The Liberal Party’s Parakeelia laundering scheme
Table of contents
Jump to comments section.
(June 13, 2016) – Taxpayer funded staff worked on Parakeelia.
(June 14, 2016) – Donations? What donations?.
(June 15, 2016) – Turnbull Govt avoids questions.
(June 16, 2016) – Done nothing wrong.
(June 17, 2016) – Commentary.
(June 18, 2016) – The inner workings.
(June 19, 2016) – Parakeelia makes ABC Insiders.
(June 20, 2016) – Parakeelia rented Lib office space.
(June 23, 2016) – What’s happening with Parakeelia?
(September 12, 2016) – Nothing to see here.
(February 1, 2016) – Parakeelia injects $900,000 into the Liberal Party.
Parakeelia Pty Ltd is a wholly owned entity of the Liberal Party with federal party director Tony Nutt and party president Richard Alston as directors. The company was established in 1989 by the then Liberal Party treasurer, Ron Walker and shares the same address in Canberra as the headquarters of the federal Liberal party.
It makes & sells a piece of software called Feedback which MPs and senators purchase for $2,500 using their taxpayer funded office allowance. This allows the party to collate constituent details, requests, issues, etc.
The company makes large yearly donations back to the Liberal Party, effectively laundering taxpayer money. A search of the Australian Electoral Commission shows donor records dating back to 1998-99.
On ABC 730, former Liberal MP for Tangney, Dennis Jensen said, “There was a very clear understanding there’s Feedback training provided to staff members and basically the training is to use it as a database politically rather than to assist constituents. Indeed the instruction given by Feedback trainers is that if there’s not a vote in it, don’t do it.”
Former advisor to Arthur Sinodinos, John Adams, said the scheme was “money laundering”.
- Paul Karp reported, “Independent who lost Liberal preselection says voter-tracking software being used for ‘illegitimate’ purposes”: Dennis Jensen accuses Liberals of profiling constituents and neglecting decided voters.
- My Sunshine Coast reported, “Greens parliamentary leader Richard Di Natale and Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said today that the Parakeelia scandal should put the need for a national corruption watchdog and political donation reform back on the agenda.”: Parakeelia scandal shows need for corruption watchdog and donation reform: Greens.
- Sky News Australia reported, “Independent candidate for Tangney Dennis Jensen says the Liberal Party is using a taxpayer-funded program for illegitimate reasons.”: Parakeelia software ‘illegitimate’: Jensen.
- James Robertson and Heath Aston reported, “The Liberal campaign is resisting calls for greater transparency about its financial relationship with a voter monitoring company run by the party, as it can be revealed state MPs also use taxpayer money to pay it amounts likely exceeding $100,000 a year.”: Mystery deepens over Parakeelia as Cormann ducks question..
- Conor Duffy reported, “Dumped Liberal MP Dennis Jensen has hit out at the party’s use of controversial election software called Feedback, owned by a major Liberal donor. The Labor party uses a similar program called Campaign Central.”: Tax payer money used to fund voter tracking software.
Arthur doesn’t know (again)
- Tom McIlroy reported, “Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos said he doesn’t know if taxpayer funds have been paid to a private company controlled by Liberal Party bosses, which in turn transferred $500,000 to the Coalition.”: Arthur Sinodinos ‘doesn’t know’ if taxpayer cash goes to Liberal donor Parakeelia.
- From 2007, David Marr reported, “DESPITE assurances that he had broken all links with the Liberal Party, Fairfax Media chairman Ron Walker remains the principal shareholder in a software company operated by the party. Parakeelia Pty Ltd was set up in 1989 shortly after Mr Walker became Liberal Party treasurer. For the past decade the company has been developing and selling controversial Feedback software that allows MPs to collate and store information on their constituents.”: Walker linked to Liberal company.
(June 13, 2016) – Taxpayer funded staff worked on Parakeelia
It has been revealed that taxpayer funded parliamentary staff worked on the Liberal Party’s Parakeelia software, Feedback.
- James Robertson and James Massola reported, “Parliamentary staff were working for the Liberal-linked software company that has transferred large sums of money to the party exceeding $1 million, emails obtained by Fairfax Media show.”: Government staff worked for Liberal software company Parakeelia.
(June 14, 2016) – Donations? What donations?
Today it has been clarified that the funds transferred to the Liberal Party from wholly owned Parakeelia are classed as “other receipts” for Australian Electoral Commission purposes and not as “donations”.
- Ross Jones reported, “Every Federal Liberal MP pays Liberal Party “software” company $2,500, but that doesn’t come close to covering all its revenue — so where does the rest come from?”: Parakeelia: The (almost) perfect Liberal Party scam.
- My Sunshine Coast reported, “Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has written to the Australian Electoral Commission and the Department of Finance requesting that both bodies investigate the relationship between Parakeelia software company and the Liberal Party of Australia and their associated branches.”: Greens call on AEC, Dept of Finance to investigate Parakeelia and Liberal connection.
- News.com.au reported, “IT LOOKS like one of the neatest business models ever to involve taxpayer money and the direct financial benefit of a political party. And that is why Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will face increasing accusations the Liberals are milking public funds in cynical fashion.”: PM pressed on arrangement that sends taxpayer funds to party-owned company.
- The Register reported, “Who pays AU$2,500 for an annual software license, for a handful of users? That question is on Vulture South’s mind, with the Liberal Party under fire during the election for doing just that.”: Liberal MPs paid AU$2,500 a year to donor for electoral software licences.
(June 15, 2016) – Turnbull Govt avoids questions
Malcolm Turnbull and Mathias Corrman have both referred questions over the Parakeelia scheme back to the Liberal Party management. Turnbull commented that the practise of supplying software to Liberal MPs has been going on for many years.
- Fergus Hunter reported, “Liberal Party federal director Tony Nutt says the party will assist with any investigation into the controversial Liberal-owned software company, Parakeelia.”: Liberal Party to fully co-operate with any Parakeelia probe.
(June 16, 2016) – Done nothing wrong
The Parakeelia saga has spread further into Queensland with revelations that Brisbane Mayor Graham Quirk’s LNP council has used ratepayer money to access the Feedback software. Labor’s Brisbane council opposition leader Peter Cumming today highlighted the problem.
“The problem with Parakeelia, as we see it, is it’s a Liberal Party company – 100 per cent owned by the Liberal Party – so any money that goes into it gets sent back to the Liberal Party,” Cumming was quoted as saying in the Brisbane Times.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Turnbull, Mathias Cormann and Tony Nutt have continued to deny there is anything unlawful about the scheme.
Also, records provided by the initiator of the scheme, former Liberal Party treasurer Ron Walker, show Malcolm Turnbull would have been aware of the scheme when he took over the treasury role in 2002.
- ABC News published an explainer, “You might have heard a bit of debate going on about Parakeelia, but you can be forgiven for being a little confused about what it means.”: Para-what? The Liberal Party’s software firm Parakeelia explained.
- James Robertson and David Wroe reported, “The Liberal Party is scrambling to contain the fallout over taxpayer-funded cash injections from its software company Parakeelia, amid allegations it failed to inform the corporate regulator of changes to company shareholdings for 15 years due to a “clerical error”.”: Parakeelia disclosure failure raises questions as Liberals scramble to adjust ‘clerical error’.
- Cameron Atfield reported, “Brisbane City Council’s Labor opposition has estimated tens of thousands of dollars of ratepayers’ money would have flowed to Parakeelia, a controversial company with Liberal Party links, since 2009.”: Brisbane councillors give ratepayer funds to LNP-linked company and donor.
- James Robertson, James Massola and David Wroe reported, “Labor is calling for the Auditor-General to investigate the flow of money from a Liberal-owned software company to the party’s coffers, exposed by Fairfax Media last week.”: Bill Shorten attacks Liberal-Parakeelia ‘scam’; Malcolm Turnbull, Mathias Cormann dodge questions.
(June 17, 2016) – Commentary
(June 18, 2016) – The inner workings
- Mike Seccombe reported, “Donations from a Liberal Party-owned company, through which thousands in taxpayer dollars have been funnelled, expose deep flaws in political fundraising.”: Parakeelia: The inner workings of the Liberals’ funding rort.
(June 19, 2016) – Parakeelia makes ABC Insiders
(June 20, 2016) – Parakeelia rented Lib office space
- James Robertson reported, “The software company at the centre of a growing storm about Liberal Party finances rented prime Melbourne office space used by the Liberals as their national headquarters for the last federal election, Fairfax can reveal.”: Parakeelia rented Liberal Party’s 2013 election campaign headquarters.
(June 23, 2016) – What’s happening with Parakeelia?
(September 12, 2016) – Nothing to see here
- Stephanie Anderson reported, “The Auditor-General has found no evidence that the relationship between Parakeelia and the Liberal Party breaches electoral and parliamentary frameworks.”: Liberal Party relationship with Parakeelia not in breach of frameworks, Auditor-General finds.
(February 1, 2016) – Parakeelia injects $900,000 into the Liberal Party
- James Robertson reported, “A Liberal Party-owned company that bills taxpayers for computer services, Parakeelia, has made its biggest-ever cash transfer to the political organisation, sending it more than $900,000 last financial year.”: Parakeelia generates a record $900,000 for the Liberal Party.