Proving that having a go in Morrison’s Australia is conditional, his Hillsong mate has received tens of millions in taxpayer funds.
It’s no secret that Prime Minister Scott Morrison sings songs of praise. He’s riding shotgun in the Cadillac of Jesus. He brought a camera crew along during the election campaign last year to catch him in the act of raising the proverbial roof at his mega-church (which is an odd word pairing if there ever was one), and his Pentecostal predilections have been well documented throughout his tenure in public life. It is one of what we can only presume are several things the PM has in common with Justin Bieber.
In his maiden address to parliament in 2008, included were shout-outs to three prominent religious leaders: the Uniting Church’s Ray Green, as well as Hillsong supremo Brian Houston (he who recently used earnings from the big tent operation of his to purchase some lavish and expensive New York real estate; not the answer, one presumes to the question “What would Jesus do?”).
Per the AFR: “Mr Morrison confirmed he sought an invitation for his friend and Hillsong church founder Brian Houston to a state dinner at the White House. Mr Morrison has repeatedly refused to say if he’d sought an invitation for Mr Houston, who was criticised in the findings of the 2014 child sexual abuse royal commission for failing to alert police about allegations his father, Frank, had sexually assaulted children.”
So, there’s that. But the third name mentioned at ScoMo’s 2008 debut speech was Leigh Coleman, also (now formerly) of Hillsong, who it seems has allegations of fraud and bribery against him. Allegations, not charges. It is alleged.
Coleman’s name has over the past five gotten itself bandied about in government procurement circles due to a company to which he is linked (in that he founded it, and, well, runs) having won more than $43m in federal contracts, mostly from defence, while being a registered charity set up to address Indigenous unemployment and disadvantage. And not, it seems, doing much actual charity work in the process.
That’s $43 million in government grants, paid for by you and me, the taxpayer, for him, who one presumes doesn’t do much paying of tax, what with the whole religion thing.
A chum of the PM. This is no secret.
Scott Morrison’s Hillsong mate Leigh Coleman who has allegations of fraud and bribery against him given $42 million in government grants
— Ewart Dave 🎺 (@davidbewart) October 7, 2020
It may, if you’re cynical, look to be a trifle on the nose, a bit suss that someone who ScoMo is chummy with to the point of name-dropping him all of 12 years ago once he’d planted his flag in Castle Canberra, can find himself milking a defence cash cow to the tune of $43 million. Even more suss when one looks closer at this recent piece from The Guardian, and you see that the org upon which such legion of government largesse is bestowed, ServeGate Australia, has all the hallmarks of a front, a tax dodge, a money-laundering operation.
But that’s just on the surface, I’m sure if one were to look just a smidge deeper, one would have one’s mind put totally at ease. *cough*
Broader scrutiny seems unlikely, especially at a federal level. We’re no closer to a federal ICAC than we are to a cure for male pattern baldness, and with the ship of state running to such a degree that nobody in a majority among the mainstream media, business or defence contractors would object, the idea of deeper, more substantial exposure is as fanciful as actually peeling back and winning something more than a small order of fries when playing the McDonald’s Monopoly game.
Seems a bit cynical, I’d agree. But it was only recently said in an official judgment that a Minister of the Crown had engaged in criminal activity. That minister seems to still have his job, because apparently somehow the law no longer matters, and is open to interpretation it seems. The Federal Aged Care Minister has all-but literal blood on his hands, and still has his job.
No action is likely to be taken, not while the PM is getting good numbers. Because why would there be? We seem to be living in a post-truth, post-facts, post-law period in history, where since he’s donned a hi-vis vest, molested a wombat and had a coldie while cheerin’ on the Sharkies, we should all just cool our jets and get on with it. Whatever ‘it’ is.
“In Australia, when you have a go, you get a go…*”
*especially if you’re mates with the PM and want large volumes of cash dropped on your front lawn.