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Turnbull, the reef saviour

Malcolm Magnificent the reef saviour

An arrogant egomaniac at the helm!

UPDATE: Josh Frydenberg, told the ABC last week. “They [GBRF] have raised around $80 million themselves.”  The Foundation said it had raised $90 million over 18 years. Average $5 million per year. Now, $444 million in 12 days. Go figure!

How I single handedly saved The Great Barrier Reef with your money—by M. Turnbull. And how M. Turnbull is not saving a national disaster—by Alan Jones (audio) don’t miss it! What did Australians do to deserve a leader like Malcolm Turnbull? Have we learned a lesson yet?

Malcolm Turnbull took just 11 days from his Expenditure Review Committee deciding on March 28 this year to “seek a commercial partner for a (Great Barrier) reef plan” to meeting with the head of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to inform them of a $444 million grant. The Australian has learned that an initial meeting of the ERC ­occurred on March 28, where it was resolved for the government to find a “commercial partner” to work on the plan.

Source: News Corp

Malcolm Turnbull’s fast track to $444m reef handout

On April 9, the Prime Minister and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg were telling the chairman of the foundation, former Commonwealth Bank head John Schubert, he had won the money.

The Prime Minister’s office declined to say last night whether discussions had occurred with any other environmental organisation as to whether they could provide the money.

Questions continue to swirl about the decision to hand the money over to the organisation, which at the time included two former colleagues of Mr Turnbull at Goldman Sachs investment bank as its directors.

Stephen Fitzgerald, the current chairman of the board’s philanthropy committee, was at Goldman Sachs from 1992 to 2012. Mr Turnbull was there from 1997-2001.

Meanwhile, Keith Tuffley, a former managing director of Goldman Sachs in Australia, was a director until he and two other ­directors announced their departures from the foundation on the day it received its grant from the government: federal budget day, May 8.

“The PM has not discussed the matter with either of the gentlemen mentioned,” a spokesman for the Prime Minister said last night.

The spokesman said Mr Turnbull knew Mr Fitzpatrick but not Mr Tuffley. Another director of the board, Stephen Roberts, was forced to stand down from it in June after he was charged with being part of an alleged criminal cartel related to his time as head of country at Citigroup.

The Australian can reveal that the meeting at which the grant was communicated to the foundation, April 9, occurred on the day Mr Turnbull copped his 30th negative Newspoll in a row.

Foundation managing director Anna Marsden told the ABC’s 7.30 last night that the money came as a “big surprise” and there were no discussions with the foundation about it receiving the money until April 9.

Ms Marsden said she imagined the foundation was chosen because it was the biggest charity dealing with the reef and had raised $90m over 18 years for it.

Labor senator Kristina Ken­eally, who has been challenging the government in the Senate inquiry on the issue, said: “There’s one clear fact that has emerged so far: Malcolm Turnbull did a deal behind closed doors to give his friends from investment banking $444m of public money.

“Malcolm Turnbull has effectively privatised the Great Barrier Reef, turning it over to the bankers and miners who manage the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.”

A spokesman for the foundation said of the decision by ­directors to resign on May 8: “The foundation’s board is no different to others: it has occasional turnover to refresh itself.

“The decisions of those members to resign from the board were taken before April 9, when we were first informed of the grant. The May date is simply the date of the board meeting at which they took effect.” The foundation said neither former Goldman Sachs employee had discussed the grant with Mr Turnbull.

Former Howard government adviser Geoff Cousins said the decision to hand $444m to the GBRF was “absolutely extraordinary”.

He said it was “impossible” for an organisation with six staff to manage $444m.

A spokesman for Mr Turnbull said: “The government is preserving the Great Barrier Reef for future generations. This funding will control crown-of-thorns starfish, harness science for reef restoration, improve water quality through better farming, and upgrade reef health.”

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