Thursday, October 19, 2017

Like Pulling Teeth

"The Michael Danby disclosure story continues, one comically late update after another.

"Yesterday, Labor's member for Melbourne Ports fleshed out the details of his trip to Israel last year while on sick leave from federal parliament, finally revealing part of his trip had been funded by the Jerusalem-based Gerald M. Steinberg-founded NGO Monitor, which analyses and reports on the output of the international NGO community from a pro-Israel perspective.

"But still nothing on the convalesced Danby's mysterious corporate vehicle, Roosevelt Nominees, formerly known as Daroda Investments, which was created 20 years ago, before Danby entered parliament in 1998. Almost two decades on and it's yet to rate a mention on the register of members' interests. We were told last night that 'fast fingers' Danby was on the case, but the material was still to be processed by the registry office.

"And the paperwork shouldn't end there. Eventually there should be an update on Danby's Melbourne barrister wife Amanda Mendes da Costa's new job as a full-time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, announced last month by Attorney-General George Brandis. The AAT reviews government decisions, with Mendes da Costa to be paid in the order of $305,000 a year for the job... As for the house that Mendes da Costa has in North Fitzroy, Danby tells us her mum lives in it rent-free. Still, there's a mortgage on it to Ian Narev's CBA that Danby perhaps may want to note. All in his own time.

"And what about the Qantas Chairman's Club membership and complementary Foxtel service that Danby has received but not disclosed? 'The electoral office has a Foxtel connection,' Danby told us. 'Like all MPs, I am automatically a member of the Qantas Club and it was not a sought membership.' That's an interesting interpretation of Privileges and Members' Interests committee chairman Ross Vasta's disclosure guidelines. Wonder what he makes of it?" (Danby's trip disclosure near dandy, Will Glasgow & Christine Lacy, The Australian, 19/10/17)


Grappler said...

I glanced at the register of interests pdfs of several members including Danby, MERC. His statement is certainly among the worst in terms of details (and handwriting!). As I recall, most (perhaps all but Danby) declare the Qantas Chairman's Club membership. So is Danby saying that anything that he's given without him seeking it need not be reported? That's a very interesting interpretation of the rules.

More interesting is that the Australian is going after him. Perhaps being a good Israeli-first is not enough to counter being Labor in Rupert's eyes.

MERC said...

Yes, the fact that The Australian is pursuing an Israel-firster for the FIRST TIME is most interesting. To my knowledge, however, Turnbull and co aren't joining in. Characteristically, Danby's Zionism is enough to render him immune from government attack, despite his obvious hanky-panky. Just imagine how the Libs would go after a Labor MP if he/she pulled the same stunt, and turned up at an anti-Zionist conference in, say, Damascus or Tehran.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention possible dual citizenship?