Are we prepared to pay Beijing’s high price for prosperity?


When the Australian journalist’s phone lit up she didn’t recognise the number but the country code was clear – it was coming from her homeland, China.

On the other end of the line was a woman who did not identify herself. She politely asked the journalist to come home to discuss a series the writer had penned, in English and Mandarin, on the Falun Gong.

Political parties targeted in cyber attack

Political parties targeted in cyber attack

'Word are no longer enough': church child abuse in spotlight

Political parties targeted in cyber attack

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Political parties targeted in cyber attack

The computer servers of Australia’s major political parties have been hit by a cyber-attack with a “sophisticated state actor” suspected to be behind the plot, says the prime minister.

“I have no plans to return to China,” the journalist said.

The woman then detailed the journalist’s mother’s name and address in China and ended the call by saying that she looked forward to their conversation next time the writer was on the mainland.


The threat was unmistakable. It is just one of many stories too hard to tell in full because the journalist is terrified that the danger to her family is all too real.

Who could blame her? The evidence that Beijing is prepared to punish external criticism is everywhere.

Illustration: Andrew Dyson
Illustration: Andrew DysonCREDIT:

Just weeks ago Chinese-born Australian writer Yang Hengjun was arrested on a trip to his homeland. His crime is “endangering China’s national security”. He is being held in a secret prison without charge and denied access to lawyers and his family.

Two Canadians have been detained in the wake of that country’s role in holding an executive from Chinese tech-giant Huawei, while she awaits extradition to the United States. Happily, Meng Wanzhou is staying at one of her two Vancouver mansions and has the money to pay Canada’s best silks to contest her case in a transparent legal system.

The Swedish ambassador to China, Anna Lindstedt, has been recalled because of her breathtaking intervention in the bizarre case of Swedish-Chinese bookseller, Gui Minhai, who was snatched from Thailand in 2015. The defrocked ambassador stands accused of conspiring with two Chinese businessmen to buy the silence of Gui’s daughter Angela, in return for a shorter sentence.

Fear has become the Chinese Communist Party’s major export as it spreads the worldwide reach of its totalitarian regime. New Zealand is the latest nation to feel its wrath for daring to lock Huawei out of its 5G rollout.

Yang Hengjun is being held in a secret prison without charge and denied access to lawyers and his family.
Yang Hengjun is being held in a secret prison without charge and denied access to lawyers and his family.CREDIT:SANGHEE LIU

Australia is enjoying a brief thaw after a year in the deep freeze. Here Beijing’s ire was driven in no small part by its belief that this country’s media, and some of its political and security class, alerted the world to a new reality, its exercise of “sharp power”.

Over the last three years a group of journalists from almost all major Australian media organisations has worked to shine a light on the Chinese Communist Party’s use of sharp power inside our borders.

We have detailed Communist Party-linked political donations; the eminent Australians on the books of China’s private and state owned companies; Beijing’s near total control of all Mandarin language media here; and, its determined attempts to co-opt local Chinese community organisations.

We have shone a light on a university sector so addicted to full-fee-paying student cash that it has sacrificed academic standards and compromised open debate.

And we have detailed Beijing’s relentless attacks on private and public computer networks.

On Monday the Prime Minister confirmed that a “state actor” was behind a cyber strike on Parliament and the three major parties. This is an astounding assault on our democracy.

Intelligence officials can’t yet say which country is responsible but only a handful of nations are capable of launching such a sophisticated attack. The reason China is at the top of the list of suspects is partly due to methods and partly down to form.

Beijing’s cyber warriors were behind the last attack on Parliament in 2011 and the one that forced a multimillion-dollar retooling of the Bureau of Meteorology in 2015. Last year the ANU’s computer system was utterly compromised. In a rare move the Five Eyes security alliance of Western nations united in December to name China as guilty of industrial-scale intellectual property theft.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is accused by the United States of both bank fraud and wire fraud. She is under house arrest and wears a GPS monitor.
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is accused by the United States of both bank fraud and wire fraud. She is under house arrest and wears a GPS monitor.CREDIT:DARRYL DYCK

As the Australian government moved to plug some of the holes in its defences last year withforeign interference laws, the rest of the Western world watched.

And when each nation looked inside its own borders they saw a similar pattern of behaviour by Beijing. Delegations from like-minded nations began turning up in Canberra to learn from our experience.

There is now a Washington consensus on China that transcends Donald Trump. The one idea that now unites Republicans and Democrats and all the agencies of defence, intelligence and state is that China is America’s main strategic threat.

A new great game is afoot as an old superpower fades and another rises on our doorstep. China has every right to shape the 21st century but Australia should understand that the values of the new power are very different from the old.

Beijing’s opening demand for the price of its investment in our prosperity is our silence. That will include actively suppressing criticism inside our borders and allowing a foreign power to police a Chinese diaspora it sees as its own.

Are we prepared to give them that?


Chris Uhlmann is the political editor of Nine News.

Chinese investment in Australian real estate has tumbled again.

USA now main source Australia’s foreign investment, but China dominates real estate



Fire quickly too hold at the Neo200 tower on February 4.

Fire quickly too hold at the Neo200 tower on February 4.CREDIT:JASON SOUTH


Balconies cluttered with combustible materials and air-conditions covered at neighbouring building to the Neo200 fire building. Picture: Jason Edwards

Balconies cluttered with combustible materials and air-conditioners covered at neighbouring building to the Neo200 fire building. Picture: Jason EdwardsSource:News Corp Australia


ALERT!  OWNERS of buildings which have external combustible cladding need register their building with the NSW Government by 22 February 2019;  or if a new building (built after 22 October 2018) to register within four months of the building first being occupied.

 This follows on from the “New Combustible Cladding Regulations to commence in New South Wales”: October 2018

 AT CAAN we note that nothing has changed …the developer buckpassing continues with the onus placed back on Owners to be stung by huge costs, and embroiled in legal battles because the flammable cladding must now be removed.

Currently consumers have more rights when they buy a toaster than an apartment!

READ ON … because we have a * suggestion to make!

VIEW Reports from Corrs Chambers Westgarth and NSW Department of Planning Regulations


 These clad buildings include:

 -any residential apartment block or other types of residential buildings where people sleep, e.g.
.hotels, boarding houses, backpackers, student accommodation
.aged-care facilities, hospitals and day surgeries and associated single dwellings
.public assembly buildings (e.g theatres, cinemas, schools and churches, and associated single dwellings within the facility.

The regulations apply to any of the above buildings which have ‘external combustible cladding (including the roof) made of metal composite panels.

This includes products that consist of aluminum, zinc, or copper outer layers and a core material; or insulated cladding systems including systems comprised of polystyrene, polyurethane, and polyisocyanurate’.

Concurrent with the new Regulations, changes have been made to State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPS) to reduce ‘the risk of non–compliant, combustible cladding being installed on buildings without any independent expert assessment or approval by an accredited certifier or the local council’.





The onus should be borne by those responsible …


-Developers employed all professionals, trades, suppliers and labour to build their projects!

In the event such companies avoid their responsibilities the Government should take measures to ensure they not re-enter the construction industry, and that the Government ensures the funds are there for these Home Owners!


AS recently as 16 February 2019 CAAN shared this report with you!  It’s not right!




Hundreds of Australian homes covered in combustible cladding but few residents can afford to fix them – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

CANNOT believe it has got to this point, but then again we should not be surprised …

-let’s face it governments and the bureaucrats seem to have been at lunch when it comes to the safety of some building products

-once upon a time our building products had to be tested and certified






sutherland shire council logo

Business Paper

Shire Strategic Planning Committee
Monday, 4 February 2019

Meeting will commence at the conclusion of the
Extrordinary Council Meeting.
Council Chambers,
Level 2, Administration Building,
4-20 Eton Street, Sutherland


CAAN:  We found over some 3 pages of the report it lists what other Sydney Councils are up to!

Other Sydney Councils’ Response to the Code:

In response to the Code, other councils continue to seek amendments to ameliorate the impacts of the Code, including:

 an exemption to the Code (permanent or temporary until a housing strategy is done) or

 amendments to ensure consistency with LEP standards, or

 reductions in the zones where medium density is permitted, or

 all three of the above options.

Most councils have been advised that amendments to the Code were not supported, however, some councils are continuing to pursue this. Some councils have also sought minimum lot size provisions for dual occupancy and medium density development as part of their solution.

All councils seeking an LEP amendments have been required to provide additional evidence to obtain a Gateway Determination or permission to exhibit their draft plan. councils had to demonstrate:

 how the council is meeting the housing targets of the District Plans, and

 the type of housing being approved, including dual occupancy and multi dwelling development,


 the number of lots that are/would be subject to the code, and

 the total area zoned for such development.

(See information relating to Sutherland Shire above)

The following councils have requested exemption or permanent deferral from the Code and the following amendments to their plans:

 Ryde Council has a 2 year exemption until a housing strategy is endorsed.

 Mosman Council has been granted a three year exemption to the Code for Mosman’s foreshore slopes, and is working on amendments to strengthen their Local Environmental Plan.

 Lane Cove Council, in December 2018, commenced exhibition of a plan to prohibit multi dwelling development in the R2 zone. The plan affects 2,565 lots in the R2 zone. The exhibition closes in February.

 Northern Beaches Council (Pittwater) is about to exhibit a plan prohibiting multi dwelling/manor house development from the R2 and R3 zones and prohibit dual occupancy development from the R2 zone.

 Georges River Council is awaiting Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) approval to exhibit a plan prohibiting multi dwelling/manor house from the R2 zone and prohibit dual occupancy development (unless approved by Council) in the R2 zone.

 Canterbury Bankstown Council is awaiting DPE approval to exhibit a plan prohibiting multi dwelling development/Manor Houses from the R2 zone, and limit dual occupancy development to the LEP provisions.

Councils have questioned how Ryde Council was granted a further exemption and are seeking a similar exemption while they prepare housing strategies.










How a soldier of fortune landed a $423 million Manus Island contract

By Angus GriggLisa Murrayand Jonathan Shapiro

Feb 15, 2019

As diplomats and aid workers fled East Timor in 2006, a former Australian soldier landed in the capital, Dili, looking to profit from the chaos.

The world’s newest nation had descended into a low-level conflict zone of rock throwing and street battles, all of which presented an opportunity for the newly discharged Craig Thrupp.

The then baby-faced 25-year-old was looking to get into the security business and could often be found at the Castaway Bar on the Dili waterfront trawling for opportunities.

“He was always around, not just at the Castaway but at every expat function,” says one person who remembers Thrupp from Dili.

“He was very driven, always looking for an angle and I suspect had bigger plans for himself.”

Those plans would largely go unfulfilled for the next decade, as Thrupp bounced from low-level opportunities in East Timor to Indonesia and more recently Papua New Guinea, often leaving a trail of bad debts and unfulfilled contracts.

But his luck would change in early 2017 when the multinational giant Broadspectrum (previously Transfield), under pressure from activists, gave up its lucrative refugee processing contracts on Nauru and Manus Island.

This was Thrupp’s opportunity and one he would exploit fully with his business partner, Ian Stewart.

Their Paladin Group had been a small subcontractor on Manus, providing some security and cleaning services for the respite centre, which housed 60 people. Its contract was estimated by competitors to be worth around $15 million a year.

From that modest position in the world of crisis capitalism, Paladin would be invited by the Department of Home Affairs to participate in a “limited tender”, which in most cases means there were no other bidders.

Lack of expertise

That saw Paladin, despite its lack of capacity, expertise or track record in the sector, appointed as the government’s main service provider on the island, becoming the recipient of contracts worth $423 million over 22 months.

Exactly how Paladin came to receive such a substantial slice of government business will be the subject of intense scrutiny in Senate Estimates hearings next week.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton distanced himself from the growing scandal three times during the week, while hinting it was not easy to find a company willing to take on the contract.

“I’ve seen this criticism before in relation to closed contracts,” he told Sky News.

“There are very few people who can deliver services in the middle of nowhere on an island that is so remote.”

That is not how those in PNG see the operating environment. One contractor, who spoke to AFR Weekend, says there were a number of consortiums eyeing off the Broadspectrum contract and waiting for Home Affairs to open up the tender process.

“There were lots of people pissed off they didn’t get a shot at that contract,” says the person, who asked not to be named.

Their annoyance was magnified by a view Paladin was ill-equipped to provide the required services, a position shared by the company’s former chief executive Craig Coleman.

In court documents filed as part of an employment dispute with Paladin, Coleman claims just three weeks before being awarded the contract in September 2017 Paladin was “not well prepared to perform the role provided for under the Proposal”.

“Paladin did not have the corporate structure, human and other resources or processes that would permit it … to perform the roles required under the proposal,” he alleged.

Those assertions will be tested before a judge later this year. Paladin will not comment on the case and has refused to respond to queries about the Manus contract.

Home Affairs has also been silent, saying it has “nothing further to add”, after admitting earlier in the week it was aware of allegations made against Paladin in court documents filed by Coleman.

The former Paladin chief executive alleged the company had lied during the tender process, made questionable payments and acted in a deceptive manner.

Despite knowing of these allegations, Home Affairs extended Paladin’s contract on January 3 and awarded it an extra $109 million, taking the total value of its contracts to $423 million.

As the scandal moves into its second week the issue of offshore processing is once again threatening to overshadow the broader bilateral relationship with PNG, according to Jonathan Pryke from the Lowy Institute.

“We do whatever necessary to keep the facilities open,” he says.

Aspirational power

Pryke says Australia’s reliance on PNG for offshore processing of refugees has changed the balance in the relationship, at a time when China has emerged as an aspirational power in the Pacific.

“The issue has upset the status quo in the relationship. PNG has a lot more influence in the relationship now and it has been driven by Manus Island,” he says.

“We do treat the relationship very timidly. We aren’t overly critical and I think the Manus Island facility contributes to that, as does China’s emergence as a viable alternative partner for PNG.”

Dutton has hinted previously that such larger geopolitical considerations were partly behind the department’s refusal to provide more information around the Manus contracts.

He says releasing the full contracts would “cause damage to Australia’s international relations with Papua New Guinea”.

Labor and crossbench MPs are determined to challenge the government.

“The Paladin contracts, and the unexplained increases, yet again raise serious questions about lack of probity and due diligence inside Home Affairs,” says Greens senator Nick McKim.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that a shonky operator like Paladin is raking in the millions while comprehensively failing to provide even the most basic support for many hundreds of vulnerable refugees.”

Such rhetoric is only going to get stronger during estimates.










THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia’s biggest scandals



From a wider political, economic and sociological perspective, the Paladin Affair is yet another symbol of the moral malaise the modern liberal nation-state finds itself in. No longer able to foist colonialist attitudes in the open, it must be done under the cover of darkness.

In this case, we have a front group of people highly connected with the nation’s military and political elites who have created a channel to illegally transfer resources from the Australian public while helping imprison some of the world’s most vulnerable people, all of whom have not committed a crime by seeking safe refuge.

Quite simply, the level of greed and lack of basic ethics is astounding. The bodies of asylum seekers, many of them Muslim, are being used as a political cash cow. People are literally dying as capital flows from Australia and then eventually to the locked bank accounts of Switzerland and various tax havens belonging to the already wealthy and powerful.

But at its heart, the Paladin Affair is a simple story of bribery and money laundering. And for that, we can only hope the Australian public seeks some sort of justice soon for the hundreds of millions swindled in their name.

Not many people like thieving criminals. Especially political ones.




THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia’s biggest scandals

EXCLUSIVE: Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars missing. Bribes. Money Laundering. Mercenaries, Military, Militias. Gina Rinehart’s dead family bodyguard. Swiss bank accounts. Senior politicians and officials in both Australia and PNG involved, or turning a blind eye for years.

While one thousand refugees remain trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare. That’s the cost of doing business on Manus Island. Thanks to this terminal Federal Government and Peter Dutton’s shady Paladin. Serkan Ozturk with this deep investigation.

It’s the fast-moving fiasco that could arguably become one of the greatest political and military scandals in Australian history. Regardless, it will go down as yet another deep, dark stain on this country’s failure to provide adequately for the vulnerable. In a special forensic investigation, True Crime News Weekly will help join the dots of what has already become known as the #PaladinAffair. The widening scandal could very well be the final nail in the coffin for Scott Morrison’s deeply unpopular government, as well as perhaps leading to the end of a few careers, starting with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Our investigation will show how a privatised quasi-version of the ADF with links to controversial and maligned mercenary groups such as Blackwater and Sandline International is – along with senior levels of the Australian Government – highly involved in the bribery of foreign officials as well as the laundering of hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars meant to provide basic services for refugees.


Over the space of the last two years, the Federal Government under the direction of Peter Dutton’s Home Affairs ministerial superagency has quietly awarded almost half-a-billion dollars worth of contracts without tender to one small company led by a man with a string of bad businesses and unpaid debts. The beneficiary has been the little-known Paladin Group. $423 million has been handed over to the private security contracting firm to provide security and other services at the Manus Island detention centre for asylum seekers. They even got a generous helping hand to get things going, with the thinly capitalised company given $10 million from the public purse as Paladin didn’t have any funds itself. For the first five months of the deal, Paladin were operating without a contract for five months. Instead, they just had a letter of intent.

Almost $110 million of taxpayers funds was given to Paladin on January 3 just after the New Year despite the Federal Government being aware of a serious legal case launched against two of its directors alleging deceptive practices. Meanwhile, one of Paladin’s directors has been banned from entering PNG. While another was arrested just a fortnight ago for his involvement in fraud and money laundering. A former senior employee alleges large “ex-gratia payments” are being made by the company, and that it also lacks the resources to actually fulfil the government’s contract. Before greater media scrutiny over the past few days forced the company into some hasty moves, Paladin’s registered principal place of business was an isolated beach shack on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, with no phone number or mailing address listed. The beach shack remains the company’s registered address.


An investigation by The Australian Financial Review has found Paladin is likely receiving more than $20 million a month from Dutton’s ministry, despite experts estimating the true cost to provide the required services being closer to $3 million each month. That means a clean $17 million each month is basically unaccounted for. Over 18 months, that’s hundreds of millions of dollars. Where is all that money going to?

Paladin is contracted to provide security, as well as some maintenance, IT services and local transport at the East Lorengau Transit Centre, Hillside Haus and the West Lorengau camp. Local guards working at the detention centre are believed to be getting paid only two dollars an hour. Vehicles are said to be run down. And there’s little fancy technology to speak of. Asylum seeker activists, such as Sarah Ruby and Amanda Perram, have been publicly voicing their concerns about the dubious contracts given to Paladin since 2017.

With the PNG Supreme Court ruling the detention centre on Manus Island was unconstitutionalin April 2016, it made the few large and ‘reputable’ companies involved in the disreputable business of imprisoning asylum seekers fearful of getting involved due to fears of massive law suits. It was largely for this reason that Broadspectrum announced at the time it would not not extend its contract to run the centre after it expired in mid-2017. Its new Spanish owners, Ferrovial, did not want to risk future law suits from hundreds of refugees. For instance, despite providing services for Australia’s onshore immigration detention facilities, UK-based giant Serco has committed not to get involved again in Australia’s offshore facilities. But the PNG Supreme Court’s ruling provided a sly opportunity. An opportunity that politicians, military types and their coterie were only too happy to take advantage of. A quick buck’s a quick buck. Even what loot is grossly engineered off the backs of refugees escaping persecution.


Paladin Aus Pty Ltd (formerly known as Paladin Group Pty Ltd, and briefly High Risk Security Group (Asia Pacific) Pty Ltd is wholly owned by Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd, registered in Singapore. According to ASIC, they were notified of this change on 12 Feb 2019.

Prior to this, Paladin Aus was wholly owned by Paladin Group Limited, registered in Hong Kong.  ASIC was notified that Paladin Group Limited had acquired the issued shares in Paladin Aus from the sole and beneficial owner, Craig Ross Thrupp, on 19 November, 2013.

Thrupp, 38, is a former ADF soldier who served in East Timor. For the past few months, Thrupp has been banned from entering PNG. The reasons for his ban are unclear. It has been reportedthat Thrupp has “left a string of bad debts and failed contracts across Asia”. Questions have been raised as to how someone with his business history passed probity and background checks which are supposed to form a large part of government procurements and contracts.

Along with Thrupp, Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd’s directors are the British-born Ian Duncan Stewart; Birgitta Hildegard von Dresky, a lawyer based in Singapore with the German law firm Luther; and (Ian) Ng Fook Yun, a Singaporean lawyer with a small practice called INC Law LLC. Mr Yun also serves as the secretary of a business called DEALGURU Holdings Pte Ltd.

Von Dresky is a Swiss born lawyer who describes her area of expertise as mainly advising German and Swiss clients in relation to “the proper structuring of their business, financial and fiscal affairs” both in Singapore and elsewhere.

“Typically, this would include advice and guidance on M&A, Venture Capital, Private Equity, the setting up of corporate structures for the region, corporate restructuring, as well as drafting and negotiating the relevant contracts,” Von Dresky states on her bio.

She became a partner of Luther in 2008.

Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd’s shareholders are Stewart, 41, and Thrupp.

Stewart owns one of the company’s former principal place of business at 9 Torrens Street, Gilberton, South Australia with an individual by the name of Talei Anne Stewart. She holds a Masters in Psychology from Adelaide University. True Crime News Weekly suspects it could be his wife. It is likely the now-infamous beach shack on Kangaroo Island with no phone number or post box that was listed as Paladin’s head office in Australia is linked to the Stewarts as well.

THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia's biggest scandals

Former Paladin Solutions PNG CEO: Craig Coleman (Image: Axinto)

Craig Coleman, a former Australian Army major who served in Iraq as a bomb disposal expert, became the CEO of Paladin Solutions PNG in about mid-2017 just as the company received its first massive contract for Manus Island from Dutton. He was sacked in January 2018, only a few months into the job after he raised concerns over a number of issues involving Paladin’s operations, including claims of deceptive conduct, bullying and a lack of preparedness and resources. In July of last year, Coleman launched legal proceedings in the Federal Court against Thrupp and Stewart, and is suing them for breach of contract for his sacking.



Before his short-lived stint with Paladin, Coleman was the CEO of an outfit called Professional Service Solutions (PSS). In June 2014, it was reported that an employee of Coleman’s, a woman by the name of Marnie Tisot, has been caught out spying on a group of anti-coal activists.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s report at the time, it was claimed that “using false identities, the spies-for-hire have attempted to penetrate the inner sanctum of a group of environmentalists and local landowners who have vigorously attempted to stop the coalmines at Maules Creek and Boggabri”.

Coleman denied his company had anything to do with the spying, saying that Tisot did it “in a personal capacity”.

“This has nothing to do with PSS,” he told the Herald. “I have confidentiality agreements with my staff and I’m sure whatever ops they had down at Maules Creek also had confidentiality agreements as well.”

THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia's biggest scandals

Arrested for fraud and money laundering: Paladin director Kisokau Powaseu (Image: Facebook / Supplied)

Another senior employee of Paladin involved in a court battle – this one, of the criminal variety – is local PNG director Kisokau Powaseu. On January 31, he was arrested and charged with 109 counts of fraud as well as money laundering. A former 20-year veteran of PNG’s Armed Forces, the charges relate to the 58-year-old’s “purported involvement in the misapplication of Commercial Support Program Funds belonging to the defence force between 2008 and 2011.” Powaseu’s family have been linked in business with Thrupp and Stewart since at least 2015.

RELATED: AU PAIR, OH BOY! Peter Dutton now embroiled in “young Asian women” sex worker scandal involving disgraced mayor Paul Pisasale as nation wonders “what’s the go with the au pairs”

Others connected to Paladin include Canberra consultant David Mayo and former ADF infantry officer, James Kiwi. Mayo has previously worked at Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence Services. The pair were involved with a company called Dreamtime Indigenous Services that has ties to Paladin through its share ownership. Kiwi’s LinkedIn account seems to have been shut down very recently, while his presence was removed from the company’s website in recent days. However, his bio can still be accessed through a ZoomInfo page.

Another notable employee of Paladin seems to be a certain Brisbane-based Karen Dutton. She too has deleted her LinkedIn account in the past few days. Rumours have been raised as to whether she may be a relative of the Home Affairs Minister. She had previously been employed by Broadspectrum and before that was a teacher with Queensland’s Education Department. True Crime News Weekly could not ascertain her identity and whether she is a familial relation to Peter Dutton before she switched off her LinkedIn profile.

Finally, we have a certain Lawrence Kedea. According to his LinkedIn profile, Kedea is a Paladin employee having previously been linked to Black Swan, a local PNG security provider. Black Swan was purchased by Paladin in July of last year for an undisclosed sum. There have long been rumours that Black Swan operates as PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neil’s private militia.

Of even deeper concern are two notorious mercenary outfits with a controversial history for whom Kedea has seemingly worked for: Sandline International and Blackwater.

Sandline International was a private military company based in London. In 1997 it made headlines around the world after getting itself involved in a political scandal in PNG that resulted in rioting, looting and almost a military coup. Local members of the military had become upset the PNG Government was using and handsomely paying foreign mercenaries in their battle against separatists in Bouganville. The political scandal became known as the Sandline Affair.

THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia's biggest scandals

Kedea also has experience working for Blackwater – perhaps the most notorious private military company in recent decades. Many observers view Blackwater as a mercenary force. The author Jeremy Scahill has likened the mercenary group to a “Praetorian Guard, protecting top authority figures and enjoying immunity from the usual constraints and regulations on traditional armies”.

Paladin Aus has two registered business names: Security Risk Australia and Greater Monaro ECM. Its current registered office is care of Addept, a small accounting firm.

United Overseas Bank has registered an all monies charge over Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd, which suggests that it has lent money to Paladin Holdings. But it’s not clear why, since Paladin is clearly in receipt of significant funds.

True Crime News Weekly believes that Swiss bank accounts or similar trusts are receiving monies out of Paladin Holdings with money then being fed back to the ultimate beneficiaries, whoever they may be, through arm’s length third party companies.

THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia's biggest scandals


David Saul is an intelligent man.

A graduate of one of the country’s most academically gifted schools in Melbourne High, he holds a BA (Hons) in History and Economics from the University of NSW, as well as a Master of Defence Studies and an MBA. From 2006 until 2010 he held a number of senior positions with the Australian Defence Force. He was the Commander of a heavy logistics and medical brigade numbering some 2,500 Army personnel. Then, for almost two years he was the ADF’s Director General for Strategic Logistics. Judging by his biography and his accomplishments, Saul sounds like a man who knows what’s he doing, and how to do it.

In an article for the Australian Army Journal in 2007 titled
‘Hardened, Networked … and Commercially capable: Army and contractor support on operations’ Saul largely sang the praises of using private contractors alongside the ADF in military operations. However, using the Iraq War as an example, he could see how serious problems could develop in the field:

“Difficulties in securing contracted support in Iraq occurred in various situations, including when services needed to be expanded or replicated in different locations quickly, specifically in less than ninety days,” Saul wrote 12 years ago.

“When local providers were involved and these contractors were subjected to intimidation, including death threats and kidnappings, the provision of services such as tentage or a labour force was unreliable or non-existent. Only one or two companies bid for contracted work outside well-established bases and this resulted in grossly inflated costs and often left no mechanism to compare proposed costs. Further to this, unscrupulous contractors took advantage of poor contract management and failed to perform the contracted services.”

After reading those words, it may then come as a surprise for some to learn that he is the current CEO of Paladin: the shady private security company with deep links to the ADF and the governments of both Australia and PNG that’s now making headlines after being given almost half-a-billion dollars without tender to ‘look after’ refugees still languishing on Manus Island.

His job as Paladin’s CEO is a position that Saul seemingly doesn’t really want anyone to know about though. He’s nowhere to be seen on any of the websites linked to Paladin. On his LinkedIn page, Saul cleverly lists his current occupation only as a “Senior Executive at Private Risk, Security and Support Services Company”. Which according to his bio, he began in August 2018.

The only hint of Saul possibly being linked to the controversial Paladin comes from a Zoom Info page. Right at the top. He’s listed as CEO. It’s a somewhat solid though tenuous link. It could be outdated. It could be wrong, or completely made up. However, thanks to a photo-happy diplomat True Crime News Weekly can provide some evidence of much greater consequence.

Just a few weeks ago, in late January, Saul so happened to be in the nation’s capital, Canberra. He was visiting PNG’s Acting High Commissioner, Sakias Tomeo. What they may have talked about, one does wonder, but a photo exists which captures the two in a handshake. Tomeo even posted it on Facebook, with the following caption: “Acting High Commissioner Tameo with CEO of PALADIN, Mr David Saul at the PNG High Commission this morning”.

The next post to feature on Tameo’s Facebook page is a photo with Prime Minister Minister Scott Morrison on Australia Day.

THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia's biggest scandals


Jeremiah John Rouwhorst was in East Timor just a year after the 2006 East Timorese Crisiswhich almost saw a military coup take place. And he became a hero there. It was the afternoon of May 20, 2007. Rouwhorst was surrounded by a crowd of almost 200 people baying for blood near the World Bank building in the country’s impoverished capital of Dili. A riot broke out. Police officers were attacked and vehicles smashed. The incident has since been described as follows:

“As events intensified, a man was hit by stones and knocked unconscious. While he lay defenceless on the ground, rioters continued to attack him with sticks and rocks. Witnessing the callous act, Mr Rouwhorst left the safety of the Bank and tried to drag the victim into the bank compound. While dragging the victim into the compound he came under heavy attack. Once inside Mr Rouwhorst began administering first aid to the victim but was forced to retreat deeper into the compound to shelter from the barrage of stones. Realising the victim required hospital treatment, Mr Rouwhorst placed the man in a bank vehicle, and as they headed out into the crowd of rioters to drive to hospital, their windows were smashed in a sustained attack.”

The man would later die in hospital from his wounds. Rouwhorst would eventually, in 2014, be awarded a bravery medal by Australia’s Governor-General. But just two days later at the age of 35, he too would be dead.

It is believed Rouwhorst was in East Timor working as a private security contractor having a few years earlier left the SAS. There is scant information about him.

RELATED: “I STOPPED THESE”! NO YOU DIDN’T! How Scott Morrison’s campaign to ‘turn back the boats’ actually destroyed Aussie ships & almost saw sailors die

It is possible he had dealings with former soldier and future Paladin director, Craig Thrupp, who had arrived in East Timor in 2006 looking to make profit from the chaos on the streets.

In any case, after East Timor and his display of heroics, the Tasmanian-born special forces soldier would soon score work as a private security guard for the Australian ambassador in Afghanistan and Iraq.

THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia's biggest scandals

Australia’s richest person: Mining magnate Gina Rinehart who is closely linked to a director of Paladin who died in strange circumstances in 2014 but was kept on as a company representative for over a year (Image: Wikipedia)

By March 2013, he would end up taking a job as a bodyguard for the family of mining billionaire Gina Rinehart: Australia’s richest person, one of the richest women in the world, and believed to be one of the principal funders of conservative causes in the nation.

Rouwhorst’s main responsibility was to be deployed as the bodyguard for Rinehart’s youngest and perhaps favourite daughter, Ginia. During Rinehart’s well-publicised, ongoing bitter disputewith her own children regarding a billion dollar trust, Ginia was the only one who took her mother’s side from the very beginning.

According to a News Corp article a little after his death, Rouwhorst and Ginia were described as “inseparable” by one source who was said to be a “Rinehart insider”. The source was also quoted at the time saying:

“He joined her at parties and gatherings where there was absolutely no imminent threat to her personal safety,” the source told News Corp.

“When she would nip from one room to the next, he would be right with her.”

Rouwhorst died on March 19, 2014, three days after being found naked and unconscious in a room at the five-star Dorchester Hotel. Ginia was the first person to find him after going to his room at about midday, concerned by a text message he had sent. It has been reported that Rouwhorst had tried hanging himself. He had been residing in a suite next to Ginia’s for three months. His death came less than a day after throwing a party for Ginia ahead of her return to Australia, and just two days after the bravery award. A police officer who attended the scene said Ginia was “obviously very distressed and at one point she even collapsed in the hotel corridor”.

THE DARK KNIGHTS OF PALADIN! Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering & the Minister responsible for one of Australia's biggest scandals

Bodyguard and deceased Paladin director, Jerry Rouwhorst (Image: News Corp)

A Coroner’s Court in London heard that the “professional” Rouwhorst had for some reason consumed an “uncharacteristic” amount of alcohol on the night of the party. Apparently “ashamed” and “disgraced” about his behaviour, at just before 10.30am on March 16, the morning after the party, Rouwhorst send a text message to his client saying he would be resigning from his position as her bodyguard. Ginia told the coroner’s court she had been sleeping from 8am until about midday after Rouwhorst had picked her up from a friend’s place in the posh neighbourhood of Chelsea.

The inquest into Rouwhorst’s death returned an open verdict.

“It is possible he sent the text message as a possible cry for help and was hoping to be found. I cannot be sure he wanted to kill himself,” Assistant Coroner Shirley Radcliffe ruled.

“One thinks that this may have been an impulsive gesture whilst under the influence of alcohol. He was devastated at having lost an element of his professionalism the night before.

“This may have been suicide, I cannot be sure. It may have been an accident, I cannot be sure.”

A bit over two years later, Ginia would end up marrying another member of her bodyguard team – former SAS soldier Simon Robinson. At the wedding was Fairfax Media director Jack Cowin, media millionaire John Singleton, as well as the now disgraced former Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce. It was to Joyce whom Rinehart infamously awarded an oversized cheque worth $40,000 in November 2017. The man now known as “The Bonking Beetroot” initially accepted his master’s prize before sobering up the next morning and realising it kind of put his corruption on full display.

The tale of Rouwhorst is a tragic one. It’s also gravely mysterious. From June 2009 until August 2015, Rouwhorst was listed alongside Thrupp as a director of Paladin Group Limited. His directorship and connection with Paladin stayed alive over a year longer than he did. Dead men tell no tales though so we can not question Rouwhorst on how this ghoulish feat was managed. Thrupp remains the sole director of the existing company.


Manus Island is of course part of the Federal Government’s suite of punishing measures for asylum seekers who dare attempt to come to Australia by boat. From 2013 onwards, under the LNP Government, Australia has undertaken a “military led” operation to protect its national borders from asylum seekers on boats seeking an escape from persecution in Australia.

One of the chief architects of the Operation Sovereign Borders plan was former Iraq War major general, Jim Molan. He is now a federal Senator for the Liberal Party. After many years of trying and with the support of Tony Abbott, Molan finally got into the Senate in December 2017, replacing Nationals politician Fiona Nash who was ruled ineligible to sit for Parliament because of her British citizenship.

Molan has never shied away from his single-minded belief that locking up weaponless and vulnerable asylum seekers in concentration camps is beneficial for the nation. In late 2016, during the ABC’s Q&A program, he claimed that medical services and conditions for asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island and Nauru were better than most Australian towns.

“We are so far ahead of refugee camps throughout the world compared to Manus Island that it is not funny,” Molan told the largely disbelieving audience.

Earlier this month, Molan claimed the recent ‘Medivac’ Bill that passed Parliament after an embarrassing and historic defeat for the Federal Government and which will now allow doctors a greater say in the medical treatment of refugees on Manus and Nauru was only “about politicising border control”.

However, due to his own long career with the ADF, it is likely Molan himself is closely intimated and perhaps politically linked to Paladin; one of the companies that is now relied upon to maintain Operation Sovereign Borders.

During a studio interview with the SBS foreign affairs show Dateline in August 2011, Molan was joined by none other than recently sacked Paladin Solutions PNG CEO, Craig Coleman. Molan was in Canberra, while Coleman was in Brisbane. The pair discussed the chances of the West prevailing in Afghanistan. At the time of the interview, Coleman had been running a “project management business in Afghanistan overseeing development projects in the most dangerous corners of the country” for the past seven years.


Before Paladin was seeing hundreds of millions of dollars come its way from about mid-2017 onwards, Broadspectrum had earlier received about $2 billion over a number of years to provide security and other essential services for the Manus Island concentration camp. Following a takeover by Spanish conglomerate Ferrovial, the company announced in April 2016 that it would not seek to extend its contract when it came to an end in October 2017.

There are a number of other contracts on Manus Island and Nauru related to Australia’s asylum seekers policies that at the very least seem overinflated. Canstruct is a small Brisbane civil engineering company that also happens to be a donor to the Liberal Party. It received at least $385 million in November 2017 to provide garrison and welfare services on Nauru. Its offices seem to be a shared outer-suburban shed in Queensland. At the time, it was reported that a Senates Estimates hearing held a month earlier had hear that Canstruct lacked experience in the provision of welfare services. The company’s CEO is Rory Murphy.

Moreover, the ‘Medivac’ Bill that passed parliament earlier this month has simply highlighted the terrible medical services available for refugees detained on Manus and Nauru. Many serious health complaints suffered by detainees are dealt with by being supplied with paracetamol. Many asylum seekers are heavily dosed with other prescription medication such as Valium and Largactil. The lack of treatment and care facilities has led to what would usually be considered mild medical conditions flaring up to become chronic and serious. It is believed about a dozen refugees have died while detained on Manus Island. Medical providers such as International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) were given close to $2 billion over six separate contracts. The company has links to former military personnel.


According to reports from PNG, that country’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, is alleged to be one of the main beneficiaries of the missing hundreds of millions of dollars linked to Paladin. It is believed O’Neil is funneling the ill-gotten gains in a bid to rig PNG’s upcoming elections. It is thought that O’Neil rigged the most previous election in 2017, which secured himself a second term as the nation’s leader.

Paladin was given the contract to provide garrison services at Manus Island in September 2017, just a month after O’Neil’s successful election which is believed to have also been helped along by the Australian Government.

The banning of Paladin director, Craig Thrupp, and the arrest of local director, Kisokau Powaseu, are said to be classic powerplays from the handbook of O’Neil.

RELATED: “I KNEW PM SCOTT MORRISON AT UNI AND HE WAS A DICKHEAD!” Former Liberal Party insider spills beans on “zero talent weirdo”

Meanwhile, the Australian Financial Review has followed up its impressive reporting with evidence that funds given to Paladin are also finding their way to the families of other senior PNG politicians such as the country’s parliamentary speaker, Job Pomat.

Former Manus MP, Ron Knight, has alleged that senior politicians in the Australian Government, including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, are also handsomely profiting from the Paladin scandal.

“Seeing what’s on the ground and what services [there are], I would say less than 10% of that funding is put to use. I believe it’s a cash cow for some very smart pollies in both countries. The standard rip-off in PNG is hyperinflating costs,” Knight has posted on Twitter.

“For example, a road worth $2 million contracted for $20 million.”

Knight also delivered a message squarely aimed at Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Dutton.

“Are you not the PM who is supposed to make the hard decisions? That’s why you and Dutton score the big bucks! (Even the bucks we supposed to not know about) Don’t blame it on flunkies. Your [sic] the boss the buck stops there and shit rolls down hill. Ya know very well ya’ll are crooks.”


From a wider political, economic and sociological perspective, the Paladin Affair is yet another symbol of the moral malaise the modern liberal nation-state finds itself in. No longer able to foist colonialist attitudes in the open, it must be done under the cover of darkness.

In this case, we have a front group of people highly connected with the nation’s military and political elites who have created a channel to illegally transfer resources from the Australian public while helping imprison some of the world’s most vulnerable people, all of whom have not committed a crime by seeking safe refuge.

Quite simply, the level of greed and lack of basic ethics is astounding. The bodies of asylum seekers, many of them Muslim, are being used as a political cash cow. People are literally dying as capital flows from Australia and then eventually to the locked bank accounts of Switzerland and various tax havens belonging to the already wealthy and powerful.

But at its heart, the Paladin Affair is a simple story of bribery and money laundering. And for that, we can only hope the Australian public seeks some sort of justice soon for the hundreds of millions swindled in their name.

Not many people like thieving criminals. Especially political ones.

– Additional reporting by Michael Nelson




About Serkan Ozturk 82 Articles
Serkan Ozturk is an investigative journalist and the publisher and editor of True Crime News Weekly. His journalism has previously been featured by the likes of RT News, Sydney Morning Herald and Crikey. He is a member of the MEAA.


 READ this to learn more about what a dodgy and complicit guvmnt we have in Australia! With a closing sentence: 

“Australia’s only economic hope is to keep the laundering going!”

For proof that the Anti-Money Laundering Legislation second tranche has been shelved view:

Real estate wins another reprieve from money laundering laws

… in which the Scummo Government confirmed the laws will not include the long-awaited coverage of lawyers, accountants, and real estate agents 

AML Experts warned that failing to crack down on the illicit flow of funds including “hot money” from China added significantly to Australia’s housing affordability problem

*NEIL JEANS from Four Corners: Project Dragon said:

“I think it’s been well understood for a number years that Australia has been a target location for hot money, particularly coming out of China. We’ve seen that activity increase exponentially over the last number of years. And that creates a problem for Australia which is that hot money is transitory, it will be here today and potentially gone tomorrow, and that then creates dislocations in the legitimate economy.”

AML Consulting Neil Jeans





Chinese drug money mass laundered in Aussie property

Via Banking Day:

Nathan Lynch of Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence

The revelations about Chinese asset recovery agents operating covertly in Australia will put pressure on the Department of Home Affairs to introduce law reforms ahead of the May general election.

The government is sitting on “Phase 1.5” legislation that will prepare Australia for the introduction of the long-awaited Tranche 2 AML/CTF laws. 

This transitional legislation is understood to have been shelved late last year amid a gridlocked federal parliament.

The federal government will be under pressure to be seen to act, however, before the arrival of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for an assessment visit later this year. The international standard setter will want to see evidence Australia has acted upon the weaknesses set out in its 2015 mutual evaluation report. Chief among these was the failure to regulate lawyers, accountants and real estate agents.

Late last year the AFP’s Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce seized more than A$15 million in real estate, jewellery, wine and assets that are suspected to have been bought with the proceeds of crimes perpetrated in China, including investment fraud.

AML practitioners said it was unsurprising that the assets in the AFP’s recent seizures all sit outside the Australian AML regime.

The seizures demonstrated the importance of extending the country’s AML regime to include “tranche two” entities, they said.

*Neil Jeans, an AML consultant with Initialism, said the role of designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) in complex money laundering schemes had been well understood and accepted in Australia for two decades.

“The regulation and supervision of DNFBPs is a fundamental requirement of the FATF, which sets the international standards for AML/CTF,” he said.

“Australia, despite warnings from the FATF and government reports highlighting the failure to bring lawyers, accountants and real estate agents into the AML/CTF regime, has been slow to act. This represents a significant hole in Australia’s AML/CTF regime, which we know domestic and international criminals are exploiting.”

The Tranche 2 laws have been on the drawing board in Australia for more than 12 years, despite having bipartisan support. The federal government had committed to pass laws to capture DNFBPs by 2018, following the critical report from the FATF in 2015. Australia had fallen well behind in its international obligations to protect the country’s economy from criminal abuse, the report said.

The “phase 1.5” stepping-stone legislation has been drafted jointly by the Department of Home Affairs, the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) and with input from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

A Home Affairs spokesman said there was no fixed timetable for the Phase 1.5 laws, which will be tabled “subject to the parliamentary schedule”.

The next stage will be to work on “the process of simplifying and streamlining Australia’s AML/CTF regime and to improve compliance with the international standards set by the FATF.”

“The government is considering options to extend AML/CTF regulation to ‘tranche 2’ entities, such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents,” the spokesman said.

This reform would be crucial for Australia to have any hope of turning back the tide of dirty money, said Bill Majcher, an AML expert and former undercover agent based in Hong Kong.

“Lawyers, realtors, and immigration agents are, in my view, the most engaged parties facilitating these dirty money channels,” he said.

Drug gangs in China know there are many people in China who want to get their money out of the country. So, they take their yuan in China and swap it over for ownership of houses in Australia.

The team has identified $80 million worth of property on the Gold Coast they suspect has been bought by Chinese nationals in an effort to launder cash 

The Project Dragon team has identified $80 million worth of property on the Gold Coast they suspect has been bought by Chinese nationals in an effort to launder cash. What of the property bought through black money across Australia esp. Sydney and Melbourne?


“The houses have been purchased with the cash generated from drug sales in Australia by Chinese-linked drug dealers. Typically, some offshore corporate entity owns the real estate assets, so the shares in the corporation change hands but on the property title the corporate owner stays the same,” Majcher said.

Project Dragon, reported by Mark Willacy, aired  last night on 4 Corners on ABC

This article first appeared on Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence.

Australia’s only economic hope is to keep the laundering going!






View the Video:  “Housing development has outgrown infrastructure so much in one part of Sydney’s north-west that the State Government has suspended all planning proposals pending a council review.”

Does it seem that the Planning Minister is feigning concern?  He says:  this move is about “good planning”  …. this coming from the same Minister who met with 53 DEVELOPER GROUPS from January to September 2017 and not a single resident …


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RYDE LGA has been overdeveloped with massive precincts in Meadowbank/Shepherd’s Bay, Top Ryde, Macquarie Park, North Ryde Station, North Ryde, Gladesville and the Medium-Density Code of duplex, triplex, granny flats …  view CAAN Photo Album for more!

THE SOLUTION – SYDNEY – vote the LNP out and demand the ALP Feds enforce the Anti-Money Laundering Legislation for the Real Estate Sector!  That’l stop Visa Manipulation and slow down migration/population growth … 


MEANWHILE …  some of the high-rise development underway in Waterloo Road Macquarie Park …


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CAAN Photo:  Chinese developer JQZ “PRIME” Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park; promoted as a Precinct within itself.  This was formerly a premium commercial site within the business park in a bushland setting;  employing local residents.



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CAAN Photo:  ICON project, Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park formerly a commercial building site replaced by this high-rise residential.


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CAAN Photo:  Demolition underway of 30 year old commercial building by RomeCiti for apartment development Natura due for completion in 2020.  Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park



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CAAN Photo:  February 2019. Demolition complete; RomeCiti has commenced preparation for residential development Natura. Waterloo Road Macquarie Park

Background residential apartment towers along Herring Road, Macquarie Park




Gladys Berejiklian's government has tied itself in knots trying to distance itself from responsibility for the intensity of development in Sydney.

Photo: SMH: ‘Gobbledygook and doublespeak’:  How ‘Gladys’ gang’ is failing Sydney on planning

NSW Libs deploy planning propaganda 101

By Leith van Onselen


The NSW Liberal Government has resorted to propaganda in a bid to deflect voter anger about overdevelopment and declining liveability in the lead up to the state election.

Instead of being honest and upfront about the massive number of apartment developments planned for Sydney, the Government is instead spruiking “more parks and open space”. From The SMH:

When the government feels obliged to tell the world about a new batch of apartments it wants built, it tends to employ the ruse these days of talking about parks instead. It’s the parents’ trick of cloaking a trip to the dentist in the promise of future chocolate.

“More parks and open space,” declared the announcement about the redevelopment of Waterloo in inner Sydney.

Those interested in what was actually planned had to do their own sums to see the proposal in fact represented a scale of residential development never seen in Australia. And yet, somehow, Gladys’ gang described that as “more parks”

The dissembling is not an aberration. Rather there’s been an incoherence that long ago seeped into the government’s planning and development policies and which, with an election around the corner, has hardened into gobbledygook and doublespeak.

The fact remains that access to open space will shrink as long as Sydney’s population continues to balloon via mass immigration:


Piling millions more people into the existing urban footprint necessarily means less open space per person. It’s basic math.

In fact, Infrastructure Australia’s recent projections for Sydney show that access to green space – let alone jobs, schools and hospitals – would reduce as Sydney’s population balloons to a projected 7.4 million people by 2046 (let along to around 9.6 million people by 2066, as projected by the ABS), irrespective of how Sydney builds out:


So, thanks to the federal government’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy, and the over-development that this entails, liveability in Sydney will be unambiguously eroded.

Rather than resorting to dishonest propaganda (Liberals) or faux concerns regarding over-development (Labor), both major parties need to meet in the middle, adopt a bi-partisan stance, and publicly demand that the federal government dramatically slow the immigration intake.

Because building ever more concrete box apartments for ever more migrants is the hallmark of brain dead policy and a guaranteed recipe for lower living standards.

FOUR CORNERS: PROJECT DRAGON: “The mission is a recovery of funds that have been filtered from China to Australia.” 

CHINA has had to take this on covertly to recover Billions …

It is now regarded by former law enforcement as a “growth industry” …

CHINA is applying pressure to families in China … and employing these former law enforcement officials because Australia has been facilitating money laundering in Real Estate through exempting this sector from Anti-Money Laundering Legislation … as recently as October 2018!

AND … as has been pointed out this is … “A sly scheme for the Chinese state to get hold of what were Australian assets” !!!
Our Biggest Export Market … Our Title Deeds!
On reviewing this programme it appears the detectives are returning the funds to China … and not the Title Deeds!




Project Dragon




“I’m a hired gun to help either large corporates or governments to get back what is rightfully theirs.” Asset recovery agent.

As China has transformed itself into an economic powerhouse, billions of dollars have been illegally spirited out of the country. A large amount has made its way here to Australia.

“I think it’s been well understood for a number years that Australia has been a target location for hot money… We’ve seen that activity increase exponentially over the last number of years.” Financial crimes investigator.

Chinese authorities want the money back, and they’ve sent a clear message to anyone who has broken their rules – we will find you and your money.

“It seems as if there’s more than enough evidence that at least in jurisdictions like…Australia, the US and America, coercive tactics were used to force people back to China.” Transnational crime expert.

Now China has opened up a new front in its war on those accused of financial crimes. On Monday Four Corners will reveal the new tactics being used by Chinese authorities to take back money they believe has been stashed illegally in Australia.

“The mission is a recovery of funds that have been filtered from China to Australia.” Private investigator.

A new breed of financial bounty hunters is on the case, and their target is Australian real estate.

“There’s what we’re referring to as a cluster of properties… Most of them, or all of them waterfront, luxuriously appointed.” Security consultant.

With exclusive access to these investigators, reporter Mark Willacy sees first hand the extraordinary lengths they are going to.

“We can sell it and return the money back to China. Everyone’s happy…it’s a legal plan. There’s no drama.” Private investigator.

With questions being asked about the legality of their actions and the reach of the Chinese state, it’s a high risk operation.

“I think they have to tread carefully. One of the challenges they’ve got is that they need to walk a very, very narrow line.” Financial crimes investigator.

For the recovery agents themselves, they believe they are onto a financial winner.

“There’s a huge opportunity to develop and exploit this business channel, especially when it comes to Chinese money of dubious origin that has parked itself in Australia.” Asset recovery agent.

Project Dragon, reported by Mark Willacy, goes to air on Monday 18th February at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 19th February at 1.00pm and Wednesday 20th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at




Labor to axe first home buyer super scheme

By Leith van Onselen

With the East Coast property bubble raging, the Turnbull Government in October 2017 passed legislation to allow first-home buyers (FHBs) to use up to $30,000 of voluntary super contributions for a housing deposit. The scheme was announced as part of a ‘housing affordability’ package announced in the 2017 Federal Budget:

Now, Labor has vowed to axe the scheme in the event it forms the next government. From The Brisbane Times:

Labor voted against the scheme when it was created by the Coalition government, and Mr Bowen says that if elected the ALP would phase it out…

“It was always a fig leaf to cover up their failure to properly deal with housing affordability,” he said…

Between the start of the program on July 1 last year and the end of January this year, 2374 people have made requests to access their super under the program. That equates to fewer than 4 per cent of all first home buyers to have been granted a home loan over the past 7 months.

This was always an unambiguously bad policy.

At the margins it places upward pressure on house prices (other things equal), which is the antithesis of a ‘housing affordability’ measure.

The scheme also clouds the purpose of super from being a retirement savings vehicle that is intended to relieve pressure on the Aged Pension.

The bigger question is: with the housing market crashing, would a future Labor Government launch bigger FHB bribes, such as direct grants, to help counteract the negative price pressures created by its signature negative gearing and capital gains tax reforms?

Wait and see.