic rorting at the top end of town.
Crown profits from the hardship of problem gamblers, the banks refuse to stop credit cards for problem gamblers. Helen Coonan is chair of both Crown and bank ombudsman AFCA (Australian Financial Complaints Authority). It is a conflict which makes her position untenable writes Elizabeth Minter.