$10M donation to Clinton Foundation with Rudd. Gillard went with $14M. And taxpayers are still paying.
On Monday 24 September 2012 Julia Gillard was in New York with a full diary. She was staying at the Waldorf Astoria hotel which isn't a bad place to be if you're going to take a sickie. All of the following appointments were cancelled - bar one.
- A. A private dinner/reception with President Obama.
- B. Lunch speech to the Asia Society and Economic Club of New York.
- C. First session of the UN General Assembly
- D. Hillary Clinton gender event, part of Clinton Global Initiative
A, B and C were nice and possibly in Australia's interests but sorry, no cigar! This was the make or break week for the upcoming apres politics gigs and Hillary held the key to the future. So if you picked D, congratulations, go and buy yourself a new job using taxpayers money as your prize, here's the ABC reporting on what prompted:
.......Prime Minister Julia Gillard to pull out of several engagements in New York, including a reception for world leaders hosted by US president Barack Obama.
Ms Gillard is in the US along with Foreign Minister Bob Carr for a four-day diplomatic visit during the United Nations Leaders Week.
She had been forced to forgo an address at a lunch gathering of the Asia Society and the Economic Club of New York
Senator Carr appeared in her place, but Ms Gillard emerged later for an event advocating gender equality presided over by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
The Prime Minister went back to her hotel instead of going on to meet Mr Obama and the other leaders.
Must have been quite something for Julia Gillard to knock back Obama for dinner. Passed up the photo ops left right and centre. There couldn't be a clearer example of the importance of Hillary Clinton in Gillard's world; the only appointment Gillard kept that day was this one.
Here are the transcripts from that day taken from the PM's website www.pm.gov.au (cached at the National Archives).
MON 24 SEPTEMBER 2012
I am honoured to announce Australia's founding membership of the Equal Futures Partnership. I am delighted to do so in the company of Secretary Clinton. Hillary – you have done so much to inspire women and girls all around the world. ...
MON 24 SEPTEMBER 2012
Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced Australia would join with the United States and other international partners to expand economic opportunities for women and to increase women’s participation in politics and civil society. Ms Gillard announced that Australia was...
Here's a still from the Youtube video of Hillary Clinton's speech to the opening session of The Clinton Global Initiative that Monday morning - it features Madeleine Albright, whose daughter Alice was installed as CEO of the Global Partnership for Education just before Gillard was installed as Chair. Madeleine's on the head table with Chelsea and some of the other important people.
Someone had paved the way to Ms Gillard's future after politics too. Here's Ban Ki Moon announcing Gillard as a Global Education Champion
WED 26 SEPTEMBER 2012
Prime Minister Julia Gillard today co-chaired the annual meeting of the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, working to drive progress in reaching the Goals by 2015. ...
WED 26 SEPTEMBER 2012
It’s a great honour to be champion of Secretary-General Ban’s Education First Initiative. This is a very significant tribute to Australia’s work to improve education in developing countries through our aid program. ...
WED 26 SEPTEMBER 2012
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has today been appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as one of 10 member-state champions of his Global Education Initiative Education First. ...
WED 26 SEPTEMBER 2012
Speech to the United Nations General Assembly - “Practical progress towards realising those ideals in the world”
Mr President, congratulations on your election. You now preside over a forum for every voice – an Assembly of all people and nations – for no country or bloc to dominate solely or lead as one alone – where small and medium sized countries are truly heard. ...
Just as Kevin Rudd had done in 2008, Julia Gillard was positioned beautifully by Hillary and the Clinton Foundation that week.
And just like Kevin Rudd's 2008 entree to the Clinton's World, Julia Gillard's debut coincided with a dubious payment to the Clinton Foundation from the Australian Government.
The bulk of this transfer of our money to the Clinton Foundation was hidden from government accounts (as was the case with Rudd's $10M to the Clinton Foundation via the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute).
The payment that coincided with Gillard's ascension commenced with this initial $500K donation to the Clintons. I know what you're thinking, it cost Rudd $10M - why is this so cheap? Wait, there's plenty more of your money to come - millions more.
Now you know if there's a whiff about something in Canberra because people talk.
That's how Malcolm Farr and others in the gallery get their stories.
Even Swannie's over the top defence is consistent with the sorts of performance we see when there's a fire to explain the smoke.
TREASURER Wayne Swan, who today said US Republicans are economic "crazies", has been linked to a Government gift of $550,000 to a foundation run by former US President, Democrat Bill Clinton.
The taxpayers' money four days ago went to the former president's Clinton Foundation to pay for carbon accounting in Kenya.
Liberal environment spokesman Greg Hunt today said the Treasurer was "playing in partisan politics" by attacking the Republicans and helping a leading Democrat figure during the US election campaign.
"It's completely inappropriate for the Treasurer to be playing in partisan US politics and that is not in Australia's interests," Mr Hunt told news.com.au.
"Against that background, it seems even odder that they are giving money to one of the world's richest foundations."
The Government approved $550,000 for the design of a "National Carbon Accounting System in Kenya", according to a tender document from the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
The Government is expected to be asked why it was sending the design work to Boston when it boasts of creating so-called green jobs here in Australia.
The revelation of the donation to the foundation came hours after Treasurer Swan made a heavy-handed intervention in the US election campaign by branding Republican economic policy managers as 'cranks and crazies'.
This has all the hallmarks of a classic Clinton con.
It claims to arise from an open tender.
The Clintons will use a carbon accounting package developed by us at our cost.
As you'll see in a moment, the contract leads on into the millions and millions........and....
The donation was made to the Clinton Foundation just in time for an Australian Prime Minister to get the red carpet in New York.
Here's a bit of history to the Kenya Carbon Accounting Caper.
In 2008 Penny Wong announced that the Clinton Foundation had chosen Australia's carbon accounting package. The package had been developed by Australia's CSIRO at substantial cost, including satellite positioning, geospatial data systems, financial accounting packages and a range of other inputs. Penny was keen for someone to use it. There is no evidence that the Clinton Foundation paid anything for the right to be mentioned in Penny Wong's 2008 press release.
Now this is new - and news!
The Clinton Foundation took our Carbon Accounting System and put in a bid for a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for what turned out to be $7M in funding over 4 years (2008 to 2012) in - Kenya!
Here's the Rockefeller Foundation's report:
"Over three grants and four years the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) under the William J. Clinton Foundation has accounted for $7m and 60% of (project) funding. Interviews were held with the CCI Director of the Global Carbon Measurement Program in Washington and the CCI Country Director in Kenya. The essence of the CCI support was to establish and test a National Carbon Accounting System (NCAS) at the policy level (in Kenya) and set up a number of viable demonstration projects at the community level".
How good is that!
Clinton gets our National Carbon Accounting System, developed and paid for by us.
He uses it to get a $7M grant from Rockefeller.
Over 4 years Clinton gets paid to design a National Carbon Accounting System for Kenya (sorry Rockefellers, no big final announcement, it wasn't quite ready when your money and patience ran out).
Then along comes an ambitious Australian Prime Minister unusually keen to make sure the carbon content of Kenya's forests has been properly accounted for. What Australian Prime Minister isn't kept awake at night by that worry?
Here's a synopsis of the Clinton Foundation work - no design documents, a "partnership" agreement, no real acquittal - familiar story? Good to know it wasn't just us, Rockefeller got the treatment too.
Here are the Clinton objectives in more detail.
Note Clinton got to keep the Rockefeller $7M - and who provided Clinton with technical support for the Rockefeller project? We did.
It's beautiful serendipity that the Department of Climate Change led by Greg Combet was able to come to the party at such short notice and get the first good faith $500K rolling into the Clinton Slush Fund on 17 September 2012. 7 days was tight, but I'll bet my busted backside the money was in the Clinton Foundation accounts before the gladhandling commenced on 24 September 2012. The Clintons have heard every cheque in the mail story known to man - with pay to play money talks, BS walks.
Julia went to New York with the $500K downpayment taken care of by Greg.
So where 'd the rest of the money come from?
After Ms Gillard did the deal with Bob Brown and The Greens to retain office at the 2010 election, lots of money started sloshing around the coffers for carbon and climate stuff.
One special initiative designed with the Clintons in mind was the Fast Finance chuck money out the door for dumb ideas corporation.
Getting money through the scheme wasn't quite as fast as getting Greg Combet to approve the first $500K from his own departmental budget.
But once the paperwork was in order for the Fast Finance (no application refused, no financials? No worries!) Dodgy Brothers Bill was home and hosed.
So here's the drawdown.
And someone must have been on a promise in Cambodia and Africa
And even that had to be revised upwards because we are, after all, dealing with the Clintons.
Remember Greg Combet who approved the first $500K?
Well Greg was in the blooming, blossoming stage of new love.
Here he is with Juanita, photographed on 29 September 2012, yes the same time that Ms Gillard was enjoying the fruits of his tender award to Bill Clinton.
And a few months later, Julia Gillard was happy to personally sign off on Greg and Juanita going First Class together for a beautiful taxpayer/slush-fund-spectacular dream honeymoon experience of a lifetime.
CLIMATE Change Minister Greg Combet took his ABC newsreader partner Juanita Phillips on a first-class visit to Europe, amid signs of an increase in global travel by Gillard Government frontbenchers.
The taxpayer-funded trip earlier this month included visits to Paris, Brussels and Berlin where Mr Combet - touted as a future Labor leader - delivered a keynote address to the "Towards a Global Carbon Market" conference.
Mr Combet said the trip met ministerial rules for travelling with spouses. These require the minister's partner to have an "official program of engagements".
He declined to confirm to News Limited what program Ms Phillips - who presents the ABC's flagship 7pm television news service in Sydney - undertook.
The minister also would not disclose why they flew first class.
The guidelines state "ministers and their spouses should travel business class" when travelling overseas, but they may have received a free upgrade.
A first-class airfare to Paris costs between $12,000-15,000 and the carbon footprint - around 5 tonnes of CO2 - is enough to power a small car for a year.
"Approval for Minister Combet's and Ms Phillips's overseas visit on official business was in accord with the guidelines relating to such visits," his spokesman said. "Any suggestion to the contrary would be wrong and misleading."
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is required to tick off on all overseas travel by her front bench. Asked about Mr Combet and Ms Phillips' trip, a spokesman said: "All overseas ministerial travel is approved in accordance with the guidelines."
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2009 tightened rules on ministers taking their spouses overseas and Tony Abbott is vowing to a crack down he wins office.
"If elected to government we will ensure that overseas travel is strictly for official purposes, and that for ministers spousal travel will be the exception, not the rule," the Opposition leader told News Limited.
The relationship of Mr Combet, a former ACTU secretary, and Ms Phillips was revealed last September but the Cabinet minister and the glamorous broadcaster have been reluctant to step out together in public.
The Coalition and the ABC have enjoyed a rocky relationship over the years.
A spokesperson for the ABC said Ms Phillips informed the national broadcaster that "she was on annual leave at the time" of the Europe trip and travelling in a personal capacity.
"People have private lives and we handle these matters on a case by case basis," the spokesperson said.
With parliament in recess, a number of frontbenchers are travelling overseas including Home Affairs and Justice Minister Jason Clare, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Bernie Ripoll, his parliamentary secretary, who this week travelled to Chicago to participate in a panel titled "What are international challenges to improving financial literacy and capabilities for women?".
And as for Julia Gillard? We'll do her (story) slowly. Stand by for more.