2016 – ongoing
“Once the legal chicanery is stripped away, [Parakeelia is] as brutally simple as laundering drug money through a casino. Our taxes are funding the Liberal Party, in large sums and without our informed consent.” Michael Bradley, the managing partner of Sydney law firm Marque Lawyers.
Parakeelia Pty Ltd – trading as Feedback Services – is a company owned in some way by the Liberal Party, providing voter-monitoring software that compiles information about constituents – information largely compiled by MPs’ electorate staff. Each Liberal MP in Federal Parliament reportedly pays Parakeelia $2,500 each year for access to it.
Michael Bradley, the managing partner of Sydney law firm Marque Lawyers, explained the workings of “the Parakeelia/Liberal Party scam” for the ABC as follows. “$2,500 per Liberal MP is routed to Parakeelia. Parakeelia’s work appears to be largely carried out by the Liberal Party via its MPs’ staff, and ‘sold’ to Parakeelia at a high price. Parakeelia thus pays large sums to the Liberal Party, which gets the double benefit of the cash and the work product of its own staff. The person paying for it is, by means of this round-robin, the Australian taxpayer.”
On February 1, 2017 electoral commission disclosures showed that Parakeelia paid the Liberal Party more than $715,000 in 2015-16, plus a $200,000 loan for cash flow. Over the preceding five years it paid the party more than $2 million. While a limited review by the National Audit Office in 2016 found the company was not in breach of electoral and parliamentary rules, University of Queensland Law Professor Graeme Orr said Parakeelia presented problems “deeper than strict legalities”. “You have a question of a business built on taxpayer funds returning money to a political party: that’s problematic in a way we haven’t seen before.” Professor Orr said the Parakeelia structure risked “indirectly funding partisan politics”.
Grassgate – Angus Taylor kept mum on personal financial interest
Angus Taylor did not declare his financial interest in a company at a meeting with senior environment officials and the office of the then environment minister, Josh Frydenberg about endangered grasslands.
‘My bad’: Stuart Robert blames MyGov crash on DoS attack
Robert claimed myGov website crashed due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack and not because of the large number of unemployed people trying to log in to register for Centrelink.
‘No limits to what Coalition will do to hide embarrassing information’
The government is trying to stop the auditor general giving evidence about his 2018 report that was critical of a $1.3 billion arms deal. Part of the report was redacted following pressure from the French multinational arms manufacturer Thales.
No paper trail for Coalition’s $30m handout to Foxtel
Foxtel given $30m in taxpayers' money over four years to boost “under represented sports” on pay TV, yet the Seven Network did not receive any government support to broadcast the inaugural season of the AFL Women’s League.
Morrison takes credit for conservation legislation that doesn’t seem to exist
The Prime Minister claimed he had “been taking action” on a UN report about the extinction of a million species by passing legislation on conservation. But no such legislation even seemed to exist.
Stuart Robert’s Fadden Forum used to secretly bankroll council elections
Stuart Robert's Fadden Forum – a fundraising arm of the Queensland LNP – secretly bankrolled two candidates to the tune of $60,000 to run in a local council election.
Weddings, operas, anything goes for Bronwyn Bishop’s expenses
As Speaker, Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop claimed $600 for flights to attend the wedding of parliamentary colleague Sophie Mirabella.