Timeline

 

5 Dec 2008

BG Group plc (LON:BG) announcement that it’s subsidiary BG International (Aus) Investments Pty Ltd intends to commence compulsory acquisition of  remaining shares in Queensland Gas Company (ASX:QGC).  Hedley Thomas is head of QGC corporate communications. (It is unknown whether Hedley Thomas is related to Geoffrey Thomas and David Thomas.)

3 Jun 2008

Initial advice statement released by BG/QGC, announcing to the public their proposed LNG project.

7 July 2008

Penelope Wensley, a Toowoomba-born DFAT diplomat (NZ, Consul-General Hong Kong, UN in New York, High Commissioner to India), announces appointment as Governor of Queensland. Wensley replaces Quentin Bryce who moves to Canberra to take up role as Australia’s Governor-General. Wensley had worked as an Australian diplomat in NZ at the same time as Ian Fletcher worked as a diplomat in NZ.

15 Dec 2008

Rudd Labor govt announces details of its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

3 Feb 2009

QGC Secures Land for QLD Gas Project. Media announcement from the office of QLD Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning: “Deputy Premier Paul Lucas this morning signed an agreement with QGC’s Senior Vice President, Growth, David Maxwell for about 270 hectares at North China Bay”. In a quote attributed to Mr Lucas: “The LNG industry could add hundred of millions of dollars to the State economy every year from royalties and taxes.

Mar 2009

Catherine Tanna becomes managing director of BG subsidiary QGC.

15 Sept 2009

BG/QGC project deemed a ‘controlled action’ under the Commonwealth EPBC Act.

17 Sept 2009

QLD Govt releases Blueprint for an LNG Industry – outlining the need to reserve domestic gas. Reservation does not occur.

19 Sept 2009

BG’s David Maxwell invited guest of Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser at the government box at Suncorp stadium in Brisbane.

19 Oct 2009

Public comments due on BG/QGC EIS.

Nov 2009

Ian Fletcher, former NZ diplomat and former UK trade and investment director, appointed Director-General of the QLD dept (DEEDI) responsible for issuing petroleum/gas tenements. In London, Fletcher worked at UKTI with the Duke of York, and reportedly kept a portrait of the Prince on his Brisbane desk.

Dec 2009

The Henry Tax Review (Australia’s Future Tax System Review) report, which recommended a profits-based approach to resource royalties , was delivered to Treasurer Wayne Swan.

10 Mar 2010

Public comments due on BG/QGC EIS Supplementary report.

12 Mar 2010

BG Group’s Frank Chapman, Catherine Tanna and Rob Millhouse were invited guests of QLD Treasurer Andrew Fraser and Deputy Premier Paul Lucas — at the government box at Suncorp stadium in Brisbane. Queensland’s Under-Treasurer, Gerard Bradley, and wife Imelda Bradley (Director of Special Projects at QLD Department of Justice and Attorney General) were also invited. Paul Lucas later (February 2011) moved into the position of Attorney-General of Queensland.

24 Mar 2010

Frank Chapman, Prince Andrew and Martin Ferguson attend BG’s sale of QLD’s gas to a Chinese GOC – on a stage in Beijing – without authority to take the resource.

27 April 2010

PM Kevin Rudd puts Emissions Trading Scheme on hold (until at least 2013), after accepting Senate was not likely to pass.

2 May 2010

Rudd Government released the Henry Tax Review, and in response proposed a Resources Super Profit Tax (RSPT). The RSPT proposed a 40% tax on the ‘super’ profits made from exploitation of non-renewable resources. The RSPT allowed for costs outlaid on a new project to be deducted as a loss against future income, or potentially refundable, and allowed un-deducted costs to be held in an interest earning RSPT capital account. Under previous royalty-based mining tax arrangements, the tax did not increase if the value of the resource on international markets increased, thus limiting return to the community. However, many mining projects operate at a loss, thus many countries retain royalty-based tax - as the minerals belong to the State. 

 

The Australian Government had also administered a profit-based Petroleum Resource Rent Tax of 40%, levied over a specified threshold, since 1987.

12 May 2010

Ian Fletcher emails QLD’s Treasurer re sign-off of BG/QGC EIS. BG advise “drop dead date is the June board meeting”. Fletcher uses the terms “Constitutional innovation” and a “Court of Star Chamber”. CG, Colin Jensen, is copied in. Assistant CG, Phil Dash, forwards Fletcher’s email to departmental project directors, with two words: "Under pressure!"

14 May 2010

Santos’ Rick Wilkinson and James Purtill were invited guests of Treasurer Andrew Fraser at the government box at Suncorp stadium.  The Queensland Law Society President was also invited.

21 Jun 2010

BG’s Frank Chapman arrives in Brisbane on BG’s corporate jet from London, to await collection of a signed-off EIS report.

23 Jun 2010

The EIS process for QCLNG is ended by the Coordinator-General, without info required by EIS terms of reference and environmental laws.

23 Jun 2010

Political coup against PM Kevin Rudd.

24 Jun 2010

Julia Gillard becomes 27th Prime Minister of Australia.

25 Jun 2010

PM Rudd’s scheduled tax meeting with BG’s Frank Chapman - cancelled.

25 Jun 2010

PM Rudd delivers farewell speech.

8 July 2010

PM Julia Gillard says she will not revive the Emissions Trading Scheme until at least 2013, and rules out a carbon tax as an interim measure.

July 2010

Coordinator-General Colin Jensen resigns and is appointed to $400K per annum role as CEO of Brisbane City Council (Campbell Newman is Brisbane Lord Mayor).

Aug 2010

Anna Marsden becomes CEO of Queensland Ballet.  Marsden’s partner Ben Myers had been Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman’s political advisor until 22 April 2010.  Ben Myers left to work at QGC. Ben’s brother Luke Myers was a lobbyist for GRA (where QGC was a client).

21 Aug 2010

Federal election, resulting in hung Parliament. Labor (Julia Gillard) formed govt with assistance of one Green and three Independent MPs. Tony Abbott re-elected Liberal opposition leader.

14 Sept 2010

Peter Garrett MP, Midnight Oil performer and federal environment minister, moved from his environment post after  “non-decision” re BG/QGC & Santos CSG-LNG projects.

22 Oct 2010

Replacement federal environment minister, Tony Burke MP, signs off BG and Santos CSG-LNG projects.

24 Feb 2011

PM Julia Gillard announces a carbon price scheme will be rolled out from July 2012.

Early 2011

Ferguson’s chief of staff and resources & energy advisor, Tracey Winters, became QGC’s vice president environment. Ms Winters’ partner, Craig Emerson MP, held the Trade portfolio at time of federal approvals in October 2010.

29 Mar 2011

Treasurer Wayne Swan MP appoints BG’s Catherine Tanna to the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Mar 2011

Royal visit to Queensland by Prince William

19 Aug 2011

BG’s Catherine Tanna is reported in The Australian as stating the QGC QCLNG project will contribute $1 billion in tax per year after 2014.

8 Sept 2011

Statement from QLD Treasurer Andrew Fraser re departure of Ian Fletcher: “He has overseen the amalgamation of nine entities into one”.  In fact, Ian Fletcher had control of much of the State during his time at DEEDI: Mines, Energy, Trade, Primary Industries, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Queensland, Tourism, Employment and Economic Development.

9 Sept 2011

NZ PM John Key announces Ian Fletcher as NZ’s new director of (spy) agency.  Fletcher replaced Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, who becomes NZ’s Governor-General.

Oct 2011

Royal visit to Queensland by Queen Elizabeth II

8 Nov 2011

Carbon price scheme passes in the Senate. Will become law from July 2012

23 Nov 2011

Gillard Government’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), a replacement for Rudd’s proposed RSPT, passed through the House of Representatives.

26 Mar 2012

Campbell Newman becomes Premier of Queensland. Newman appoints Ben Myers as chief of staff. Ben Myers leaves role at QGC to take up new position. Ben’s brother Luke Myers was a lobbyist for GRA (where QGC was a client).

1 July 2012

The PRRT is applied to onshore petroleum projects i.e. QLD CSG.

3 July 2012

Gillard govt’s carbon tax takes effect. Opposition leader Tony Abbott MP says he will remove the carbon tax if coalition wins government.

Nov 2012

Royal visit to Queensland – Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall

Early Feb 2013

Articles in Brisbane’s Courier Mail regarding the 2010 EIS process for BG/QGC and Santos CSG-LNG projects, following release of RTI documents.

18 & 19 Feb 2013

Complaints made to QLD Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) re the 2010 EIS process for BG/QGC and Santos CSG-LNG projects, following release of RTI documents.

20 Feb 2013

Staff from Campbell Newman’s office meet with CMC chair and deputy. Ben Myers (Newman’s chief of staff) and Jon Grayson (director-general of Premier and Cabinet) are present.  Grayson owned a 25% stake in a CSG services company.  Today, Grayson is a deputy secretary at NZ’s Treasury department.

21 Feb 2013

Premier Campbell Newman meets with QGC vice president, Rob Millhouse.

22 Mar 2013

Ferguson resigns as federal resources minister (but remains in Parliament) after an unsuccessful attempt to reinstall Kevin Rudd as PM, in place of Julia Gillard.

1 April 2013

ABC 4 Corners ‘GasLeak!’ episode informed the public of high methane levels being recorded in gas fields and about complaints made to the QLD CMC regarding the 2010 EIS process. In a full transcript of interview with APPEA’s Rick Wilkinson (president Santos GLNG, 2010), the editor notes repeated false info provided by Wilkinson.

16 May 2013

Former Queensland Labor (Beattie) government director-general of Department of Justice (Dr Ken Levy) and retired Central Queensland judge (Stanley Jones) appointed to Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission by LNP (Newman) Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. Jones is engaged to assess CSG complaints.

26 Jun 2013

Australian Labor Party leadership spill. Shorten and Ferguson side with Rudd.

15 July 2013

Rudd government confirms it will scrap carbon tax and move to an Emissions Trading Scheme.

29 Aug 2013

Queensland Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie, announces decision to appoint Minter Ellison lawyer David Thomas (Queensland Ballet, RNA, brother of QLD-Texas diplomat) to the Supreme Court and QCAT.

7 Sept 2013

Federal election. Tony Abbott led LNP to victory.

17 Sept 2013

Lawyer David Thomas’ judicial appointment to Queensland’s Supreme Court .

18 Sept 2013

Tony Abbott MP (born in London) sworn in as PM by Governor-General Quentin Bryce.  On first day of new Parliament, Abbott introduces legislation to repeal carbon tax.

19 Sept 2013

QLD CMC ends “assessment” of complaints re Santos and BG CSG-LNG approvals process. CMC claims, via media release, “no grounds” to warrant an official inquiry. By comparison, in 2014, lawyer and Senator Larissa Waters found “a mountain of documents, including what looks… like clear evidence that CSG approvals were given unlawfully”. 

1 Oct 2013

Ferguson appointed chair of APPEA’s advisory board. APPEA lobby politicians on behalf of the multinational petroleum and gas industry.

13 Dec 2013

Ferguson joins global board of BG Group.

19 Apr 2014

Royal visit to Queensland by Prince William, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.

July 2014

James McGrath becomes a federal Liberal Senator representing QLD. McGrath also performed various roles for the UK Conservative Party 2002-08. McGrath performed a self-employed contracting role at Santos prior to Senate appointment.  McGrath’s Statement of Registrable Interests does not detail position or exact dates re Santos GLNG work 2012-14.

5 Sept 2014

Abbott Government repeals MRRT (effective 1 October 2014).  Joe Hockey MP is Treasurer and Senator Mathias Cormann is Assistant Treasurer at this time.

28 Nov 2014

Evidence given to a Senate Inquiry into Queensland Government Administration of Commonwealth Government Affairs re Ian Fletcher’s ‘constitutional innovation’ and ‘court of star chamber’ email and other matters in relation to BG Group/QGC and Santos CSG-LNG approvals. QLD Liberal Senator James McGrath attends hearing, however fails to disclose a conflict of interest re a self-employed contracting role at Santos. McGrath was also a solicitor of Queensland’s Supreme Court, and a Liberal Party campaign director (including for Campbell Newman) prior to entering federal Parliament.

1 Jan 2015

Penelope Wensley is appointed chair of Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) council, by minister for industry Ian Macfarlane MP.  Macfarlane was ousted from the front bench in September 2015 after Malcolm Turnbull defeated Tony Abbott in leadership spill. Macfarlane left parliament in 2016 and become chief executive of the mining/gas lobby Queensland Resources Council.

14 Jan 2015

Surprise departure of Ian Fletcher from NZ’s spy agency GCSB. Fletcher’s brother was a childhood friend of the then NZ PM John Key.

1 Mar 2015

Article published in Sydney Morning Herald regarding withholding of whistleblower CSG-LNG evidence by a Senate Inquiry into Queensland Government Administration of Commonwealth Government Affairs.

Mar 2015

Victorian branch of Labor party takes steps to expel Martin Ferguson from the party for disloyalty during NSW state election campaign. Ferguson had criticized Luke Foley’s campaign for a moratorium on CSG, and against privatization of electricity infrastructure.

15 Sept 2015

Liberal Party leadership spill sees Malcolm Turnbull sworn in as PM. Queensland Senator James McGrath (whom had previously worked for UK conservatives and Santos GLNG) is appointed Assistant Minister to PM Turnbull.

15 Feb 2016

Royal Dutch Shell completes $53 billion takeover of BG Group, to become the world’s second largest energy company.

10 Oct 2016

It was reported that only 5% of oil and gas companies pay PRRT. The industry is dominated by multinational LNG projects (off WA coast and QLD’s CSG).  Treasury forecast Australia to receive only $0.8 billion in PRRT in 2020, due to tax loopholes. Civil society groups called for a parliamentary inquiry into the PRRT.

20 Jun 2017

Turnbull confirms ‘gas trigger’ – the government will restrict gas exports in an attempt to lower domestic gas prices.

27 Sept 2017

Turnbull Govt relaxes its threat to curb LNG exports – taking its finger off the ‘gas trigger’.

20 Aug 2018

Turnbull cancels plans to put the emissions component of the National Energy Guarantee to parliament. Plan did not enjoy support from rebel MPs in his party (incl Tony Abbott).  Thus abandoning plans to mandate carbon emission reductions to meet Paris Agreement.

23 Aug 2018

Turnbull resigns as an MP following a Liberal Party leadership spill.

24 Oct 2018

Senate Estimates reveal whilst amassing a gross income of $6.3 billion in Australia in 2015-16, BG International (Aust) Pty Ltd paid zero income tax. BGC Australia Pty Ltd contributed $35 million income tax. BG International Ltd paid zero income tax.