Tasmanian Times

Economy

Mantach questions swirl around Premier and Senator Eric Abetz. Police called in …

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The Premier continued his empty ‘nothing to see here’ rhetoric in Question Time today when repeatedly asked about the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s dealings with its former State Director, Damien Mantach (Above).

Premier Hodgman failed to answer question after question in Parliament, despite being a member of the Liberal Party Executive who presided over Mr Mantach’s “resignation”.

Tasmanians want to believe in a Premier who is open and transparent, not one who is keeping things cosy inside the Liberal tent.

What we can read into the Premier’s non-answers is that he and his campaign managers must have believed any exposure of Mr Mantach’s alleged actions would damage their brand in the lead up to 2010 election.

It is safe to assume Premier Hodgman’s Victorian Liberal counterparts may have a different view on how this matter should have been handled.

Bryan Green: Questions to answer over stolen funds “The Premier’s response to serious questions in Parliament today was pathetic and his defence that the stealing allegations were dealt with ‘appropriately’ is just not believable.”

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

Nothing to see …

HERE and …

HERE and …

HERE

PB in Comments HERE: From the Australian dated August 22, 2009 by Matthew Denholm: Liberals admit role in hate ads THE Liberal Party has come clean about the extent of its involvement in hate advertisements placed by the Exclusive Brethren sect in the last Tasmanian election campaign. Despite having once denied any co-operation over the advertisements, the Liberal Party yesterday confirmed its staff had transferred the text to electronic format, vetted the ads for compliance with the electoral laws and forwarded them to its advertising agency. The advertisements, which ran in local newspapers in the 2006 state election campaign, targeted the Greens, claiming the party’s policies on transgender and intersex people would “destroy families and society’‘. In March 2006, then Liberal state director Damien Mantach insisted there was “no co-operation’’ between the party and the Brethren over the ads. But The Australian revealed documents in January 2007 showing the ads were billed by three separate newspapers to an advertising account held by the Liberal Party. Mr Mantach then admitted meeting Brethren members to discuss “tactics, themes and messages’’ in the lead-up to the election campaign. But he continued to deny the party paid for or placed the advertisements … • And there are further reproductions from MSM by the wonderful PB, HERE

• John Hawkins in Comments: … The missing link is that Stephen Hales of the Christian Lobby Group but in fact of the Exclusive Brethren was a sponsored and declared Lobbyist in the Federal Parliament sponsored by non other than one Senator the Hon Eric Abetz. Was it as a result of Abetz as the sponsor that, Mark Mackenzie, Stephen Hales and Bruce Hales met the Prime Minister in his parliamentary Office. This fact I suggest links between the Exclusive Brethren, Hales, Mantach, Abetz and the cover up in Tasmania that has now cost the Liberals some $1,500,000 in Victoria. What say you Senator Abetz?

• John Hawkins in Comments: The senior and key player in this saga that has now cost the Victorian Liberals one million five hundred thousand dollars is a man who was at the time sitting in the Senate illegally as a dual national, a Tasmanian, one Senator Erich Abetz. Abetz was willing to accept $50,000 on behalf of the Liberal Party from Gunns three weeks after being made Minister for Forests, Gunns was a company then pushing a pulp mill in his home state Tasmania run by John Gay … now a convicted criminal. Not a good look Erich – will the “Mantach Gate” prosecution make the words of Lady Caroline Lamb ring true?

Senator Nick McKim on Liberal’s Mantach Scandal Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Eric Abetz, has serious questions to answer given revelations yesterday by Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman that Senator Abetz was briefed on Damian Mantach’s Tasmanian credit card scandal in 2008. Questions that Senator Abetz must now answer include: • Exactly when was he briefed and by whom? • Exactly what was he told? • Why did he allow himself to become complicit in a cover-up of the real reason behind Mr Mantach’s resignation? • Why did he not inform his Liberal colleagues in Victoria of the real reason behind Mr Mantach’s resignation? • Why did he not insist that the matter be referred to Tasmania Police? • When did he become aware that entitlements of Victorian state and federal Liberal MPs were channelled to a printing company which allegedly paid kickbacks to Mr Mantach? • Were his or any other Tasmanian Liberal MP’s allowances used in this way? • Was he the Senator who was a member of the Tasmanian Liberal State Executive Committee under Part VII 1. (h) of the Liberal’s Tasmanian Division Constitution at the time that he was briefed? …

Bryan Green: Premier accused of misleading Parliament

• John Hawkins in Comments: Now Senator McKim. Stand up in the Senate under PP and ask Abetz all those questions as detailed above. It is called conviction politics …

• John Day in Comments: Where are the Auditors, Company Secretary’s, Public Officers, CEO s and Managers of these organisations? Are they deliberately being kept in the dark, and excluded from the truth? How come Liberal Party Office bearers, senior and official Liberal Party spokespersons can allow this alleged fraud to be kept in-house and not reported to the Police? Can a complicit spokesperson or official representative overrule a senior spokesperson or elected representative or official office bearer? Can they continue to cover this up, and let only “those in the know” – wink wink, have some secret explanation of a fanciful version of the actual events, let alone the truth? Where is our media / fourth estate? Who claim to “ask the hard questions and report without fear or favor”? Without the benefit of an investigation how can our Prime Minister claim to have faith in the key player of this alleged fraud? I have worked for a wide range of companies from blue chip companies, international companies, large divisional companies to small owner operators, and if any – any employee had be found to have filed a fraudulent claim say over $50.00 (let alone $A48K and $A1.3M)– they would be dismissed and the matter handed to the Police, the same day.

FRIDAY, August 28 …

Mercury: Senator Eric Abetz denies knowing details of Damien Mantach’s departure from Tasmanian Liberals SENATOR Eric Abetz has broken his silence on the Damien Mantach affair, issuing a statement denying he knew the details of Mr Mantach’s debt to the Liberal Party … Last week Premier Will Hodgman said he and Mr Abetz had been briefed on Mr Mantach’s repaid debt in 2008.

Mercury: Damien Mantach fraud claims: Top Abbott Government Senator, Eric Abetz was briefed on credit card abuse: claim Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman told Parliament that he and Senator Abetz were briefed by the then state president, state treasurer and senior vice-president of the Tasmanian Liberal Party about Mr Mantach’s departure and his $48,000 debt to the party. “The facts are that I was spoken to and briefed … and appropriately so, as was Senator Abetz as the Leader in the Federal Parliament,” he said …

The Australian: Damien Mantach returns downloaded emails to Liberals The Victorian Liberal Party — reeling from the alleged $1.5 million Mantach fraud — has ­secured a hard drive full of emails from the former state director that could have exposed the organisation in the run-up to the federal election campaign … The hard drive — packed with emails downloaded by Damien Mantach and deleted from the party’s system — is in the possession of investigators from forensic ­accountants PPB Advisory … The scandal is also causing strife for the Tasmanian Liberals, including the state government led by Will Hodgman, and senior federal minister and Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz. Labor is demanding both men explain why, despite being briefed about Mr Mantach’s alleged wrongful spending of $47,981 of party funds on a credit card in March 2008 when he was Tasmanian party director, they did not refer the matter to police. Labor has also asked the Tasmanian Electoral Commission to advise whether the failure to ­declare Mr Mantach’s repayment of the funds constituted a breach of electoral funding laws …

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: #18 Yes Mr T, I too read Mr Abetz strange ramblings in the Mercury. It struck me that he was practicing more sophistry than he usually does. His usual level of sophism is pretty high, I guess being trained in the art it is hard to let go of. The way the law works is that if you are poor, the long arm wraps around you and you are persecuted to the max. If you come from the right section of society or you have a good family name, the blinkers go on fast.

Bryan Green: Labor refers Mantach affair to Tasmania Police for investigation This week the Premier Will Hodgman has refused to answer serious questions in relation to the Damien Mantach credit card scandal. Outstanding questions still remain: How was the misappropriation of $48,000 uncovered? What was the money spent on? Over what period was the money spent? Why wasn’t the matter referred to police? “Labor has concerns that illegal activity has occurred, and that’s why we have taken the very serious step of referring the matter to police for investigation. “I have written to Police Commissioner Darren Hine seeking a full and thorough investigation. “It is clear that a police investigation is now the only way to get the bottom of this matter.”

Bryan Green: Liberal Party forced to disclose Mantach payments

• John Hawkins in Comments: … The remaining payment of $5606.36 has not been disclosed as it is under the required legal threshold for disclosure. Why be so secretive over the smaller amount? Who are they trying to protect? Why are we not allowed to know what these sums represent? …

• Nigel Crisp in Comments: Good work John Hawkins, and as you and others say, we await the local media to do their job.

Bryan Green: Liberal credit card scandal deepens … “Labor is now seeking legal advice as to the fiduciary responsibilities of Mr Hodgman and Senator Eric Abetz as members of the State Executive of the Liberal Party.” “Who was responsible for the so-called administrative oversight? “If the failure to disclose those payments was an administrative oversight, why wasn’t it picked up by the Liberal Party’s auditors?’ “It raises ethical as well as legal questions over whether the repayments made by Mr Mantach were deliberately withheld from the auditors given the strict guidelines for chartered accountants in relation to the failure to report criminal offences.

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46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. William Boeder

    September 10, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    With the mention of PPB Advisory in comment #31 mr t, it brings to mind a number of allegations made against the Major Insolvency Practitioners Korda Mentha, who have done a great deal of business together with PPB Advisory, as is the present situation with the ever ongoing Gunns Ltd insolvency action.
    Korda Mentha have found themselves in the past to having been referred to the appropriate body that oversees the malarkey of these insolvency firms, where the firm of Korda Mentha having been fingered for stretching out the length of time that their engagement in such matters, has been seen to consume the remainder of that whichever entity’s funds that remains available to them to meet their ongoing (but no longer necessary) expensive invoices as they continue to be directed to those remaining funds.
    It came to me as a bit of a surprise that Korda Mentha were appointed by ASIC to keep a sharp on the directors of the Commonwealth Bank as to their ‘compensatory program’ to ensure the amounts returned to claimants as a result of this Bank’s Financial Advice Divisions many messy, sloppy and sometimes fraudulent dealings.

    Please bear in mind that there were 3 prior compensatory programs put forward by the CBA that were each considered to, (yep you guessed it) favour this same CBA Bank rather than seek to restore to those persons, (claimants) who lost great amounts of their invested retirement funds, were not being strictly adhered to.

    Hence the appointment of Korda Mentha in the role of watch-dog, (but here I must point out,) their role was to watch over its major source of supply of ‘new insolvency cases for Korda Mentha’ to wreak their harvests from.
    Also another group member (as are the above-mentioned in what is best described as as a select corporate coterie) is the firm of PPB Advisory.
    One of the directors of PPB Advisory Firm was the CEO of Australia Post one Mr Ahmed Fahour, up until recently.
    All being so when one of this coterie is given a forensic role such as investigating into the Federal Liberal party secret funding stratagem’s and the tracing of Liberal party acquired funds, this is a guarantee that only a very guarded result will issue into the public arena.

  2. John Hawkins

    September 10, 2015 at 2:00 am

    #10 Above,

    McKim you squibbed it, not a good start!

    Yet another pathetic Pollie.

  3. Factfinder

    August 31, 2015 at 5:35 am

    … Meanwhile, receivers for the failed timber company are no longer putting a timeline on the process to sell the permits and land for the Tamar Valley pulp mill.

    KordaMentha has received an unknown number of bids for the Bell Bay site and pulp mill permits, and had expected the

    sale process to be completed by mid-July.

    However, a spokesman for the receiver said on Monday no decision had been taken on the sale of either the permits or the land.

    ‘‘They’re still working on some fine details for a number of people on what is a complicated asset,’’ he said.

    ‘‘Once the preferred bidder is selected, it won’t take very long at all to get to signed contracts.’’

    http://www.examiner.com.au/story/3318517/forest-contractors-fear-ruin/?cs=95

    Hmm –
    Yes, spring is on the way now – no turning back from that fact, no matter who you are.

  4. William Boeder

    August 29, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    42. Mike Seabrook, how many wrongs do you believe are necessary to convert those many wrongs into a right?
    Also your use of the word ‘extort’ seems to be a word that really has no relevance in the manner you have offered in your comment, as this word ‘extort’ therefore must be rejected and returned to you, whereby your use of this word would be better directed to the Federal and State Liberal party governments
    More so where and when this particular word is in deed and in its application to the Liberal party fund-raising exercises and their various covert dealings, where the Liberal party entertains the financial lusts of the Exclusive Brethren members known among the highest ranks of the controversial Liberal party leaders.

  5. mike seabrook

    August 29, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Abets and cronies have contributed much to Tassie
    … look at the loot he and others have extracted from the feds spent on employment, goods and services and other Tasmanian business activity.- like Harradine before and Wilkie in the past parliament – Wilkie and Harradine had critical votes and powers to extort though

    That the return on investment or return to the public ordinary Tasmanian has been nearly zero or negative when liabilities and contingent liabilities are assessed is another matter.

  6. Nigel Crisp

    August 28, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    What I was trying to say in #36, perhaps too cryptically is that I’d like to see the Hales brothers feel the heat a bit.
    As a previous Tasmanian Times article mentions here:
    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/hidding-and-his-brethren/ Mr Mantach has admitted to actually meeting the Exclusive Brethren prior to the election in 2005.
    It’s taken a long time to unravel, but I’d suggest 4 Corners might need to re-visit their 2006 story: Separate Lives.
    I like Karl’s #37 title of ‘Corruption Incubator’ but might I suggest ‘Tasmania: 40% more corrupt.’

  7. William Boeder

    August 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Having had quite a nunber of years of exposure to the rantings of this controversial anti the people Senator via my subscription to the Senate form of a Hansard web-site, then in the reading of the numerous articles that are published through, (and for some sort of perverse reasoning) the major media portals here and on the mainland of Australia, I have finally come to a number of very important conclusions.

    Then in my taking the necessary time to equivocate whether or not this same Senator, (that also seems to possess an anti-the-people-of -mainland Australia-stance) is a true representation of the views and opinions of this anti-the-Tasmanian-people Senator, in that he is essentially engaged as the prime supporter of the major parasitical timber business operations of the overseas-owned Ta Ann Berhad, here in this State of Tasmania.

    Now then when one examines the drain upon this State’s GDP, whereby a goodly portion of this State’s GDP is allocated as ‘necessary State funding’ to prop up this State’s ever beleagured ever failing Forestry Tasmania, this money is then absorbed by this State’s forest logging GBE, to aid this GBE to contractually supply one of the World’s cheapest native forest logged timber products, of which are supplied and delivered on site to this conjuring TA Ann timber operation.

    Then not to forget that Forestry Tasmania have committed this State to continue this economy draining idiocy through to the year of 2027, all of which certainly goes to prove that this overseas-owned opportunistic parasitical forest devouring Ta Ann operation, is really nothing more than a heavily subsidised drain upon Tasmania’s economy.

    So it is fair to claim that this State of Tasmania dwelling Liberal party Senator, Eric Abetz, (along with his Liberal party stooge in the name of Paul Harriss) are each freely given the publication of their beguiling media releases as are circulated in both the local and mainland Australia media news portals, are in effect 2 persons in this State which could resemble false pretences.
    Furthermore neither of these 2 pompous outspoken Liberal party-jibberers provide anything of beneficial substance to the State of Tasmania.

    One must also take into account that this Exclusive Brethren has this Senator positioned in quite a lofty level of this negative fanatical religious sect, that allows Abetz himself to be a bothersome and at times pestilential influence upon our Nations Federal government.

    So as a result of all my readings, my researches and in having my ears to the ground, I have finally formed a number of important to the people questions relating to this Abetz, despite that he is a leading member of a rather fanatical, anti societel, quasi-legitimate religious sect known as the Exclusive Brethren, in that he is perhaps one of Australia’s most dangerous people.
    The facts speak for themselves as far as I am concerned.

    Question 1. Would Australia be better served by hosting a suspected low level terrorist here in Australia, in preference to this Senator?

    Question 2. How much in State revenues has this economical dangerous Senator cost the State of Tasmania add to that his former MIS rantings?

    Question 3. How is it that the Australia’s highest appointed government officials have not recognized this dangerous Senator for exactly that of which he so frequently proves himself to be?

    Qusetion 4. Does this dangerous Senator contribute anything of beneficial substance to the greater Australian population?

    Question 5. Last question. If this dangerous Senator can be hosted by a National Australian Political party such as the Australian Liberal party, what must this tell the people of Australia in terms of the Liberals presenting themselves as an honourable trustable government in leadership?

    I do not belive I have veered off the relevance of the article subject matter itself, as this extensive comment pertains to the machinations of the person pictured in this obscene Abetz article

    I invite the well considered comments of the attendees to this forum.

    William Boeder.

  8. mr t

    August 28, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I’m amused by the way phrases are adopted by people. Years ago we had Keating’s “recalcitrant” becoming the word of the day. Now we have “operational matters” trotted out by a myriad of pollies when an answer is to be avoided. We saw it recently with Ms Petrusma distancing herself from her department. An odd position for the children given she ran for Family First before declaring her true love for the Liberal Party.

    Abetz and Hodgman also use “operational matters” for the Liberal Party administrative arm. Then we pass over to McQuestin citing “an oversight” in a classic Heydon defense.

    A few years ago Joh Bjelke Peterson went to court and discovered a failing memory. He was duly followed by Bond and a few others.

    Some people never mature towards ethics or truth. There is always a self justifying excuse.

  9. Pete Godfrey

    August 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Mr Mantach must still be a protected species as far as the Liberals are concerned. I found it strange that the Victorian Liberals said they would not take his house and sell it. Surely his wife would have wondered how there was so much money around and why their lifestyle was so opulent, considering his wages.
    I am guessing it is something more to do with some insurance he is hanging onto. Such as a largish dirt file.
    For the sake of the country lets hope he plays his hand and we see a major routing of corrupt pollies and hangers on.

  10. Karl Stevens

    August 28, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I have finally realised Tasmania is now a ‘corruption incubator’ for the rest of the nation.
    This case indicates we are exporting alleged criminals to the mainland.
    It would look weird on car numberplates ‘Tasmania the Corruption Incubator State’.

  11. Nigel Crisp

    August 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Good work John Hawkins, and as you and others say, we await the local media to do their job.
    In the meantime I ask myself why the media aren’t camping on the doorsteps of those two empty vessels, who after all, I bet are at the beginnings of all this. I can picture a nice streetscape panning shot from the cameras so we can all get imprinted on our minds where these mighty elected representatives might be hiding.
    If nothing else it might refresh Abetz’s memory, something to help the police in their inquiries perhaps.
    By Victorian standards, if stealing $1.5 million is such a trivial thing, something that after all came from the public purse, why are we locking up similar criminals for what clearly is only misappropriated money?

  12. Tim Thorne

    August 28, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    So the Liberal Party “is poised for another round of fundraising to fill the gap” left by Mr Mantach’s alleged activities.

    They’ll need both Bronwyn Bishop and Dyson Heydon as guest speakers at any fundraising function, but I suggest, in the interests of taxpayers, that they share the one helicopter to get there.

    On the other hand, I seem to recall that Erich’s Uncle Otto had some ideas about cheap transport.

  13. mike seabrook

    August 28, 2015 at 4:04 am

    ask malcolm – is this another godwin – mark 2

  14. John Hawkins

    August 27, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Erich …

    The Border Force is another brilliant Liberal idea, a major leap towards a Police State,

    I ask was it yours?

    Watching the result on the news this evening it was not received with a great deal of acclamation.

    It must have all those awful Gay Greens in the ABC.

    How long before your Troopers come back to visit me in downtown Chudleigh – my papers will be in order.

    When you tried this trick once before I told your Goons to return to their master and inform you … that I would pursue you to the grave.

    Am I getting closer … ?

  15. John Day

    August 27, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Are not these funds allegedly part of “proceeds of a criminal act” (fraud) ? So how come, these are being assigned another basis? It proves that there are no standards of performance and management – anything goes.Not a good role model for all voters and the younger generation.Its corruption and routing on a open and major level. They do not care for themselves or the general population.

  16. mr t

    August 27, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Today’s “Australian” newspaper reported Liberal Party emails downloaded by Mantach and recovered by the investigators. One can only speculate on Mantach’s intention but self protection through a strong negotiating position comes to mind.

    On another matter being McQuestin’s claim of four individual repayments, I will note the convenience of AEC limits for declarations. The Oz text is reproduced below:

    “The Victorian Liberal Party — reeling from the alleged $1.5 million Mantach fraud — has ­secured a hard drive full of emails from the former state director that could have exposed the organisation in the run-up to the federal election campaign.

    It comes as the party continues to consider borrowing money to plug the resulting funding gap, with the party’s Melbourne headquarters possibly being used as collateral.

    The hard drive — packed with emails downloaded by Damien Mantach and deleted from the party’s system — is in the possession of investigators from forensic ­accountants PPB Advisory.

    Mr Mantach is believed to have returned the hard drive during a meeting between him, his lawyer and party officials, who are now being advised by top silk Robert Richter QC.

    Opponents of new Liberal president Michael Kroger, who has been leading the clean-up ­operation after the alleged theft of $1.5m over four years, feared the emails could be used to reopen old wounds in the party, which has been riven with factional tensions in recent years.

    But senior Liberal sources said the hard drive would be returned to Mr Mantach when the investigation has finished and the party “had no interest in personal emails on the disk”.

    As it seeks to recover from the financial pain of the fraud, and a big overspend in the last federal and state campaigns (which some sources put at as much as $3.5m) the party is poised for a round of fundraising to plug the gap.

    Such is the pressure on its ­finances that it will not rule out borrowing against the Exhibition Street headquarters.

    The scandal is also causing strife for the Tasmanian Liberals, including the state government led by Will Hodgman, and senior federal minister and Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz.

    Labor is demanding both men explain why, despite being briefed about Mr Mantach’s alleged wrongful spending of $47,981 of party funds on a credit card in March 2008 when he was Tasmanian party director, they did not refer the matter to police.

    Labor has also asked the Tasmanian Electoral Commission to advise whether the failure to ­declare Mr Mantach’s repayment of the funds constituted a breach of electoral funding laws .

    Senator Abetz last night said that while he was briefed on the issue, no sum of money was mentioned. ‘My knowledge until ­recently was that Mr Mantach had resigned and the expense ­issues had been satisfactorily resolved,’ he said.

    Some within the Liberal Party are angry they only learned this month of the real reason for Mr Mantach’s departure from the Tasmanian position in 2008, after the scandal surrounding $1.5m allegedly misappropriated from the Victorian division became news.

    At the time, the party advised the public and members that Mr Mantach had quit for family ­reasons.

    There is also incredulity among senior Tasmanian Liberals that the Victorian division did not contact it before giving Mr Mantach a series of new jobs.

    Then-Tasmanian party president Dale Archer said he had had two conversations at the time with federal director Brian Loughnane to discuss the issue.”

  17. Pete Godfrey

    August 27, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I too heard that piffle about an administrative oversight, and the repayments not being recorded.

    Come on pull the other leg.

    Is the Liberal party so poor at money and account management that they cannot check bank statements and notice a discrepancy.

    I am with John Hawkins my money is on the nose that the money was never paid back at all.

  18. Karl Stevens

    August 27, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Eric Abetz even developed his own ‘Thomsometer’ comparing Fair Work Australia’s investigation of Craig Thomson with the length of other great investigations.

    https://abetz.com.au/thomsometer

    I’m still coming to terms with the ‘Thomsometer’ but have vague memories of a similar meter used to measure the length of a certain part of the male anatomy. The word ‘Mantometer’ springs to mind but this could easily have a dual purpose.

  19. John Hawkins

    August 27, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    McQuestin has just stated that the failure to disclose the repayments from Mantach was an administrative oversight.

    He confirmed the amount repaid was in four separate repayments totalling $47,981.78.

    Of these three: $13,000 – $17,375.42 and $12,000 have now been declared Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

    The remaining payment of $5606.36 has not been disclosed as it is under the required legal threshold for disclosure.

    Why be so secretive over the smaller amount?

    Who are they trying to protect?

    Why are we not allowed to know what these sums represent?

    Has Abetz still got his iron fist all over this debacle in order to protect his skin in this very nasty game?

    If so I ask:

    Who actually repaid the money; I am willing to bet it was not Mantach.

    What if anything did Mantach have over Abetz?

    Did Abetz authorize or repay all or part of the missing money?

    Slowly but surely we will discover the truth.

    Come on the ABC, the Mercury and the Examiner this is actually a real live story in your very own stinking backyard and it relates to Corruption Over Due Process.

    Can TT welcome you on board or will the Darling of the Right our much disliked Erich not approve?

  20. John Hawkins

    August 27, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Abetz is a Barrister with a law degree from the University of Tasmania which on his current behaviour should not be considered as a reference.

    Karl#25.

    Thankyou for that I here quote verbatim except that [names] have been added:

    “Unfortunately and scandalously, the culture of moral bankruptcy that motivated Labour [Liberals] to protect Craig Thomson [Mantach] for so many years has not changed. Its current attitude to Union Rorts [Religious Right] shows that the party has learned nothing from this series of scandals.”

    Well said Erich!

  21. John Day

    August 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I am not surprised by this disgraceful saga, but it is starting to get to me.

    The office bearers in the Tasmanian, Victorian and Federal Liberal Party MUST have signed a declaration and /or accepted that in holding their positions they had to uphold Australian laws. Including those of fraud, misrepresentation and theft. So why are they still in their positions? Why haven’t their managers and respective organisations at the very least censured them, or dismissed them as would be normal in any commercial company?

    Likewise and more importantly – our Tasmanian and Federal elected representatives HAVE sworn that they will uphold all Australian laws. They have not kept to this, and in fact by omission since 2008 allowed this saga to be covered up and continue to be unreported to Police.

    Do we raise this issue with State and Federal Governors, with the respective Parliaments, with the Electoral Commissions or with the Police?

    As a side issue, are political parties registered companies and subject to the companies act?

    It’s starting to get to me because this is a fundamental matter, not only of the standing of our political organisations, but our respect for parliament and for me above all else – a diminished respect for the law, democracy, plus a dirty role model for our young generations.

    This is what we are taught and observe and support throughout our lives – they have not upheld this.

  22. Karl Stevens

    August 27, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I urge TT readers to have a look at the entire page Eric Abetz has devoted to Craig Thomson, who also allegedly overspent on a work credit card.

    https://abetz.com.au/news/craig-thomson-a-long-and-sorry-saga

    Amazingly, Abetz claims he took no interest in the amount or the outcome of a similar case in his own branch?

  23. Dr.John R.Wilson

    August 27, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    I’m paraphrasing here, but Henry D.Thoreau in ‘Resistance to Civil Government’ (1848) said something like “Gaol is the only place you have any chance of finding honest men”, Mr.T (#22 0810), and I tend to agree with him. Will all due respect to your dear Aunty who reckoned that gaol was for the poor and ugly (LOL) …

  24. John Hawkins

    August 27, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    The key to this riddle is the Exclusive Brethren and their undeclared political donations to the Howard 2004 election campaign.

    There was denied collusion between the Liberal Party and the Exclusive Brethren over a $370,000 slush fund set up and in part apparently spent at the direction of Abetz …

    The Elect Vessel, Bruce Hales lived/lives in Bennelong, as did Howard who was then fighting for his political life against Wilkie – Howard lost next time round, a sitting Prime Minister defeated … was that a real Act of God?

    The go-between I believe was Abetz who articulates the position of the religious extreme right – Homophobic, Anti- Gay Marriage and Anti- Green.

    The whole matter of the slush fund was investigated by the Federal Police when reported to them by the AEC.

    To no-one’s surprise they found nothing, possibly as the Brethren had direct access to Howard’s office.

    Abetz was the sponsor of Stephen Hales, brother of the Elect Vessel, Bruce Hales, thereby providing the Brethren with direct access to Howard through his accredited parliamentary lobbyist.

    I suggest Mantach knew all about the dead bodies.

    The result, in my view, was that when Abetz discovered (the questionable activity inTasmania) Mantach was shunted to Victoria.

    Mantach (performs similarly in Victoria).

    The result this time: his house is untouched if he keeps his mouth shut in Victoria.

    In particular I suggest the teeth must remain firmly clenched over the initial involvement of The Brethren, Abetz and Howard in the original slush fund and with whom and how that money was spent.

    If the above is a correct summation, the known links prove how powerful the appalling Senator from Tasmania has become.

    This is a mainland job for real people … perhaps Dyson will be able to take time out from enforcing the Abetz Terms of Reference to the Abetzian Royal Commission and take on Howard, Abetz and the Brethren over corruption of due process.

    Now that would be a Result!

  25. mr t

    August 27, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    #20 Peter, my aunt always said, “Gaol is for the poor and the ugly.” I might see you there one day 🙂

  26. Stephan

    August 27, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    In a Stalag full of Sargent Schulz’s I’m waiting to see what Colonel Klink will do next.

    And where’s the comic relief when you need it?

    The really, really well scripted and perfect incompetence demonstrated by our politicians recently has been both breath taking and highly educational.

    And we HAVE to wait before we can sack them??? Just not good enough.

  27. Pete Godfrey

    August 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

    #18 Yes Mr T, I too read Mr Abetz strange ramblings in the Mercury.
    It struck me that he was practicing more sophistry than he usually does. His usual level of sophism is pretty high, I guess being trained in the art it is hard to let go of.
    The way the law works is that if you are poor, the long arm wraps around you and you are persecuted to the max. If you come from the right section of society or you have a good family name, the blinkers go on fast.
    I remember 40 years ago reading an article in the Manly Daily in Sydney, an unemployed young man got caught with a head of marijuana hidden in his piano. He was fined $350 plus put on a $350 bond and told if he got caught again he would go to gaol.
    The next court appearance was in their words ‘a young man from a well known and well respected family in the area”. He was using heroin, the judge fined him $60 and told him gaol was not the place for drug addicts.
    From that I learnt that the legal system is not set up to be fair but to protect the wealthy.

  28. mr t

    August 27, 2015 at 11:39 am

    BTW, the reality is the old “ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.”

    Eric would have only addressed the political threats. “Is Damian standing down and is he repaying the monies?”

    In a typically incompetent manner, Mantach was then promoted to the Victorian division where he allegedly perpetrated a $1.5m fraud.

    Not good enough Eric.

  29. mr t

    August 27, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I have read Eric Abetz’s recollection of the Mantach matter in the Mercury. In summary, we have a senior Cabinet Minister and leader in the Senate who is trained in law being briefed on a possible fraud of the Liberal Party by the state president of the Liberal Party.

    Abetz did not enquire as to the amount of the possible fraud or, apparently seek to view any documentary evidence. He did not seek any details of interviews already conducted with reasons given by the alleged offender. He did not seek to know whether or not the alleged fraud was to be referred for police investigation or prosecution.

    I can accept his recollection. The people could also accept Abetz’s resignation for gross incompetence.

  30. Simon Warriner

    August 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Just goes to demonstrate the complete idiocy of expecting them to understand the need for competent governance.

    If they cannot keep control of their own coffers, why the bloody hell should we let the have control of our collective treasury?

    I will say it again, when you choose conflicted interest as a criteria for selecting your government you can only expect problems.

  31. mr t

    August 26, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    #15, Arthur Sinodinos was Honorary Treasurer, Liberal Party (NSW) 2009-11 and Liberal Party President 2011-12. I assume federal and state divisions would have working relationships and common knowledge given the ready transfers of donations between states and upcoming elections.

    It is a bit of a rat’s nest seemingly without normal corporate governance standards. The current RC has shown the ALP is no better.

  32. John Day

    August 26, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Where are the Auditors, Company Secretary’s, Public Officers, CEO s and Managers of these organisations?

    Are they deliberately being kept in the dark, and excluded from the truth?

    How come Liberal Party Office bearers, senior and official Liberal Party spokespersons can allow this alleged fraud to be kept in-house and not reported to the Police?

    Can a complicit spokesperson or official representative overrule a senior spokesperson or elected representative or official office bearer?

    Can they continue to cover this up, and let only “those in the know” – wink wink, have some secret explanation of a fanciful version of the actual events, let alone the truth?

    Where is our media / fourth estate? Who claim to “ask the hard questions and report without fear or favor”?

    Without the benefit of an investigation how can our Prime Minister claim to have faith in the key player of this alleged fraud?

    I have worked for a wide range of companies from blue chip companies, international companies, large divisional companies to small owner operators, and if any – any employee had be found to have filed a fraudulent claim say over $50.00 (let alone $A48K and $A1.3M)– they would be dismissed and the matter handed to the Police, the same day.

    It used to be a standard that if you placed or approved a purchase order or raised an expenses claim (for goods, expenses and services with the appropriate back up quotes and estimate of cost or expenditure) then you did not approve the invoice or final claim for expenses. It’s actually even easier in the digital world we live in.

    Surely each of the elected Tasmanian Liberal Party representatives state and Federal have to resign over this issues? Reported already as $50k in Tasmania and $A1.3M in Victoria. That bigger than most people’s superannuation.

    This proves again that there are no standards and anything goes. Except for those people who are being held to the letter of the law, tax and benefit regulations and work place rules.

  33. Bazabee

    August 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    If the Premier is correct and he in fact knew nothing about the behaviour of the State Campaign Director doesn’t it beg some equally important questions such as why not, who did, when, and why weren’t you told?

    Not to mention the obvious question are you so really dumb that you think that any sane person believes you?

  34. mr t

    August 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    #9 John, I haven’t been overly following the news lately but I was taken by your comment, “Yet they will not sell his house to get back the money they as a party are due.”

    I do not know your reference but I watched Gerard Henderson (Sydney Institute) on last Sunday’s Insiders program and he made a similar comment. He stated words to the effect “The Victorian Liberal Party should not pursue his wife and children because they are nice people and had nothing to do with Damien Mantach’s actions.”

    I’m quite certain such leniency would not be granted by the average bank, tax office or other creditor to Mr or Mrs Average. I found Gerard Henderson’s comments at the time tainted to the point of influence, unprofessional in a legal sense and confused between individual and commercial entity liabilities (eg family trust).

    Whatever protection may be projected onto Mr Mantach’s family and assets seems to me as wrong. Something stinks and the Hodgman-Abetz “operational matters” defense is in the thick of it!

  35. William Boeder

    August 26, 2015 at 12:44 am

    John, I advise that Nick McKim was one of the committee members that set the boundaries of what the TIC could and could not investigate.
    Between both he and Cassie O’Connor there is little to see for their time in government in this State of Tasmania.
    Nick McKim is currently poised on the banks of the Rubicon, will he cross that river and prove himself as a worthy Tasmanian Senator?

  36. Bert

    August 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Another distraction from the real problems

  37. John Hawkins

    August 25, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Now Senator McKim.

    Stand up in the Senate under PP and ask Abetz all those questions as detailed above.

    It is called conviction politics.

    Preface your remarks by asking Abetz about the renunciation of his German Citizenship and ask him if as a Minister of the Crown was he sitting illegally in the Senate as a dual national until 2010.

    He renounced his German citizenship in 2010 and you cannot renounce a citizenship you do not have.

    It is not a Club and many of those who inhabit its portals are certainly not and never have been Gentlemen.

    Then you will have done all Tasmanians a service.

    We await with baited breath.

  38. John Hawkins

    August 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    The Victorian Liberal Party are repaying the Federal and State Governments nearly $200,000 received by Mantach as an alleged kickback over inflated printing contracts.

    Yet they will not sell his house to get back the money they as a party are due.

    Is this another cover up just as in Tasmania.

    Mantach must keep his mouth shut or all hell will break loose.

    Who controls such levers of power?

    We now, thanks to Hodgman, know that Abetz knew about the credit charge alleged fraud of nearly $50,000 in Tasmania but why would Abetz let this go through to the Keeper.

    Abetz was heavily into printing office stationary; see his declared expenses on the parliamentary website.

    Did Abetz through Mantach use the same printer?

    Does this printer have an operation in Tasmania?

    Come on TT readers help me with the Heavy Lifting.

  39. PB

    August 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Victorian Liberals pay back almost $200,000 in taxpayer money, as Damien Mantach scandal grows.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-25/victorian-liberals-pay-back-almost-200000/6724816

    And Eric Abetz knew of Mantach debt, says Tasmanian premier.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abetz-knew-of-mantach-debt-says-tasmanian-premier-20150825-gj7jka.html#ixzz3jsnVfnKh

  40. William Boeder

    August 25, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    What sort of person would rise to the top of such a repugnant religious sect that seems to have 2 rather ugly imprimatur’s, one of these is designed to afflict its hatred of environment caring groups, the second is to flim-flam itself as a worthy institution to obtain Federal funding for its couple of Amish-like schools of education, then that it receives the Full Monty of tax free status as a body of religion.

    The answer to the above question is a certain Tasmanian Liberal Senator known for his extreme far right views, which some would describe as quite bizarre.
    In cases of this kind one could only wonder what contribution this extreme cult could offer to the greater Australian communities.

    The liaison between this ill-willed sect and the Liberal party itself seems to have been encouraged by ‘arguably Australia’s worst prime Minister,’ John Howard, that helps to portray just how low and debased are those Exclusive Brethren elements among todays Federal Liberal party.
    The words such as Exclusive Brethren, hate, false message, sly and underhanded, seem to have been created solely for this fanatical sect.

    Were one to drift back some 80 odd years ago there was a rather large German confluence of similar-minded persons that grew its numbers into
    the millions of German people under the watchful eye of social engineering strategist Joseph Goebbels.

    Shades of Uncle Otto loom dark over Tasmania in our present time, especially now as we suffer under the fiercely regressive Liberal party mantra’s of today.
    Damien Mantach is quite possibly still seen in the form of a god like effigy for all that the Exclusive Brethren followers desire to aspire to.

    Such perversive elements in our society that only a Liberal government could find attractive, is an evil portending threat to all the good-minded Tasmanian citizens.

  41. Chris

    August 25, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    While we are all last it there was an item in the Herald Sun, I think, which suggested that Mantach had arrangements with a printing firm to print LNP material , which I gather was taxpayer funded from allowances, whereeeeeeeeers Bishop?

    Where are the invoices are they in the department of finance?

  42. john hayward

    August 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Re #3, If anything could make a poet spin rapidly in his grave, it is being likened to Eric Abetz.

    John Hayward

  43. john hayward

    August 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    While on the subject, can the refusal of the Fed and Tas Govts to fund the Tas EDO be traced to the de facto Tas Lib leader, prominent envirophobe, and dirty tricks specialist?

    John Hayward

  44. John Hawkins

    August 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Mantach seems to be closely allied to the printing of brochures pamphlets and leaflets … over contracts to the favoured printer or printers.

    The Exclusive Brethren set up Willmac in NSW prior to the 2004 Howard election and funded this $10 company with $370,000, closing it down after the election on the completion a Federal Police enquiry into its operations.

    In 2004 Willmac under advice from the Liberals spent over $350,000 on Anti Green and Homophobic printed material distributed in Tasmania, NSW. SA and WA.

    This combined with Pollie spending on office political printing and advertising makes these political printing contracts a goldmine.

    Who are the (printer) players in Tasmania and what are their political links?

    Was or is Abetz a player in the political advertising business? He is rabidly anti Green and Homophobic and the ads echo his spoken words with relentless accuracy?

    How close is Abetz to Mantach?

    As the senior Liberal in Tasmania did Abetz cover up the theft of nearly $50,000 from the Tasmanian State Liberals; if it was not him who was it?

    Did Abetz flick Mantach to the Liberals in Victoria; if so who had what on who – or who was protecting who?

    Why was Mantach not prosecuted by the Liberals for allegedly stealing their money in Tasmania?

    The senior and key player in this saga that has now cost the Victorian Liberals one million five hundred thousand dollars is a man who was at the time sitting in the Senate illegally as a dual national, a Tasmanian, one Senator Erich Abetz.

    Abetz was willing to accept $50,000 on behalf of the Liberal Party from Gunns three weeks after being made Minister for Forests, Gunns was a company then pushing a pulp mill in his home state Tasmania run by John Gay … now a convicted criminal.

    Not a good look Erich – will the “Mantach Gate” prosecution make the words of Lady Caroline Lamb ring true?

    We all hope so.

  45. John Hawkins

    August 25, 2015 at 1:24 am

    “The Brethren Express” was first broadcast by the ABC on 15 October 2007 it was compiled by Quentin McDermott for “Four Corners” and a transcript is on the web from which much of this information has been taken.

    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20071015/brethren/

    Stephen Hales(SH) is the brother of Bruce Hales the Elect Vessel, The Man of God, Leader of the Exclusive Brethren in Australia.

    Stephen Hales at a public meeting challenged the Prime Minister’s high profile opponent in Bennelong, Andrew Wilkie (AW) then standing for the Australian Greens:

    SH:….We don’t know anything about you. Can you tell us something about yourself -your marital status, your religion? We don’t know anything about you at all….

    AW: Yeah I know I got you…

    SH: …talk about Iraq, but I want to know something about you if you are asking me to vote for you, not for America or Iraq, or John Howard.

    AW: Yeah I got the gist, Thankyou…

    SH: Answer the question if you want to be prime minister!

    AW I’ll attempt one more time to answer the Question. If you interrupt one more time I’ll have the club throw you out…..

    Stephen Hales authorised an advert paid for by Willmac giving his address at the Exclusive Brethren School in Bennelong of which he was a Trustee. This advert backed the Prime Minister in the election campaign.

    Willmac paid for a series of anti Green adverts in South Australia.

    After the Anti Gay, Homophobic, Exclusive Brethren campaign in Tasmania before the 2006 election Abetz speaking in the Senate stated:

    “The Green motion we are debating today is a steely, cold, calculated motion designed to intimidate, scapegoat and vilify a lawful religious minority. Their only sin is that they ventured into politics. When the leader of a political party starts scapegoating religious minorities, the alarm bells of history should be ringing loud and clear.”

    Willmac was a $10 company set up Exclusive Brethren member Mark Mackenzie, between September and December 2004, $320,000 was put into Willmac and this money was not not declared to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

    Mark Mackenzie the sole director of Willmac authorised the Anti Green Pamphlets distributed in Tasmania.

    In September 2006 Willmac was closed down after the AEC had called in the Federal Police.

    The missing link is that Stephen Hales of the Christian Lobby Group but in fact of the Exclusive Brethren was a sponsored and declared Lobbyist in the Federal Parliament sponsored by non other than one Senator the Hon Eric Abetz.

    Was it as a result of Abetz as the sponsor that, Mark Mackenzie, Stephen Hales and Bruce Hales met the Prime Minister in his parliamentary Office

    This fact I suggest links between the Exclusive Brethren, Hales, Mantach, Abetz and the cover up in Tasmania that has now cost the Liberals some $1,500,000 in Victoria.

    What say you Senator Abetz?

  46. Bonni Hall

    August 25, 2015 at 12:14 am

    It beggars belief that the ‘Premier’ knew nothing of this.

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