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Australian Border Force defies advice, gives defence company Austal $39m

Case for Federal ICAC
Corporate Interference | Deceptive Conduct | Liberal Party | QED
Liberal Party

Australian Border Force defies advice, gives defence company Austal $39m


Success fee was dependent on Austal delivering eight problem-free patrol boats; the Cape class boats were plagued with problems; success fee still paid.

The Australian Border Force allegedly improperly funnelled $39 million to defence company Austal, according to The Age.

In late 2015 and early 2016, Australian Border Force reportedly disregarded internal advice that it should not pay Austal part of a $44.6 million success fee for delivering patrol boats used to target people and contraband smugglers and illegal fishing. 

The fee was meant to be paid only if Austal met key milestones to deliver eight problem-free patrol boats. The boats were delivered but were plagued with problems.

However, after intense lobbying by Austal, Border Force paid out $39 million.

The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity launched the inquiry into Austal following a December 2018 Auditor-General’s report that highlighted how the $39 million milestone payment was made without a proper basis.

The Age also noted that in the FY 2015-16, Austal donated $60,000 to the Liberal Party and $1500 to the ALP.

Around April/May of 2019, Austal was awarded a $324 million contract to supply six Cape Class Patrol Boats for the Australian Navy.

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What's a rort?

Conflicts of Interest

Redirecting funding to pet hobbies; offering jobs to the boys without a proper tender process; secretly bankrolling candidates in elections; taking up private sector jobs in apparent breach of parliament’s code of ethics, the list goes on.

Deceptive Conduct

Claiming that greenhouse gas emissions have gone down when the facts clearly show otherwise; breaking the law on responding to FoI requests; reneging on promised legislation; claiming credit for legislation that doesn’t exist; accepting donations that breach rules. You get the drift of what behaviour this category captures.

Election Rorts

In the months before the last election, the Government spent hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian taxpayers’ money on grants for sports, community safety, rural development programs and more. Many of these grants were disproportionally awarded to marginal seats, with limited oversight and even less accountability.

Dubious Travel Claims

Ministerial business that just happens to coincide with a grand final or a concert; electorate business that must be conducted in prime tourist locations, or at the same time as party fundraisers. All above board, maybe, but does it really pass the pub test? Or does it just reinforce the fact that politicians take the public for mugs?

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