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25 August 2021

SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 

ANGUS TAYLOR INVOLVEMENT IN $21 MILLION BEETALOO GRANT 
MUST BE INVESTIGATED

 
Labor has announced a three-step process to examine Angus Taylor’s involvement in the Morrison Government’s $21 million grant as part of the Beetaloo Basic Cooperative Drilling Program to Empire Energy –  a company with close ties to the Liberal Party.
 
The interim report of a Senate inquiry that looked closely at the Beetaloo Program raised more questions than it answered about Angus Taylor’s involvement and how taxpayers’ money has been used.
 
There have been multiple occasions when Ministers or other witnesses appear to have given misleading information to either the Senate or the Senate inquiry.
 
The Government still has questions to answer about these grants and the nature of Minister Taylor’s involvement in them.
 
In response to these concerns, Labor will:

  1. Use the Senate inquiry to examine whether Ministers or other witnesses have given misleading evidence;
  1. Move an Order for the Production of Documents motion this week in the Senate to force the Morrison Government to table all the emails and documents that relate to Angus Taylor’s trip to the Northern Territory in October 2020; and
  1. Write to the Auditor General to ask him to undertake a performance audit of this program to get to the bottom of the way this money has been spent.

When Labor writes to the Auditor-General, we will note the close political connection between Minister Taylor and Empire Energy and draw the Auditor-General's attention to the presence of Minister Taylor's 'chief fundraiser' on the site visit and the company's presence at a Liberal Party fundraiser the night before the site visit.
 
Mr Morrison has a track record of spending taxpayers’ money like it’s Liberal Party money.
 
These are serious questions involving taxpayers' funds that have been unearthed in this inquiry. They deserve to be taken seriously.
 
WEDNESDAY, 25 AUGUST 2021

 

 

 

 

Energy Minister Angus Taylor. Picture: Gary Ramage