The following article was not written by me. It has been collected and stored here so that the truth is held in more than one place.
Money For Nothing
(and your tricks for free)
Story research – @jommy_tee
So we’re back on the farm this month & here’s another great yarn we found.
It’s about the unbelievable luck of one of the Liberal Party’s rising stars, his mysterious business connections in the Cayman Islands & the water we all paid for but never got.
Let’s call him Mr X.
But first let’s go back to 2007 & Howard’s announcement he’d spend $10 billion to buy back water/environmental flows for the #MurrayDarling basin
Now $10 billion is a lot of money, so when some large corporate farm types heard about this, naturally they rubbed their hands.
None more so than the Liberal’s rising star Mr X, who back then was just another mild-mannered white guy from a wealthy farm family.
Back in 2007 he had his fingers in a hell of a lot of pies.
He still does.
Before that though, Mr X worked with consulting firm McKinsey & Co doing multi-million $ projects with another man called Tony Reid.
In fact, our rising star Mr X & Tony Reid were such great mates they started their own company together in 1998.
(Remember this detail)
In 2007/8, our rising star Mr X knew a good business opportunity when he saw it.
He knew farming water & its buybacks were going to be very lucrative.
So when he saw 2 huge farms for sale in southern QLD with millions of $$ of water rights on them, Mr X looked into them.
They even sought input from a senator friend who was based in the region and who knew all about water rights and irrigation because his campaign had largely been financed by them – Barnaby Joyce.
So in late 2007, Mr X & his mates set up a company – we’ll call it Company E.
Company E bought those 2 huge irrigation farms – “Clyde” for $27 million, “Kia Ora” for $61 million.
That’s quite a splurge. You’d want your money back, right?
The problem for poor old Mr X & his Company E was, the farms weren’t as profitable as they thought.
But by now the govt had changed to Labor who decided to do small, strategic buybacks of water for the environment.
Our rising star Mr X offered his spare millions of litres of water to the Labor govt, but the govt said no.
So – they put the 2 farms back on the market.
But there were no takers and by 2010/11, both our massive cotton farms Kia Ora & Clyde were losing about $5-10 million a year.
Despite that, our rising star Mr X was still interested in water & money because he set up another company to buy the big one – Cubbie Station.
We might have forgotten to mention Mr X is very big on setting up companies.
Especially in the Cayman Islands.
Although his position today is a respectable politician who likes to rail against tax avoiders👇🏽- Mr X is strangely fond of the Caymans for himself & his friends.
But by 2012 Mr X’s mind was on other things and he’d decided that politics was his game.
He began to donate a lot of money to the Liberal Party.
By a strange coincidence, there was also another donation to his campaign for the NSW Libs that year.
It came from a business in the QLD National Party seat of Maranoa.
Strange you say?
Yes because the $55,000 (1 x $20K + 1 x $35K) donation came from Company E, which in 2011 had welcomed a new Director – our old mate Tony Reid.
Lucky Mr X hey?
So Mr X gets himself elected to the House of Reps & as luck would have it, so does Mr X’s friend Barnaby Joyce.
Barnaby’s a rising star too.
In the meantime, Company E’s still struggling with Clyde & Kia Ora & they’ve again offered their massive water holdings for buybacks.
But the Environment Minister Greg Hunt says no.
You could forgive Hunt for being a bit confused because the Liberals are about to be riven by leadership disputes.
Come 2015 & Abbott is rolled for Turnbull. As part of the spoils, Barnaby is Minister for . . .
Now Barnaby Joyce has always roared his opposition to water buy-backs.
He claims they ruin rural communities and make small families destitute.
Here’s Barnaby on the record in 2008 railing against a federal govt $24 million buyback.
No. Water. Buybacks.
And again in Senate Estimates in 2011 verballing Penny Wong about her evil ways of buying back water for the environment.
So we’ve established well & truly Barnaby hates & detests water buybacks for the environment
Barnaby does not believe in them
It’s a well known fact
Meanwhile, Company E’s 2 farms Clyde & Kia Ora are bleeding money
Their debts to their Caymans parent company are almost $80 million. Gobsmacking right?
And in an astonishing about-face, Barnaby the Water Minister suddenly discovers he likes water buybacks after all
Suddenly, it’s Barnaby of the Overflow.
Barnaby’s people – without any tender – inexplicably start to deal with people working on behalf of Company E.
You remember Tony Reid?
Tony is now working as an advisor to Company E for the sale of the multi-million dollar water.
Yes, while Mr X’s mate Tony is negotiating with the federal government, Mr X’s mate Tony is also still happily running a company with Mr X – who is now a Minister in the federal government.
How very fortunate.
That’s not the only stench
Shonky consultants give shonky advice (they all worked in the same office) & the govt’s own department ABARE states the water is virtually worthless – as it doesnt really exist
The “water” Company E is selling, is flood water
It’s water that only gets trapped on farms in a flood every 10 years or so.
But Barnaby thinks it’s the greatest deal ever.
Despite the water being non-existent & despite it only being valued at $1200-1500 a megalitre (I million litres), Barnaby pays $2750 a meg.
So just to recap:
Back to poor old Company E
They’d fallen to an after-tax loss of $13.19m in 2017, a fall from its loss of $7.14m in 2016
The company was saddled with net current liabilities that included convertible notes of $69.484m & a promissory note of $11m due to its parent company.
So – Company E’s debt was over $80 million.
But by 2017, the Water Minister’s purchase of water-that-didn’t-exist luckily came through.
And the final amount Barnaby Joyce paid for that fake water purchase from Company E?
How lucky was Company E?
Its Cayman’s directors must have been delighted because not only did they get money for water that didn’t exist, they also didn’t fully demolish the farm dams that trapped the flood water.
So they can still trap water again
All $80 million of it
And the best part is, Company E – could now pay out its parent company (No tax on the earnings. Such luck)
That parent company by the way is called Eastern Australia Irrigation Ltd.
It has a complex set up & share holders & naturally, it’s registered in the Cayman Islands.
Who started Eastern Australia Irrigation Ltd though?
How did this company get to be so fortunate with million $ water sales?
Its founder is touted as a future Prime Minister, dislikes wind farms, loves coal mines & it would appear – money from strange places.
The co-founder & original director of Eastern Australia Irrigation Ltd is the very same man who also coincidentally started Company E.
Twitter – meet Mr X.
This thread was a team effort. It was compiled from research conducted predominantly by @jommy_tee and myself (to a lesser extent) and an anonymous insider whistleblower.
Media or general enquiries to @jommy_tee
It has been pointed out to us that some of the technical data on this thread was compiled by Maryanne Slattery of The Australia Institute. I was not aware of this report when we started, but as you will see on reading, there is some amazing work in it. >
Sorry – Maryanne can be contacted on twitter at @MaryanneSlatte1 for any media enquiries or research data.
Again, I am publishing this twitter thread because I feel it is important and has already been censored at least once and it has cost a respected young journalist her Twitter membership.
Hopefully this will remain here and I will not be a victim of censorship. Spreading this as widely as possible will help keep the information in the public domain.