The Great Betrayal

~ An article supplied by the Townsville Residents & Ratepayers Association

NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AS THE REAL or MAIN TARGET OF THE ‘FOREIGN TAKEOVER’ PLAN IDENTIFIED BY ASIO?

How greed, corruption and ‘foreign influence’ plans are all behind the Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL) -TSV Council secret deals with Rimbanun Hijau  and China’s CCCC (etc) which have ‘sold out’ Australia as well as Townsville and North Queensland ]

OVERVIEW: Just weeks week the retiring ASIO warned about how “the Chinese government is seeking to use ‘insidious’ foreign interference operations to ‘take over’ Australia…”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/22/china-is-seeking-to-take-over-australias-political-system-former-asio-chief-claims

Whilst he was referring mainly to the corrupting of local, state and federal governments, there was also reference to the use of corrupting Chinese businessmen and corporations to strategically buy-up key lands, industries and ‘people’ to effectively make Australia some kind of future Chinese colony.  Another noted observer of Chinese strategies to influence and manipulate Australia Clive Hamilton also pointed out last month how the real takeover is really mainly happening at the local and state government levels in remote regional areas (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-10/the-iron-ties-that-bind-australia-states-to-china/11664730).

Hamilton gave the example of Chinese takeover of WA mining companies with complicity by the WA state government. But a much better example is probably one that no-one ‘down South’ has taken any interest – the kind of Northern Australia takeover exemplified by secret deals in North Queensland that we talk about in detail below  

As outlined in earlier related TRRA Posts (see links below),  it looks increasingly reasonable to consider that the Mooney-Hill controlled Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL) agency could go down in Australian history as perhaps the most devious, rotten and corrupt local government/Council Agency in Australian history – especially in terms of Northern Queensland and Australia as the REAL FRONTLINE in the BATTLE FOR AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE. This is not just in relation to how, as a privatised wing of the apparently corrupt Mooney-Hill Mayoral regimes over decades, it has been directly linked with rampant cronyism, dodgy deals and ‘preferred developer’ schemes with regular conflicts of interest. It is not just in relation to how TEL seems to have been the blueprint for an LGAQ model (with Mayor Hill one off the LGAQ Board of four Directors personally benefiting financially from regular conflicts of interest) behind the rampant local government corruption in Qld that is spreading to other states [This is especially so in relation to LGAQ’s secretive CEO network – with disgraced, rogue and/or ‘caught out’ CEOs moved on and circulated no longer just in Qld but around Australia (e.g. https://www.watoday.com.au/national/queensland/pyne-uses-privilege-to-accuse-lgaq-of-rehoming-dodgy-and-sacked-council-ceos-20170824-gy358m.html]. 

No, the main reason why TEL will go down as infamous in Australian history is how (as we outline below) it has been pivotal to a devious  ‘secret deals’ strategy to sell out and betray not just North Queensland but also Northern Australia to crooked foreign corporate interests that (as outgoing ASIO Director Duncan Lewis is warning Australia) are directly linked to the emerging details of a Chinese government strategy to effectively ‘take over’ Australia and indirectly seek to undermine its sovereignty (https://www.sbs.com.au/news/former-asio-boss-reportedly-fears-china-is-working-to-take-over-australia-s-political-system),  This includes their now regular surveillance of ‘Australian Streets’ (e.g. https://www.smh.com.au/national/peter-hartcher-on-china-s-infiltration-of-australia-20191118-p53bly.html), insider admissions of interference and spying (https://www.smh.com.au/national/defecting-chinese-spy-offers-information-trove-to-australian-government-20191122-p53d1l.html) and malicious attacks on as well as bullying of Australian politicians who speak out (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7708659/Chinese-diplomat-bizarre-rant-banned-Australian-MPs-Andrew-Hastie-James-Paterson.html)   – or even all out attacks on our democratic system with impunity (https://www.sbs.com.au/news/china-reportedly-behind-cyber-attack-on-australian-parliament-and-political-parties) .  As last week’s TSV9 X Sixty Minutes expose outlined, this is all part of China’s ‘soft invasion’ strategy for the South Pacific    (https://www.9news.com.au/world/60-minutes-china-staging-soft-invasion-of-south-pacific/d4078c7b-ae6a-4939-992b-ca93c15e4e1b) – despite also some earlier warnings (e.g. https://www.afr.com/world/pacific/china-poses-as-a-friend-to-the-pacific-here-s-why-it-s-not-20190905-p52o82).  The federal government is aware of but has kept secret the Gaurnaut report warning about this some time ago (e.g. https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2018/august/1533045600/john-garnaut/australia-s-china-reset) – whilst the would-be publishers of Clive Hamilton’s book Silent Invasion were intimidated into withdrawing (https://www.smh.com.au/national/free-speech-fears-after-book-critical-of-china-is-pulled-from-publication-20171112-gzjiyr.html).

With the dominant Southern Australian cities as well as bureaucrats and politicians tending to ignore and fail to adequately support rural and Northern areas, these have become vulnerable to  ‘foreign influencing’ strategies as well as strategic ‘landgrabs’ (e.g. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/china-now-owns-10-times-the-amount-of-australian-land-it-did-last-year-20170930-gyrxia.html). As a related ABC report has indicated: ’Clive Hamilton warned some Australian businesses and state and territory governments had succumbed to intense lobbying by China and become too close. “The best way to understand this is through the lens of [former Chinese leader] Mao Zedong’s tactic of ‘use the countryside to surround the city’,” he said’ ( https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-10/the-iron-ties-that-bind-australia-states-to-china/116647300 ).  Whilst the ABC report and Hamilton have tended to focus on other states and examples, we think they will soon realise that perhaps the most insidious and also important example of this is perhaps to be found in North Queensland linked directly to the TEL as well as Townsville Council offices (supported by some Qld government agencies, bureaucrats and politicians (e.g. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/insidious-former-asio-boss-warns-on-chinese-interference-in-australia-20191121-p53cv2.html Cf. also https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/05/spy-chief-says-foreign-espionage-and-interference-an-existential-threat-to-australia)

Our particular concern is emphasised how a current Northern Australia senate inquiry (which TRRA made a submission to which was rejected because it named and thus might ‘hurt the feelings’ of crooked foreign companies seeking a devious takeover of Northern Australia against local, state and national interests) seems to have already have been framed in relation to the 2014 Northern Australia Summit. As we discussed in Part 1, this was apparently ‘highjacked’ by the TEL and Townsville Council figures who both organised the related ADW Summit in Townsville, stacked the committees (including with RH and TEL-related cronies), and also directed its agenda to suggest that we should just blindly let foreigners (especially from China) come in and buy up lands and take over industries – and to do with no real due diligence about false promises of jobs and win-win investment by people with a ruthless reputation  for ruthless off-shore profiteering, unfairness and social as well as environmental destruction always  at the local expense. As we reported previously, at the ADC Forum James Cook University VC and TEL Director Sandra Harding gave a  featured presentation titled “Leveraging northern Australia’s tropical and east Asian connections to build a modern economy” (i.e. how to secretly flog Australia off to China) – with Mayor Hill (a fellow TEL as well as LGAQ Director) also giving a related talk on how to secretively finance this with false claims and hopeful deceptions ( https://adcforum.org/our-initiatives/northern-development-summit/). It also seems that Northern Australia Regional development ‘expert’ Alan Dale and his JCU Cairns Institute for ‘tropical societies’ have not been immune to Harding’s (and TEL’s) influence (e.g. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264311449_From_Myth_to_Reality_New_Pathways_for_Northern_Development)

As also recounted in Part 1, as part of related secret deals between notorious Rimbanun Hijau (e.g. https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/research/the-untouchables-rimbunan-hij/) and current Mayor Hill (reactivating previous Mayoral/TEL deals with RH agreed on years earlier by Tony Mooney), James Cook University VC made her own deal on JCU’s behalf to give RH fake credibility on the basis of an industry research partnership which wilfully pretended (and covered-up how)  the shell company used by RH was a local Australian company – which also was the basis of  how RH’s Seafarms Group was able to get major project status in the NT and WA as well as nationally and receive up to $100 million in Australian taxpayer subsidies.  Whilst the Northern Australia summit was underway, Harding was not only negotiating this deal with RH but also with RH’s secretive Chinese government partner – China’s ‘main Belt and Road company’ CCCC [China Communications Construction Company] – with its own emerging reputation also for ‘fraud, corruption and environmental destruction (www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-09-19/a-chinese-company-reshaping-the-world-leaves-a-troubled-trail  ) as well as for ‘foreign influencing’ linked to China’s neo-colonial Belt and Road ‘debt trap diplomacy’ strategy of  (https://thediplomat.com/2019/03/chinas-debt-diplomacy-is-a-misnomer-call-it-crony-diplomacy/  ) 

The JCU-RH deal  ( https://www.jcu.edu.au/news/releases/2015/may/news-and-media11111111112 was signed just a week or so after the return of infamous April 2015 trade trip (organised with the help of CCCC Director William Sun, one of the RH/CCCC regulars in TEL’s Townsville offices before then we hear. On this trip were JCU Project Manager Margie Atkinson along with TEL’s CEO Patricia O’Callaghan and others – including the Townsville Port management staff who were being guided (and still are today it appears) to allow China to take over more key Northern Australia Ports, Airports and other strategic infrastructure.  From new information by a TRRA informant who was a witness to related negotiations in TEL’ offices in 2007 (and a similar trade trip to Guangzhou also organised by the CCCC-RH partnership which involved Tony Mooney, Barry Taylor, Warwick Powell, and Simon Lee as well as local rep Craig Wallace and others – with provisional deals from then having to be put on ice partly because of the global financial crisis we understand). 

This shows how a Rimbanun Hijau-China CCCC alliance or partnership was part of deals made with TEL (bypassing the TCC) in relation to how the ‘scams’ behind RH’s Seafarms Group, Townsville Northern Beaches and other secret deals were negotiated in 2014-2015 with both RH and CCCC represented by both the previous Qld Trade Commissioner to China Simon Lee and disgraced would-be politician and general conman Chinese-Australian Warwick Powell. In other words, both were effectively acting as ‘dual agents’ for suspicious foreign powers. This is after Hong Kong-based Thomas Tiong (personally linked to the RH takeover of Papua New Guinea and the RH money-laundering empire in Australia through fake or devious shell companies) became close to Lee as well as to the Chinese government representatives generally (and the CCCC agency in Guandong especially) – who Lee continued to represent after this 20 year stint as Commissioner ended. Although all traces of this have now ‘disappeared’ Lee and Powell acting for the CCCC and/or China’s United Front also formed together two companies to deceive Australian businesses and government reps (Resources Cap and the  Sino-Australian Investment and Trade Group). Thomas’ brother Tiong Hiew King (the main head of Rimbanun Hijau still today despite a recent stroke) has been even closer to the Chinese government, well-known in the Chinese international diaspora as the ‘Chinese Rupert Murdoch’ with his extensive Chinese Media empire always and ever close to the official CCP line (e.g. https://www.asiasentinel.com/econ-business/china-soe-snap-up-overseas-media/).

This is useful background to appreciate how as well as being a key rep (like Powell) for Thomas Tiong’s surviving wife and daughter after 2014 with various RH Australian shell company and related acquisitions such as Landmark Projects, Lee also acted for the United Front and CCCC in setting up many of the foreign influencing deals now of concern to ASIO – especially those involving roving Chinese billionaires keen to invest in Australia (some clearly dodgy). For instance, Simon Lee was reported in the Cairns Post to have brought such a group (including Aquis’s Tony Fung) to Cairns in 2014 around a suspicious deal resulting in a local bankruptcy after assurances of a $100 million joint venture somehow later fell through without explanation ( as in some related cases, suspected of being possibly sabotaged and/or fully acquired for fire-sale prices later on) https://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/billionaires-in-flood-of-cash-for-far-north-queensland-water-plan/news-story/f5de781c3b62858a5a5352187175414f] .  Dovetailing with Powel’s promotion of the Tookakea equestrian tourism scam (really yet another version of ‘zero dollar tourism’ https://theaseanpost.com/article/made-china-zero-dollar-tourists, the RH secret deals with TEL/TCC have also been linked with reports that Simon Lee (and the CCCC) have been very much behind the Chinese fire-sale buy-up of dirt cheap and/or ruined tourist resorts down the Qld coast from Port Douglas down to Rockhampton (e.g. https://www.escape.com.au/destinations/australia/queensland/chinese-investors-buy-up-queensland-hotels-as-tourist-numbers-continue-to-grow/news-story/f8b14e653746921fb1c2861cc3af0170.

Lee (and CCCC foreign influencing agendas) have also been linked to some of the key Chinese investors involved in South-East Qld urban development and related Council corruption at Ipswich, Logan, and the Gold Coast (etc) – including the mysterious billion dollar city planned between Brisbane and GC to be overseen in the planning by the Qld Premier herself) (https://www.realcommercial.com.au/news/chinese-to-build-new-1bn-gold-coast-city). This is as well as networks further South believed to include Chinese ‘influencer’ Huang Xiangmo assisting overseas after an earlier corruption scandal also in China   [In this way there may have been a bit of truth in the joke going around that if you are a corrupt Chinese billionaire in China you go to jail or even may get executed, but if you are a corrupting Chinese Billionaire in Australia you may get a medal]. [https://www.smh.com.au/national/huang-xiangmo-s-assets-frozen-as-tax-office-pursues-him-for-140-million-20190916-p52rub.html]

The saga of Lee’s RH/CCCC partner also in Australia (Hong Kong-born Chinese-Australian Warwick Powell) exemplifies the ‘great betrayal’ perhaps in several overlapping ways. Once a rising star in the Qld Labour party, Powell was named and disgraced in the 2001 Shepherdson Inquiry (alongside his mentor on a 1990s stint in the Townsville Mayor Tony Mooney).  This reportedly made him pretty bitter and angry about his adopted country – and the reason for him not only jumping into the arms of RH and CCCC as well as Simon Lee and Guangdong-based CCCC Director William Sun, but also with a further motive to both deceive and get redemption from former colleagues in the current QLD government such as old flat-mate Former Treasurer Curtis Pitt. Pitt came to Townsville to give Powell ‘credibility’ support for the opening of the INQ office (subsidised and supported directly by TELs Peter Honeycombe).

Powell’s Northern Australian deception and rip-off modus operandi based on ruthless contempt and deception can be evident in terms of how he a couple off years ago he regularly went around giving a talk about ‘mendicant Councils’ (e.g. e.g. TEL assisted him to get an invitation to address a regional conference hosted by the Qld Central Highlands Council in 2017 and to subsequently become an ‘adviser’ to this Council). In Powell’s ‘mendicant’ or ‘beggar’ Councils who should be desperate to use his services (i.e. all part of his ‘masterplan’ to also get them to invite RH and CCCC in) to help deliver them from debt, struggle and responsibility (or should that be accountability). Powell seems to exemplify how China seems to have no qualms about exploiting vulnerability, weakness or desperation (this applies especially to Australia in general, and to rural and Northern regions in particular) – a policy it seems of showing ‘absolutely no mercy’ first and ask questions later (e.g. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/16/world/asia/china-xinjiang-documents.html).

So on May 15 2015 when he emailed Jenny Hill about flying to China to get approval (i.e. from the CCCC and/or United Front agency) [ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-09-19/a-chinese-company-reshaping-the-world-leaves-a-troubled-trail] for his ‘masterplan’ (whilst Lee flew to speak to members of the Tiong family/Rimbanun Hijau in Singapore) [e.g. https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/research/the-untouchables-rimbunan-hij/ ] he was not just referring to the earlier Hill secret deals with RH and CCCC’s (some also apparently involving JCU’s Sandra Harding) re: (a) the fraudulent and suspicious acquisitions of companies and aquatic farms which evolved into the Seafarms Group (https://seafarms.com.au/) with their secretive ‘Project Sea Dragon’ takeover of the Australian export prawn industry (largely made possible by the fake credibility by a JCU industry partnership giving RH/CCCC the benefit of taxpayer-funded research and close to $100 million dollars in freed subsidies), and (b) the deals with Hill about ‘‘foreign gated cities’ at Bluewater and Moongabulla areas hiding behind the ‘billion dollar Toolakea Equestrian Resort’ scam (currently an application for Qld government ‘state coordinated project status to avoid further scrutiny). (https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/business/malaysian-giant-seeks-approval-for-1b-townsville-equestrian-resort/news-story/62d48a9b071d2692206177bdb82baee8)

No, he was also referring to using his old pre-Shepherdson Inquiry contacts as his key into both a Townsville Council consultancy and then a part-time position with James Cook University in early 2015 to set up the ‘fake credibility’ fronts INQ [i-nq.com.au], Sister Cities [https://sistercitypartners.com.au ] and Beefledger [https://beefledger.io] as part of his ‘masterplan’ as much as for fake credibility for himself as well as for Rimbanun Hijau  as part of their partnership with China’s CCCC to deceive, influence and takeover ‘Northern/regional Australia’ (e.g. CF https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-10/the-iron-ties-that-bind-australia-states-to-china/116647300 ). In so doing he was also following in the footsteps of the local developer John Bartlett who sold out to RH  – whose reported motto that North Queensland was ‘really only good for beef, tourism and foreign ownership’ betrayed his basic contempt for locals and Australia {although it should be pointed out that he probably did not subscribe to the Chinese take over agenda as he almost sold his extensive holdings (and fraudulent re-zonings put together for a foreign owner) to a rich Arab no long before RH came along courtesy of Taylor, Cusack and Mooney. TEL’s further assistance to RH and CCCC in relation to Jenny Hill was especially focused on the agreement to make TEL Director Moya Steele (and a close associate as well as policy advisor to Mayor Jill) a development as well as legal officer working directly for RH’s Landmark Projects shell company behind the Townsville Northern Beaches secret deals – in particular the Equestrian resort scam and the related ‘state coordinated project’ application to the Qld government. The slippery slop of crime and corruption that TEL, the Townsville Council and state government agencies asked to assist the TEL-RH/CCCC plans is typified by how Steele has since found herself also caught up (like may others) in helping to cover up for the illegal and arrogant behaviour of RH reps. As a result Steele has failed to disclose that her own legal firm was representing the local grazier Gavin Jepson falsely blamed by Rimbanun Hijau to cover up their direct responsibility for the illegal demolitions and resulting asbestos contamination on public beaches and ecologically-sensitive tidal marshes at Toolakea.

As well as the illegal demolitions, asbestos contamination scandal and lockout of the local community from public beaches in that area, there have been malicious fires, other sabotage, environmental destruction, intimidation campaigns and targeted attacks on local residents and businesses by ‘hired goons’ also elsewhere in North Queensland similar to RH notorious activities in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere. It’s almost as though the RH/CCCC foreign influencers have a third world mentality themselves and want to drag the Australian community and its representative political and bureaucratic agencies down to that level also (and it seems that they have been succeeding with the help of TEL and TEL Directors like Steele).  TEL reps should be held to account for not only failing to check on this but for actively encouraging the ‘foreign takeover’ (i.e/ sell out and betrayal) agenda for their own self-interest – and by doing so, having become ensnared in cronyism and conflicts of interest that soon developed into systemic illegality, corruption and intimidation.

In this way, the predicament of North Queensland and Northern Australia (and TEL’s related sell out or betrayal) would seem to be encapsulated in the example of the local grazier Gavin Jepson falsely blamed by Rimbanun Hijau (i.e. for illegal demolitions and the resulting asbestos contamination scandal at Toolakea) to cover up their illegal and arrogant activities and attitudes – with the complicity also of the Townsville Council and involved state government agencies such as the DNRME. It was Gavin Jepson (also operating a part-time earth-moving business to make ends meet) who unknowingly made a ‘deal with the devil’ (Rimbanun Hijau/CCCC represented by David Wadley, Warwick Powell, Simon Lee and others) to run some cattle in exchange for making some free improvements to RH’s secret Toolakea land holdings and plan for an exclusive gated Chinese community and Tsv satellite city adjacent to nearby Bluewater (which we know to be the real reason behind  the fake or scam ‘equestrian resort’ proposal). TEL has assisted in falsely blaming Jepson (who is currently appealing the ‘reversed’ order against him – twice earlier made against by RH) in order to help cover up for their deals wih RH and CCCC.  This example illustrates how they have not only sold out but basically betrayed not only North Queensland but Northern Australia.

This case further exemplifies how claims of benefits (i.e. jobs and investments) to Townsville and North Queensland from RH/CCCC secret deals and related plans is not just basically false and fraudulent – but also disguises also the treachery as well as apparent corruption by many of those directly linked to TEL in recent times. As we write this we have just heard from yet another ‘insider witness’ from TEL circa 2007 who confirms the endemic corruption at that time also. They also have confirmed that not only did key TEL reps know exactly who Rimbanun Hijau were,  but also willfully assisted to cover up from them and deceive not only the public but also regulatory authorities like the Foreign Investment Review Board (e.g. we have been told how TEL directly assisted them to come up with new Fake shell company entities and names to avoid accountability and scrutiny).  Thus as we also noted in Part 1, their enduring ‘crime’ was that TEL seems to have never had anyreal interest in either checking out, demanding or even encouraging the kind of genuine ‘win-win’ partnerships that might really have benefited the local community and economy (and not just the off-shore profiteers and notoriously crooked companies from overseas for whom there are authoritative testimonies that they are basically just fraudulent and corrupting).

If no-one will stand up against all this (e.g. stand up for Gavin Jepson) then perhaps North Queensland and Northern Australia is doomed. As we have outlined, we are not just up against dodgy as well ruthlessly profiteering companies like Rimbanun Hijau (and the agencies like TEL, Townsville Council and government agencies like the DNRME that seem to be covering up for and unethically or even illegally assisting them) but also a powerful foreign power behind the CCCC’s involvement at Toolakea, Moongabulla and with the fraudulent Seafarms Group activities and acquisitions. Recently despite the regular controversies and an apparent lack of interest in the real needs or concerns of locals, Mayor Hill indicated she would run again in the 2020 election  since she had ‘unfinished business’ – but what could this be if it is not the completion of the ‘great betrayal’ of North Queensland (and Townsville in particular), to complete the sell-off and related secret deals to Rimbanun Hijau and China’s CCCC?

So, as we concluded in Part 1, “Townsville does not just need a NEW ERA OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE FREED OF THE CORRUPTING AND CRONY-BASED MOONEY-HILL REGIME currently in power (and also freed of the LGAQ  influence that has been directly linked to this from 1991 through to the present day). It also needs a version of a ‘Townsville Enterprise group that is not about gimmicks, cronyism and the kind of corrupting ‘conflicts of interest’ outlined above (especially by the self-interested crooks  who can’t wait to run off elsewhere with their ill-gotten nest eggs from ripping off the Townsville and surrounding North Queensland communities.  A full clean out seems to be needed. And despite the efforts by all these vested interest to entrench a corrupting regime and kill off the forces of democracy and accountability, the Townsville public still has a good opportunity at the 2020 elections to say ‘enough is enough’. Yes?” 

– Townsville Residents and Ratepayers Association (TRRA)

DISCLAIMER: Many don’t speak up because there are various tactics to try and silence or discredit – including trying to dismiss concerns about ‘foreign influencing’ as somehow ‘racist’. As some who use this as a ‘divide and conquer tactic to silence any real discussion or focus on very valid and pressing issues are very much aware (e.g. China’s recent banning of Andrew Hastie and James Paterson in re (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7708659/Chinese-diplomat-bizarre-rant-banned-Australian-MPs-Andrew-Hastie-James-Paterson.html), there can and should be a distinction between real petty racism and a valid focus on pressing issues (especially to Australian sovereignty by foreign powers with sinister motives or insidious strategies) – just as there can and should be a distinction between ruthless and fraudulent ‘take overs’ and genuine ‘joint ventures’ or reciprocal partnerships. Chinese politicians as well as businessman are generally well-known for their efforts to encourage and exploit weakness in others – especially the very divisions in other communities that their Belt and Road strategy typically encourages when assisted by companies like the CCCC. In short, we can make a distinction between the crooks and honorable or genuine foreigners who really are prepared to engage in win-win partnerships with mutual respect and genuine reciprocal benefits. This can only come when we have agencies assisting or representing us (like the Townsville Council and the Townsville Enterprise Ltd group) who are not dishonest or simply incompetent – and who do not engage in opportunistic or simply corrupt  ‘sell outs’, betrayals and/or unethical backstabbing just to their own personal ‘nest eggs’.

Ps   We include a copy of our ‘rejected’ submission to the current Australian Senate ‘Northern Australia Development’ Inquiry. This was  rejected it seems because some of the very examples of foreign corporations with suspicious backgrounds and/or plans for Northern Australia we gave also made submissions – and might have had their ‘feelings hurt’). If anyone is wondering what to do next about the issues we have raised, then one suggestion is that you might like to contact the Inquiry separately and complaint about this or even demand that our submission below SHOULD BE INCLUDED INTO ANY GENUINE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE REAL NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF NOT ONLY NORTHERN AUSTRALIA BUT THE WHOLE OF AUSTRALIA.

You can contact them at: Phone +61 2 6277 4162, EMAIL jscna@aph.gov.au, or POST to  PO Box 6021, Parliament House CANBERRA, Canberra ACT 2600 

 (For more info go to https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Former_Committees/Northern_Australia/Inquiry_into_the_Development_of_Northern_Australia

[TRRA SUBMISSION TO AUSTRALIA’s SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S NORTHERN AUSTRALIA DEVELOPMENT AGENDA ]

WHY THE FAILURE OF DUE DILIGENCE ON NOTORIOUS FOREIGN/CORPORATE PLAYERS SEEKING TO ‘TAKE OVER’ AND ALSO ‘BUY UP’ NORTHERN AUSTRALIA IS IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING AN URGENT NATIONAL CRISIS

1. Overview of the TRRA investigation of Rimbanun Hijau’s secret and ‘crime and corruption’ associated deals with the Townsville Council and Queensland state government  – and how this uncovered not just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ but a wider problem reflect a lack of due diligence allowing questionable deals and policy directions not really in the interests of Northern Australia or even Australia more generally. 

As outlined in a growing number of international reports (Greenpeace, Oakland Intitute, ACF, etc), it is now known that the notoriously secretive and corrupting Rimbanun Hijau (originally based in Sarwawak) has its tentacles into Australia as well as Papua New Guinea and many other overseas countries.  The crime, corruption and cronyism activities associated with their secret deals with the Townsville have been the focus of a 12 month long TRRA investigation which has used social media to get relevant documents, witness accounts and further verifiable evidence about this. A recent series of Posts has produced both an overview of this problem and new information reinforcing how this increasingly involves ‘foreign influencing’ and also represents an important security issue of growing concern also.  

This problem addresses a number of the key terms of reference of the Select Committee’s inquiry.  What concerns us most is that the developments exemplified by the Rimbanun Hijau case in particular are a self-fulfilling prophecy of neglect that can and should be remedied by a new perspective and framework that we think can assist with. The sustainable facilitation of both public and private investment in infrastructure and economic development must come from ‘bottom-up’ initiatives that include the kind of optimal and sustainable farming practices and industry initiatives which include methods of ‘drought-proofing soils and areas’, optimal methods of managing rural farms, businesses and communities, and above all the ensuring that whilst partnerships are generally a good thing allowing foreign landgrabs and industry takeovers are simply not in the interests of local, state and national governments OR communities concerned.

Foreign corporations especially have little interest in the economic and social benefits of profiteering investments at the local expense. And paying lip-service to this is not sufficient and  much greater and, as the Rimbanun Hijau case illustrates, effective due diligence is needed on any such deals. Local initiatives are the key to ensuring sustainability for all ‘Northern Australians’ – but also especially First Nations peoples. Funding models and policy measures must support existing farming and other local industries that allow small players to either co-exist with or partner (without being crushed by) any corporate players. Skills that relate to sustainable methods of regenerative or carbon farming using new sciences and technologies (especially practices involving new soil sciences and digital technologies such as Ag data management tools) can motivated the involvement of younger generations and keep them ‘in the bush’ and ‘up North’.  This will also exemplify international trends of a smart workforce using smart technologies and innovative practices to optimise their economic or business activities and also encourage greater sustainability for local communities and industries.

In sum then, as also epitomized by how the Banks have generally failed Northern farmers and businesses, it seems that the policy and funding vision of Northern Australia that have long held sway in Southern capitals have been a large part of the problem. This is  not just of social, economic and community sustainability encouraged at local levels, but the failure of due diligence when it comes to notorious profiteering organisations like Rimbanun Hijau renowned internationally for their money-laundering and other corruption activities but also for human rights abuses and open contempt for people and natural environments in other countries. Therefore any serious investigation of the Australian government’s Northern Australia agenda must also focus on and address this issue.

2. How the TRRA investigation got to the bottom of the crime, corruption and cronyism associated with TCC-Rimbanun-Hijau secret deals with local, state, and even the national government: A failure of due diligence Re: RH’s national ‘major project’ and Qld ‘coordinated state project’ applications to evade regulatory and community scrutiny.

For a year now we have investigated and published damning information but also verifiable evidence about a series of secret meetings and deals from late 2014  between Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill and key Reps for the notorious Rimbanun Hijau (Warwick Powell, Simon Lee, David Wadley, Moya Steele and Sijia Tiong) – linked globally with not just crime and corruption activities and human rights abuses but also great social, environmental, economic and even political destruction wherever they go.  There has been growing support, further confirmation of evidence, and general community recognition of the validity and substance of some very serious complaints and related concerns – not just in Townsville in terms of the role of Mayor Hill and local cronies, but also around Qld with the apparent involvement of state agencies and Qld govt politicians closely linked to both the crooked RH and Townsville council-related corruption.

 In our recent update on Townsville Council/Qld govt-Rimbanun Hijau secret deals linked to a growing list of crime and corruption activities, we did not just expose how internationally notorious Rimbanun Hijau secretly acquired related companies that evolved into the Seafarms Group – but how they did so through deals involving apparent criminal sabotage at Townsville and elsewhere as well as devious deceptions of Australian state and federal governments (with apparent collusion in this by the Townsville Council ) who, amongst other things, were conned into giving Seafarms up to $100 million in Australian taxpayer-funded subsidies, exclusive rights to Crown land, and ‘major project status’ to allow them to bypass the future scrutiny of checks and balances including environmental impact aspects of various kinds.

We also revealed James Cook University (and other research organisations such as QUT and the CSIRO) were likewise fooled into providing Rimbanun Hijau and key Rep Warwick Powell with fake credibility to engineer a massive and complex deception on local, state and national agencies as well as communities . We further traced how these deals were also both directly and linked to the Chinese government’s increasingly scandal-ridden CCCC – revealing how a CCCC Director William Sun was the handler for both the key RH Reps Warwick Powell and Simon Lee. This was in relation not just to their hidden partnerships with RH on secret deals with the Townsville Council and Qld government but also the CCCC’s belt and road strategy to acquire critical infrastructure (including the Townsville Port and Bluewater Airport as well as planned Chinese gated community ‘satellite city’ in Townsville Northern Beaches) and generally threatened Australia’s security and sovereignty. The last 30 odd posts which help to put in summary form the full story of who, what and how we were able to find out .   This recent series of posts which have built on (and basically confirmed) our earlier inquiries and reports. This especially includes our initial report days before the surprise resignation of then Townsville Council CEO Adele Young [We can see, from the redacted documents provided to us by the Council from a recent RTI request, was clearly up to her neck in not just implementing the secret deals but also at least some of the related ‘crime and corruption]. From these initial posts came much additional documentary and witness evidence from members of the local community to generally confirm and further detail the basic truth of our findings. So, the ‘smoking out’ of what we now believe might well be one of the extensive, corrupt and deviously rotten ‘secret deal cases’ in Australian history has certainly been a wonderful demonstration of what a united group of concerned citizens (in this case, Townsville residents and ratepayers) can achieve.

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