NSW public money being spirited off to overseas tax havens #auspol

Why would Berejiklian ministers not oppose the billion-dollar sale of the Northern Beaches Hospital operating rights from a Liberal Party donor company, Healthscope, to a Canadian venture fund, Brookfield, in fact based in a Caribbean tax haven? Have the ministers a personal interest in the sale? Have Berejiklian ministers bank accounts in the Caymans, or the British Virgin Islands, or such other places?

The former Liberal Party State MP for Wagga was exposed for soliciting commissions for Sydney development projects. Apparently the fellow wanted something in the order of 1% to organise inappropriate rezonings in and around Sydney. He was only caught on one such transaction.

If your 50-storey apartment building, say 500 apartments selling each for, say, $500,000, that is a gross yield of $250 million, 1 per cent of which is $2.5 million. If that could be paid to you into a bank account in Switzerland or the Caribbean, why would you declare that as income to the Australian Taxation Office?

If that money is furtively obtained or paid to a NSW politician, it is the property of the NSW Treasury. There would also be a question to ownership of the assets of the persons paying the commission because that payer would be liable for distracting the public officer from his duty.

The same commission rate on a $2.5 billion transaction, such as the Northern Beaches Hospital sale to the Caribbean, is $25 million.

These are the questions that need to be answered by the New South Wales Parliament and the political parties, except if the answers are already obvious.

You can see the appeal of sending vast public construction projects to contractors from Spain, or to have trains built in Korea, or submarines built in France. You can also appreciate why these projects are always late, deliver less than promised, and the political ministers quickly retire.