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July 2016

Report Lebanese bulk carrier disembarked 18 unknown, unchecked Syrian "passport" holders alongside Gladstone

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Glancing through the website you could easily get the idea that the Gladstone Observer doesn't create too much Middle East terror news.   It's a local paper serving a local community.

Firefights mop up car crash on Glenlyon St and Gladstone learner's passenger done for drink driving are the sorts of headlines Gladstone's used to reading.

So with news of Islamic State atrocities ringing in our ears, this headline would have come as a hell of a shock to Gladdie dwellers.  And me.  And thanks to Shaz of Christmas Island for passing on the tip.


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A CREW of 19 Syrian sailors were given permission to leave their ship despite only one having a valid visa as they approached Gladstone.

The crew of the 35,000-tonne Lebanese tanker "OS 35" docked in Gladstone on July 10.  

[MPS note - I doubt that's the vessel.  The paper carried this photo of the Tuvalu registered Bulk Carrier OS35 - more details at the foot of this post.

OS35 is also an anchor point specified by the Harbour Master at Dalrymple Bay, Hay Point (the next major port north of Gladstone) where the actual reported ship referred to in the story may have been at anchor.  

The paper carried this photo of the Tuvalu registered Bulk Carrier OS35 which hasn't been within cooee of Gladstone or Australian in yonks- more details at the foot of this post]

OS35, the ship which was carrying the Syrian sailors.
OS35, the ship which was carrying the Syrian sailors.VesselFinder

Foreign seafarers are expected to be cleared by security checks to be approved for a Maritime Crew Visa or MCV ahead of their arrival.

Security checks imposed on foreign sailors are far less rigorous than those applied to Australian crews.

The Department of Border Protection confirmed 18 of the 19 sailors on the OS 35 did not have proper clearance when discovered by Australian Border Force officers off the Queensland coast.

But according to the department, officers were "able to assess and process the group ahead of their arrival and all were granted MCVs by the time they anchored at Gladstone".

All of the 18 passed their rushed security checks, according to the department.

"Australian Border Force did not place any restrictions on the crew. The crew passports were inspected and returned to the ship," a spokesman said.

Once visas are approved, seafarers have the right to shore leave under international law.

ITF coordinator Dean Summers said the government's lax approach to these visas put Australia's borders at risk.

"Are ships whose entire crew do not have MCVs allowed to come alongside Australian ports?" he said.

"Is trade more important than national security?"

Mr Summers said the only way this ship's crew could have undergone a proper security check was if Australian officials were able to check information with their home country of Syria.

"I think the Syrian Government's hands are pretty full at the moment, and they don't have a relationship with the Australian Government."

The current Syrian Government is involved in a bloody conflict which has cost more than 100,000 lives.

A spokesman for the the department said officials may liaise with foreign governments when assessing visa applications.

He would not discuss this case specifically.


The most recent Queensland Ports guide (for Hay Point, updated January this year) says 96 hours notice please gentlemen - fair enough too.  The last people on earth you'd consider truncating the process for would be a bunch of unknown Syrian "passport" holders.

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Here's the reference to the Anchorage Sites at Dalrymple Bay

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Now here's the vessel OS 35 - it's not been near Gladstone this year, she was steaming into Korea last night when I checked.

OS 35 - Bulk Carrier

OS 35 - IMO 9172399 - Details and current position

 Add to My Fleet
OS 35
No rating
Photo of OS 35 ship

What is the ship's current position? Where is the ship located? OS 35 current position is 39.30217 N / 120.6718 E on Jul 27, 2016 at 16:28 UTC.

Vessel OS 35 (IMO: 9172399, MMSI: 572852210) is a built in 1999 and currently sailing under the flag of . OS 35 has 171m length overall and beam of 28m. Her gross tonnage is 20947 tons. Below you can find more technical information, photos, AIS data and last 5 port calls of OS 35 detected by AIS.


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I think this is potentially a very important story.

Keep in mind the TWU and their international mates are involved in campaigns to keep Australian crews on board vessels that come alongside Australian ports and that's been driving a bit of reporting like this.  It doesn't make the report wrong, it's just something to keep in mind.

The idea that you could satisfactorily check 18 Mohammeds from Syria for security risks before offloading them in a provincial Queensland town within a few hours is ludicrous.  Likewise that a vessel master would radio from within pilot range to say "I've got 18 Syrians with me without Visas, no dramas if I drop them off?"  Who is Border Force going to ring up?  ISIS, Assad or the mob that just beheaded the 12 year old boy?

So it really does count that we hear about stories like this one.   And that they're accurate.  A very good starting point would be the correct name of the "Lebanese flagged" vessel that's said to have landed 18 Syrians without papers and without notice.

We still shoot traitors when Australia's at war? Uthman Badar's latest pro-Islamic State rant. Why isn't Hizb ut-Tahrir outlawed?

On Monday their ABC published this disgraceful statement comparing our Islamist enemy with our ally Israel

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The next day the Caliphate or Islamic State did this:



One day later Islamic State's Lord Haw Haw Uthman Badar published this


Now, please allow me the luxury of editorialising.  

You arsehole Badar.  Why France?  Why not you.  I can't think of a single reason.


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Are we at war with Islamists or not?

France's President has made the declaration, the Republic of France is at War with Islamists.

What about us?

Our diggers get war pay on deployment to the Middle East to help eradicate Islamists.  Sounds like our Army is at war on our behalf.

40 men have been killed in action against Islamists and their names are on the Roll of Honour at the War Memorial.


So who sent them to fight?

Our soldiers patches tell the world on whose behalf they meet this enemy.  Australia or أستراليا for locals within range.

There's no shoulder patch to say, 'Hi, I was sent here by "Mutual Values of Respect"  or 'The Vibe", have a nice day'.

So if Australia (أستراليا Badar) is at war with Islamists, why are Islamists free to hold recruiting campaigns and undermine our war effort here?

And when one of them crosses the line into the traitorous behaviour involved in Uthman Badar's course of conduct, why aren't there holes in his heart?


“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.”

John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy


We Will Remember Them.

Lest We Forget.

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Bingo! US Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Clinton Foundation - Australian Government's problems begin

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I have been dealing with Marsha Blackburn's office for some time now.   This letter from the US tax office arrived at Marsha's office on Monday (Tuesday our time) and this copy is hot off the press for you.

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The Clinton Foundation was never given appropriate US registration for its international fundraising efforts.

Most of the Australian taxpayer money handed over to the Clinton Foundation involves fraudulent paperwork and misleading and deceptive characterisations.

Julie Bishop has been responsible for the further complicating factor of the coverups she's presided over for previous cockups.

Due Diligence on DFAT's part has taken a back seat to

Here's Marsha's letter of complaint to the FBI and IRS.  And congratulations to Charles Ortel - success has many fathers (but failure is an orphan)!

(I have omitted several of the signature pages of US members and Senators who co-signed the complaint)

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338400-120926gillard Bill-Clinton-Julie-Bishop Pull_Aside_Julie_Bishop_600_1 765534-kevin-rudd

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Reconciling Australian taxpayer funded Clinton Foundation donations

I've been racking my brains trying to reconcile the various figure about how much money we've given to the Clinton Foundation for a while now.


More problems for DFAT and The Clintons over $70M we appear to have donated to a conman

In April 2015 we first reported on the Australian Government's donations to the Clinton Foundation based on the disclosures in the Clinton's annual reports to US regulators.

The Foundation disclosed payments from the Commonwealth of Australia and AUSAID in a band between $15 and $35M. 

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A few months later we brought you more details.

A few days ago the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade made this release under FOI.

Here is the summary table of donations the Australian Government has made to the Clinton's various entities according to DFAT.

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That $70M is at odds with Julie Bishop's September 2014 statement that the total then was $88M.

I think we have the off-balance-sheet culprit.  You can put Rudd down for $10 to $18M to Climate Change!  How very UN SECGEN of you KRUDD.

Kevin Rudd was the master of the grand gesture.  In 2008 he gifted $400,000,000.00 of our money to a piece of chicanery unchallenged for primacy in the snake-oil stakes.

Here he is making his announcement, squished between a speech by Barack Obama and the class photo for some ignoble and unmemorable forum.


Note the decorous way attendees are ushered onstage to chat among themselves while the Rudd rudds.  Various mobile phones beep to accompany the rapt attention given to this Australian Prime Minister as he announces his donation of $400 million of our money to do nothing.

Once we found out the details, even Lenore Taylor of the Sydney Morning Herald thought it was madness.


Coal hard light of day for dud scheme

They've conferenced in empire-style Parisian ballrooms and dined in Kyoto on food cooked by a genuine Iron Chef. But deeply disgruntled former staffers believe Australia's $300 million Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute has not achieved very much.

In 2008 the then prime minister Kevin Rudd decided a fledgling technology called carbon capture and storage was the key to two of his government's big aims: joining a successful international fight to reduce global warming and continuing to be the world's largest exporter of coal.

In his grandiloquent style, he promised $400 million to a new not-for-profit company, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, which would get CCS up and running at home and also "lead the world".

The funding was pared back over time, but industry and government sources and former staff of the institute are frustrated that much of the $300 million spent on the institute has been "squandered".

Even the man appointed to haul it away from government hand-outs and into the world of commercial reality - Brad Page, the former head of the peak electricity industry body - concedes the original $100 million a year "seed funding" given to the institute was more that it knew how to spend.

"It's actually impossible to spend that amount of money responsibly," he tells The Sun-Herald.

But his predecessors tried, in lavish ways that raised the ire of senior bureaucrats and ministers. Since 2009, more than $235 million has been delivered to the institute, $122 million of it already spent and another $113 million in its bank account, beyond the reach of Treasury's razor, information provided at a Senate estimates hearing reveals.

The institute has 78 staff, including nine permanent employees overseas - two in Washington, three in Tokyo and four in Paris. Former senior employees say its first chief executive, the British businessman Nick Otter, was paid well over $500,000 a year - more than the Prime Minister.

Page insists he has "no idea" what his predecessor was paid and his own salary is "nothing like that". The institute's five board members are paid from a budget of $400,000 a year and are entitled to first-class air travel.

The first members' meeting was in Canberra, where the institute is based, in early 2009. But its second, in November 2009, attended by more than 15 Australia-based staff, was in the luxurious ballroom of the InterContinental Hotel in Paris, opposite the Paris Opera and decorated in similar ornate style.

Both industry sources and former staff concede the jaw-dropping opulence sent "all the wrong messages" to the 180 members who attended.

"The spending was very difficult to justify," said one former employee.

And it did not end in Paris. In 2010 when they met in Kyoto, they enjoyed a dinner cooked by a celebrity Iron Chef ( the institute says his services were thrown in for no extra charge by the hotel).

Documents released under freedom of information show a staggering $54,257,000 was spent on "operational expenses" in the first two years.

After the money was handed over to the Institute, its financials were accounted for separately from Australian Government accounts so any money it spent with the Clintons may not appear in the amounts listed above.   But the "Institute" was having trouble spending everything it had been given.  

And if you've got money and need help to get rid of it fast - who ya gunna call?

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Clinton Climate Initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Under the MOU Australia and the Clinton Climate Initiative will work together to help tackle climate change.

The MOU will see Australia and the William J. Clinton Foundation collaborate to;

  • Deploy carbon capture and storage technology to large scale projects. 
  • Examine policies to encourage large scale solar power generation in Australia. 
  • Design collaborative policies in conjunction with large cities and other organisations on improving energy efficiency. 

The William J Clinton Foundation will work with the Australian Government through Australia's Global Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Initiative announced by Prime Minister Rudd last week.

This collaboration will help accelerate the development of CCS technology and pave the way for its commercial deployment by the end of the next decade.

The Clinton Climate Initiative will draw on its experience in international collaboration and work with Australia and other nations to help achieve a balanced portfolio of demonstration projects.

The Clinton Climate Initiative is already working with a number of Australian states to develop solar power facilities. The MOU will enable the Australian Government to explore opportunities to draw on the Clinton Climate Initiative expertise in considering policies to encourage large scale solar power generation in Australia.

The Australian Government is developing a national energy efficiency strategy as one of the keys to successfully addressing climate change. 

The Government will draw on the experience the Clinton Climate Initiative has in working with large cities and other organizations on improving energy efficiency in the drafting of this strategy. 

Australia and the Clinton Climate Initiative will also explore opportunities for collaboration in the energy efficiency area across government, business and the community.

Original document from

I don't know how much went the Clintons way through this debacle - but it will be worth the Australian Government's while to find out.  


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Two years since "Turnbull" stopped the boats - UPDATED with video of Turnbull fighting Abbott on stopping the boats



Malcolm Turnbull checking out the maritime charts because of the success of Tony Abbott's towbacks that Turnbull now takes credit for.

Thanks to Underminder for the reminder on Turnbull's previous position on this issue.

Remember when Malcolm went through the leather jacket period?  I think he kept a spare one in his locker at the Q and A studios for his regular appearances bagging Tony Abbott. 

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Coalition asylum seeker policy: Abbott dismisses Turnbull's doubts on turning back boats

Updated 11 Jun 2013, 1:07pm

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has brushed aside questions about his policy to turn back asylum seeker boats after his frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull said it may be unsafe to do so.

On last night's Q&A program, Mr Turnbull said it may be unsafe to take boats back to Indonesian territorial waters without the agreement of the Indonesian government.

Representatives of the Indonesian government, including its Ambassador to Australia, have repeatedly rejected the plan.

"You can only return boats when it is safe to do so," Mr Turnbull said last night, adding that if Indonesia did not agree to take them back "that may render it unsafe to do so".

But when the comments were put to Mr Abbott this morning, he said: "I don't accept the premise of the question.

"Obviously, we do want to have a very strong relationship with Indonesia.

"I see no reason why a future Coalition government can't have the same strong and constructive relationship with Indonesia that the Howard government had and that's what I'll be working towards from day one."

Mr Abbott added that "a willingness to turn boats around where it was safe to do so" was one of the key reasons the Howard government succeeded in reducing the number of asylum seeker boats.

"The people smugglers know that the game will be up under a Coalition government," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Turnbull also said last night the policy would not work if it was enacted through "megaphone diplomacy".


Turnbull has form for destabilising Tony Abbott's position on asylum seeker boats.

Listen to Tony Abbott's statesmanship in the face of this hectoring interview.  And why was there drama for Lisa Wilkinson to make merry with?  Turnbull.

When Wilson Tuckey correctly pointed out that terrorists would be among the numbers of refugees flooding in to Australia, Turnbull (as then opposition leader to Rudd) criticised him and "pulled Mr Tuckey back into line".


And here's the smartest man in the room talking about push factors, pull factors and assorted other waffle that would magically stop the boats.  Somehow.  Because it was complex as opposed to that simpleton Tony Abbott's "Stop The Boats" slogan.


PS - First outing for "secure borders" as the foundation of our multicultural society post election.

Sorry "mutual respect" to see you warehoused again.

Secure borders and a well-managed migration system are the bedrock of confidence on which our successful multicultural society is built.

Tony Thomas on the Clinton Foundation and Gillard's Global Partnership for Education

Tony Thomas brings details of Australian taxpayer funding for the Clinton Foundation and the Global Partnership for Education together brilliantly with this line:

Australian governments, both Labor and Coalition, have thrown more than half a billion dollars in foreign aid over the past few years at a pair of “charities” associated with US Democrat powerbrokers and acolytes.

Tony and Quadrant have very kindly credited our website for our work in uncovering a good deal of detail that Tony brings together in this piece - you might also like to read more details about the Clinton Foundation in Tony's later piece published yesterday

July 21st 2016 print


Cheque Mates: Gillard, Bishop & Hillary

Julia Gillard lavished an unprecedented $292 million in taxpayer dollars on the Clinton-dominated Global Partnership for Education, where she was later appointed chair. Imagine the howls if Tony Abbott had underwritten a Bush-backed charity and saw his career similarly prosper.

hillary and juliaAustralian governments, both Labor and Coalition, have thrown more than half a billion dollars in foreign aid over the past few years at a pair of “charities” associated with US Democrat powerbrokers and acolytes.

The latest give-away was $140 million, announced by Abbott’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in June, 2014. The $140 million pledge went  to an amorphous, scandal-plagued US-based education and gender-parity charity chaired since February,  2104, by none other than our ex-PM Julia Gillard,[1] concurrently a prominent member of Hillary Clinton’s official Presidential campaign. The charity is  called Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

The Abbott government did not object to Gillard’s appointment to this multi-billion charity. It could have, given Gillard’s unusual behaviours, personally and in her legal capacity, at Slater & Gordon,  while for four years in the early 1990s de facto  partner of legal client Bruce Wilson, an alleged fraudster ($1m cited) of both employers and unions. The Royal Commission into Trade Union  Corruption urged charges against Wilson but described Gillard’s work on  his legal facilitation documentation as only “a lapse of professional judgement”. Commissioner Dyson Heydon had harsh words about Gillard’s style of testimony. Both Gillard and Wilson strongly deny wrong-doing.

Why Julie Bishop shifted taxpayers’ $140 million to Gillard’s GPE is a mystery. Was Bishop preparing the way for her own translation in due course to a well-remunerated international sinecure? She has as one template: ex-NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark stepping up to run the United Nations Development Program as Administrator in 2009. Clark was the first woman in that job, which she got a year after her nine years as PM. Many super-top jobs now have “Woman’s turn next” written on them in invisible ink.

Whatever was in Bishop’s mind, how did she get a tick from Abbott for such a huge gift to GPE? Abbott had a huge PM’s Department precisely to alert him against doing dumb stuff. And if his office watchdog Peta Credlin was so astute and all-controlling, why didn’t Credlin raise a literal red flag?[2] Even if Gillard’s on-going politicking in the US escaped Credlin’s attention, surely  our Ambassador in Washington, Labor’s Kim Beazley,  was taking note and sending home despatches about it?

GPE is one Clinton/Democrat-oriented charity the Coalition has backed.  The other is ex-President Bill Clinton’s murky Clinton Foundation, closely entwined with GPE. The Clintons left the White House broke in 2001 (thanks largely to legal bills and  payouts to women  Bill manhandled; Donald Trump hyperbolically calls Bill “one of the worst abusers of women in U.S. history”). Today, the Clintons have hundreds of millions in their personal bank accounts, with Hillary running a billion-dollar presidential campaign.[3]

Centrepiece of their financial recovery is the Clinton Foundation “charity” and its spin-offs.[4]

And here’s the best bit: just as Australian governments (Labor and Coalition) donated $460m in total to the Global Partnership for Education, so also did Australian governments (Labor and Coalition) deliver $75m to the Clinton  Foundation and its satellites in the past decade.  That is, our political masters have shipped well over half-a-billion dollars of our foreign-aid money to a couple of high-living US charities run by the Democrat “progressive” set.

Part II: The Clintons and the Corruptocrats

I can imagine the howls from the ABC and Fairfax if the Coalition had donated half a billion to “charities” run by the George W Bush camp.  But I can’t imagine any Labor government providing any funding to any Bush-entity charity whatsoever.

Our annual aid to the Clinton Foundation began with John Howard in 2006 pledging $25 million over four years. That was in the Bush era. Our aid was to be matched by the Foundation and used for HIV/AIDS work in PNG, Vietnam and China. Funding peaked at $10 million in 2012-13 and continues. Australia is the single biggest foreign-­government source of   Clinton Foundation funds.

I’ll document the Clinton Foundation in a further article. Back now to Gillard’s Global Partnership for Education…

Fittingly, our new $140 million commitment to GPE was made at a five-star EU-hosted jamboree in Brussels for 800 freeloaders from 91 countries.   Other donors included the Islamic Development Bank ($US400m).  We all know how keen orthodox Islam is on girls’ equity and intellectual empowerment.[5] A new private donor is “Dubai Cares” – and maybe it does, but under sharia law, unlucky women in the United Arab Emirates[6] get flogged 80-200 lashes lashes for premarital sex. A half-dozen unluckier women in the UAE   have been stoned to death for  adultery during the past decade.

But never mind. As Julie Bishop put it, “GPE is Australia’s largest multilateral partner in education. It works in 59 countries to help children attend school, increase primary school completion, lift literacy and provide incentives for developing countries to increase their own domestic education funding.”  GPE funds involve pooling of funds and implementation by partners ,“with the partner country in the driver’s seat”. These partners are largely kleptocratic African Islamic hell-holes.

GPE has an unwieldy membership[7] of 65 basket-case countries coyly described as “fragile”; First World donor states, such as Australia; NGOs; “professional teacher bodies”, and private donors and foundations. It has spent $US4.5 billion on aid in the past decade. GPE’s stated aim is to raise funds to educate 57 million out-of-school kids from poorest nations and 250 million illiterate kids. (There’s plenty of those in Australia, no thanks to teachers’ unions.)[8]

Juila Gillard, as PM,  had already tipped in $22m to GPE in 2010-11 and followed up in late 2011 with a gargantuan $270m four-year pledge. This pledge dwarfed those from a host of comparable Western donors, combined. GPE’s grateful CEO Alice Albright, daughter of President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-01), successfully lobbied for Gillard as honorary  chair of GPE in late 2013.

The GPE post has enabled Gillard to swan around the world in company with the elite mega-rich, exuding  compassion for the unfortunate. Other high-class global virtue-signallers about girls’ education (a good cause per se) have also taken up Gillard as speaker and cheerleader.  Only this month the new British government (Conservative) was quoting her endorsing their foreign aid for gender-equitable education.[9]

Instead of doing her best for unfortunate girls by staying clear of US partisan politics (why alienate Republicans?), Gillard last October was  featured fawning over Hillary in an official Hillary presidential campaign video about the Democrat aspirant’s turn as Secretary of State (2009-13), saying:

“She was determined to see that women take their place as economic partners in their community, and take their place as political leaders in their community.” [Hubby Bill’s pro-activity with the female sex went unmentioned]

Gillard also praises the “calibre” of Clinton’s intellect in engaging with the Asia-Pacific region. She was a “shaper of conversations, and that’s going to be remembered for many, many long years to come as a diplomatic breakthrough for the US”, Gillard tells the camera.

In a follow-on video for Hillary, she’s alongside Madeleine Albright (as mentioned, mother of GPE’s CEO Alice). Last December Gillard starred again in a Hillary pro-election video bagging Trump over his  Muslim policies, intoning,

“If I was an American I would want to see the reputation of my country always getting stronger and stronger and never at risk because of cheap and easy statements being injected into complex foreign policy debates.”

So let’s chart the action:

  • As Australian PM, she commits $A292m of our money into GPE, a hugely disproportionate amount, into what is supposedly a non-partisan US-based global charity
  • Ex-PM Gillard in early 2014 is installed by GPE as chair
  • While chair, and without any disclaimer re her GPE leadership, she takes further starring roles as Hillary Clinton backer for president and rubbisher of Hillary’s Republican opponent.
  • This compromises the GPE non-political brand as effectively as if the chair of the Australian Red Cross had fronted with Bill Shorten in Labor Mediscare election ads, bagging Malcolm Turnbull.
  • Gillard is enveloped in new status as global icon for the  “progressive” charity set.

On October 24, 2013, by the way, when Gillard was being lined up for GPE chair, she was a key speaker with Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Al Gore in Washington DC for the Centre for American Progress (CAP). CAP was  founded and until 2014 chaired by John Podesta, chairman of Hillary’s presidential campaign, and who was earlier President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and latterly an Obama counsellor. Gillard’s topic, you will be surprised to know, was “critical policy issues and the bold ideas needed to tackle them”.

Another Gillard gig after installation was to the “Sustainable Development Conference on Development Finance” at the UN in July, 2015. It was one of those polysyllabic festivals of nothingness capable of drawing up to 11,000 attendees from the ranks of LDC elites and producing multi-thousand-page manifestos, as Canadian blogger Hilary Ostrov has discovered. (You can bang on  from that UN podium about  educating girls amid crises, and about  UN interference with national tax laws, but President Obama had banned mention of terrorism, let alone Islamic terrorism. The T-word got three mentions anyway).[10]

Gillard as GPE chair also went  to the Qatar-run World Innovation Summit for Education in late 2015. The situation was beyond satire, as Qatar backs the full sharia law enforcing female subservience.[11]

Chief of Staff at GPE  (the No. 2 executive), Alex Palacios, began his stellar career in the US government after working on the Clinton-Gore Transition Team in 1992-93. In  late 2014, GPE joined a coalition led by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Commitment to Action for Girls” and unveiled by Hillary Clinton and Gillard. CGI is an arm of the Clinton Foundation.

GPE’s reputation is none-too-flash, notwithstanding a Yes, Minister-style report card by our DFAT in 2012. Even so, DFAT rated GPE as “weak” when judged against the criterion “Plays critical role in improving aid effectiveness through results monitoring”.

GPE management promptly gave the lie to other DFAT positives. The US Government Accountability Project (GAP) discussed last February a pre-Gillard staff mismanagement episode at GPE in 2012, involving processes “tainted by irregularities” and non-transparency. However, under Gillard’s watch as chair in February, 2015, the senior executive culprit was promoted rather than punished. The GAP report found “there is abuse of authority, impunity and [fear of] retaliation”, saying:

What is the “value added” of an organization that rewards the misdeeds of its “Leadership Team?The ultimate victims, of course, are the intended beneficiaries of GPE: Rather than being provided with the best educational services the trust fund can offer, they must deal with an organization whose mismanagement at the highest levels needlessly saps resources and talent. This situation deserves serious attention, not only by the GPE Secretariat and Board, but by the Fund’s donors…”[12]

You might imagine that the GPE is somehow germane to Australia’s sphere of influence in the Pacific region, where wife-bashing and sub-standard education for girls is endemic (think Nauru for starters). But in 2014-15, 46 grants — more than two-thirds of the GPE total — went to Sub-Saharan Africa,  compared with 15 grants to three Asian regions, four to Latin America and three to the Middle East & North Africa.

The notoriously corrupt World Bank plays a major role in GPE as trustee and grant supervisor. The World Bank board includes the usual UN suspects, such as Venezuela (run on Communist lines and now so bankrupt it can’t even afford to print its hyper-inflationary banknotes). Djibouti and terror-promoting Pakistan also have plum roles on the board. The bank’s top priority, literally, is stopping climate change, never mind starvation and disease.[13] So don’t expect wonders from the World Bank supervision of GPE.

Curiously,  GPE in November, 2013, appointed as its chief operating officer a certain Lisa Gomer, who resigned as general counsel at the U.S. Agency for International Development nine months earlier amid a Justice Department investigation of contract rigging. The Agency’s inspector-general alleged Gomer had helped design a $US155,000-a-year contract job to insure it would go to USAID’s chief financial officer, David Ostermeyer, who was retiring. The Justice Department reached a $US30,000 settlement with Ostermeyer soon after Gomer became GPE’s COO, but no charges were laid against Gomer. The GAP watchdog report said,

“There is a whiff of impropriety about this appointment, given the unresolved bid-rigging issues that affected USAID on Ms. Gomer’s watch and the apparent stealth with which she assumed her new position at the GPE.  Given the extraordinary importance of the GPE’s mission educating poor children in poor countries, the Chief Operating Officer for this fund must be above reproach.”

Gomer quit last August after boasting of her “Enhanced corporate governance by facilitating direct support to Board Chair (former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard)”.

How far up the global totem pole will ex-PM Gillard and one-time de facto of the naughty Bruce Wilson be elevated, especially if we get a President Hillary Clinton? Will Malcolm Turnbull be supporting two Labor ex-Prime Ministers, Rudd for UN Secretary-General and Gillard for President (?) Hillary Clinton’s cheer squad?

Hat-tips: Hilary Ostrov for inspiration, Michael Smith’s blog, Greg Sheridan’s reporting.

Tony Thomas’s new book of essays, “That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print”, is available here


Juanita Phillips and the ABC must have forgotten about that $72,000 Europe trip with Greg Combet

The story in the clip below expresses the ABC's outrage based information it received in an FOI application about a splash-up trip to South America for a group of Federal politicians - "The ABC has obtained details of the taxpayer funded trip - calls for the 'system' to be overhauled".

Somehow, Juanita Phillips managed to keep a straight face introducing the story - thanks to reader Brian for the tip.  Brian says:


Listen as ABC newsreader Juanita Phillips exposes the MPs living the high life traveling to exotic locations in 2015 at taxpayers' expense. In a report that aired on Sunday the 24th of July 2016, Phillips revealed that "the ABC has obtained details of their taxpayer-funded trip, leading to calls for the system to be overhauled". 
How very convenient for the ABC to apply a little scrutiny now that the LNP is in power. WHERE was that scrutiny in 2013 when PHILLIPS herself accompanied Labor Climate Change Minister Greg Combet - with whom she had only begun a relationship in 2012 - on a lavish first class trip to Paris which cost taxpayers a whopping $72,000?



 I'd be fascinated to know how you spend $57K on airfares for two people going to Europe and back Juanita, plus $9K on hotels and nearly $5K on "ground transport" which the rest of us refer to as the train or taxis.


ABC newsreader Juanita Phillips and Labor MP Greg Combet / Picture: Craig Greenhill

ABC newsreader Juanita Phillips and Labor MP Greg Combet / Picture: Craig Greenhill Source: News Limited

PANICKED ABC management ­believed star newsreader Juanita Phillips left them in a “tricky” position after blindsiding them over her controversial $72,000 taxpayer-funded European first class trip with Labor lover Greg Combet.

Emails reveal the $320,000-a-year star only told her superiors about the 10-day climate change ministerial trip with Mr Combet, who held the ­portfolio at the time, through France, Germany and Belgium last year upon her return and after it was raised with the Gillard government.

But ABC head of editorial policy Alan Sunderland instead planned to tell the public the ABC 24 host and Sydney news anchor had “always been upfront and clear” with the ABC about the romance. The pair began dating in 2012. 

“It’s a little tricky, because we are being specifically asked if we were aware of the trip in advance,” Mr Sunderland wrote in one email.


The ABC attempted to downplay the lack of prior knowledge of the trip, saying Ms Phillips did not have to seek permission, that it was later found to be within ABC guidelines anyway and that the broadcaster had always provided a “high degree of transparency” dealing with the issue.

“However, the ABC also ­understood and correctly predicted that some media organisations would ignore the fact her actions did not breach any guidelines,” a spokesman said.

Six months after ABC chiefs plotted how to handle the romance’s conflict-of-interest concerns, it was revealed the 10-day trip racked up $57,673 on airfares, $8914 on hotels and meals and $4634 on ground transport for Mr Combet to attend meetings and a climate conference.

AEC electoral funding payments - Oakeshott, Windsor $70K each, The Greens $6.3M, Derryn Hinch $.5M!

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2016 federal election - first payment to political parties and candidates as at 22 July 2016
Political Party Amount ($)
Liberal Party of Australia 23 464 128.62
Australian Labor Party 22 355 109.55
Australian Greens 6 337 258.36
National Party of Australia 3 158 301.63
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party 1 623 827.11
Nick Xenophon Team 1 179 992.89
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party 544 420.99
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) 283 838.18
Family First 218 993.20
Country Liberals (Northern Territory) 180 977.63
Katter's Australian Party 157 743.09
Rise Up Australia Party 75 490.79
Jacqui Lambie Network 68 951.79
Liberal Democratic Party 48 494.75
Animal Justice Party 34 114.28
Australian Recreational Fishers Party 29 277.97
Glenn Lazarus Team 21 220.94
Australian Christians 20 422.25
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party 17 456.17
Bullet Train for Australia 15 509.23
Australian Liberty Alliance 15 277.98
Australian Country Party 9 155.11
Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party 6 311.79
Australian Sex Party 6 311.79
Catherine McGowan (Indi, Victoria) 81 241.57
Andrew Wilkie (Denison, Tasmania) 76 413.07
Antony Windsor (New England, New South Wales) 72 333.82
Robert Oakeshott (Cowper, New South Wales) 70 762.48
Stephen Ruff (North Sydney, New South Wales) 30 745.25
Dennis Jensen (Tangney, Western Australia) 25 836.11
James Mathison (Warringah, New South Wales) 25 721.64
Bradley Christensen (Lyne, New South Wales) 24 004.61
Jim Ball (MacKellar, New South Wales) 17 645.66
Daniel McCarthy (Leichhardt, Queensland) 15 821.94
Kevin Foley (Riverina, New South Wales) 15 722.08
Stephen Mayne (Menzies, Victoria) 15 214.91
David Wilks (Forde, Queensland) 13 575.14
John Harvey (Hunter, New South Wales) 12 261.22
David Tran (Gellibrand, Victoria) 11 922.23
Julie Hegarty (Mackellar, New South Wales) 11 706.74
Kenneth Murray (Capricornia, Queensland) 11 131.25
Christine Berman (Bradfield, New South Wales) 10 939.41
Stephen Large (Dawson, Queensland) 10 794.88
Arthur Mills (Farrer, New South Wales) 10 684.51
Michael McCluskey (Wannon, Victoria) 10 437.50
Robert Jones (McPherson, Queensland) 9 917.18
Yingiya Mark Guyula (Lingiari, Northern Territory) 4,672.02
Braedon Earley (Lingiari, Northern Territory) 4 551.13
Total $60 466 642.44

Julia Gillard writes for the New York Times with advice for Hillary - play the sexism victim card early and often

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First Woman to First Woman


PHILADELPHIA — Having served as Australia’s first female prime minister, I often get asked for advice by bright young women interested in politics.

What sustains someone through the rigors of modern politics, I tell them, are passion and purpose: knowing what you want to achieve for your nation and the world. Then I tell them to build a sense of self that can survive all the ugly sniping.

This week at the Democratic National Convention, where I participated in a forum on women and leadership, I’ve been asked what advice I’d have for Hillary Clinton as she seeks to become her nation’s first female leader. I’m not egotistical enough to think that the most qualified and prepared presidential candidate the United States has ever seen needs my advice on policy. And she needs no lectures on sustaining a sense of self when under news media scrutiny or attack by her rivals. Few politicians have shown more resilience than Mrs. Clinton.

But even someone of her vast experience has been buffeted by what I call the “curious question of gender.” She knows what it’s like to be the subject of the stereotype that a powerful woman cannot be likable, that if she is commanding then she must be incapable of empathy.

If a female candidate notes the sexism of all this, she is told — as Mrs. Clinton has — that she’s playing the “woman card,” or is fragile, or a whiner.

Mrs. Clinton should not have to deal with this alone. Every Democrat, every Republican, every person who believes that women and men are equal should call out any sexism.

When I was prime minister, I created a carbon-emissions trading program. The debate grew vicious, with the leader of the opposition attending a protest next to signs that described me as a witch and a bitch.

No one called for my execution by firing squad, as a supporter of Donald Trump did for Mrs. Clinton, but a radio talk-show host did say I should be put in a bag and dropped in the sea. Witches can’t be drowned, I cynically joked.

I have often reflected how powerful it would have been if, at that moment, a male business leader, especially one who opposed my policies, said, “I may not support the prime minister politically, but Australia must not conduct its democratic debates this way.”

Unfortunately, that never happened.

To my dismay, some of the young women who chat with me are not asking for political insights. Instead, they tell me that, having seen how I was treated, they have decided politics is too punishing for them. I always try to talk them out of this position. Sometimes I succeed.

In 2016, I hope there are many brave voices naming and shaming any sexism in the presidential contest. The next generation of potential female leaders is watching.

Julia Gillard was the prime minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013.