TOO SLICK: Greens party lobbyist Hayley Conway now represents oil giant the Greens once condemned

oilygreensYesterday’s revelations that the conservative lobbying firm Gavin Anderson had hired a senior official from the Greens party have created much community concern about the hypocrisy and humbug of the party that so actively pretends to be the moral custodians of Australian public life.

Speculation in the nation’s capital has it that Hayley Conway is being paid well in excess of $250,000 per annum to lobby her party comrades including her former boss, balance-of-power Greens MP, Adam Bandt and his soon-to-be Senate veto-wielders who will soon be taking power in the new Senate after July 1st.

Because of that veto, the Greens party will be in a strong position to build on the monster donation from Graeme Wood, the founder of wotif, whose own carbon footprint in encouraging leisure travel is probably bigger than most power stations, who gave them $1.6 million, the largest single donation in Australian political history. Bob Brown, the superannuation millionaire, and Graeme Wood, the travel entrepreneur millionaire, have both loudly agreed that he will get no special favours from the Greens party. Others aren’t so sure.

Ominously, Wood is a strong opponent of the NBN. Recently Bob Brown has come out in support of retail billionaires like Gerry Harvey and the notorious Solomon Lew who have been pushing the federal government to impose the GST on goods sent from overseas via post, a measure that would almost certainly cost taxpayers more to collect than the tax revenue itself. Brown hasn’t ruled out soliciting large donations from the retail giants.

One of the Greens party official Hayley Conway’s clients is an oil giant PTT Exploration and Production – the Thai state oil & gas multi-billion dollar colossus – that was strongly criticised by the Greens party and others after a major oil leak caused considerable environmental damage off the North-West Cape of Australia..

The Australian government reported that the oil spill harmed many species including common noddies, brown boobies and a sooty tern. Environmental groups like the Wilderness Society and the World Wildlife Fund said the Montara spill was “catastrophic for marine ecosystems” with whales and dolphins and turtles all at risk.

Svelte young ladies – Greens voters all – covered themselves in only black body paint in protests outside offices of the oil industry’s representatives giving the people of Perth the same sort of entertainment they’d missed since the sad demise of the city’s mud-wrestling facilities in the 1980s.

They were right to whinge. It was a nasty spill that ran for months spewing oil into the sea, the kind of disaster that is the worst nightmare of the oil industry which for the most part goes to a great deal of trouble to minimise their ecological footprint.

The Greens were all over the issue like an itchy rash, hoping it would be like the dreadful BP spill in the US.

Their spokescomrade Rachel Siewert claimed PTT was lying about the extent of the spill and demanded a fully public inquiry into their misconduct.

She issued an astonishing number of releases and public comments on the spill although since December last year has grown very quiet on PTT and their spill.

Perhaps the fact she’s gone quiet is unrelated to a senior Greens party official starting to lobby on the mega oil company’s behalf. We don’t have any issue at all with businesses or anyone else asking government to consider their interests when making decisions. It’s a healthy part of democracy. The alternative to having lobbyists or stakeholders directly approaching government is that politicians and bureaucrats would decide everything on their own. Hardly an improvement.

But the Greens party pretend our reasonably healthy system is something else. They would have the community believe that money politics and lobbyists and ex-ministers and staffers exploiting their former position is some form of cancer eating away at our democracy. The truth is Australia has one of the most boringly honest public sectors in the world. The leading anti-corruption NGO Transparency International says so. We are among the least corrupt countries on Earth.

And yet Bob Brown, himself a superannuation millionaire, conjures up and exploits a contrary perception, feeding a prejudice already evident in cynical and over-educated inner-city types.

The Greens would have us believe they are above it all, above the world of lobbyists, expense accounts, secret meetings and influence. Isn’t it satisfying to see them in what they describe as the gutter everyone else is in?

With one of their most senior party officials going directly from Adam Bandt’s private office and Greens party HQ to lobby for some of the world’s biggest resources and energy companies like BHP and PTT that have been frequently vilified by the Greens, it is all very reminiscent of a large telco that was once regularly attacked by a retired radio host then becoming his biggest private sponsor.

It might not have been corrupt. But in the context it was in, it was incredibly sleazy and a bit too slick by half.

Gavin Anderson’s decision to hire a prominent Greens party official to lobby for some of the companies that the Greens pretend to hate the most is most certainly in that category.

It’s so often the loudest in their piety who have the most to hide.



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12 responses to “TOO SLICK: Greens party lobbyist Hayley Conway now represents oil giant the Greens once condemned

  1. Wendy

    This should be nominated for a Walkley, such is the fine array of journalism on display.
    Where is the “speculation in the nation’s capital”? In whose office? Which buddy said this?
    Earning over $250k, that’s less than a senior public servant, so what’s the issue – if you vote Green you can’t earn a decent wage? So if you vote Liberal you shouldn’t earn UNDER a set amount, say $50k. So we can label someone a fake conservative if they don’t earn enough?
    And so everyone with a party association is, ipso facto, able to influence everyone else. Wow, you’ve just wiped out the entire lobbying industry in one go. So every ex Lib or Nat who is a lobbyist will automatically influence Tony Abbott?
    Any every lobbyist also now represents every client, do they. So every member of the Liberal Party represents every view of every member; every lawyer represents every client of a law firm? I think the world just moved of its axis.

    But the icing goes to this gem “Bob Brown, himself a superannuation millionaire”. So Brown should not have Super, is that it? Or if he gets it, he has no right to speak about other issues? Mmm, let’s see, that would mean anyone with Green/left views must cease earning a proper wage, must give away their Super, must live in poverty .. is that really how you view Australian politics?
    No wonder we hate rich upper class snobby Torries. You must all be the same.

  2. Leo

    greens=hypocrites! Why don’t they live what they preach!

  3. Sotherby

    Wendy must be frothing at the mouth- yet she doesn’t address the key issue which is Greens hypocrisy. Its not up for debate if political advisers, females, midgets or mutants can earn money but the manner in which Greens extremists attack others then do the same thing- hypocrisy Wendy. of course Australians have realised this so Wendy and her crew must cash in the chips before they are turfed out onto the street, falling back to the position of deserving of a bunch of pontificating self obsessed money grubbing douchebags.

  4. rigpig

    I work in the Australian Oil & Gas industry. We keep very high standards as far as environmental health & safety goes because this is our country too, and we don’t want to see it despoiled any more than anyone else does.

    PTTEP and their ilk are cowboys. They make the entire oil & gas industry look bad when it’s actually only the foreign firms like them who think nothing of cutting corners even if it means massive risk of polluting our (Australia’s) environment.

    Look into PTTEP’s ties with Burma, you greenie human-rights pretenders, With the hardline fascist Burmese military junta, to be exact. Also elsewhere in third-world countries where it’s acceptable to just “pollute and go”.

    My moral conscience (and my wife!) wouldn’t let me contract out to them in Australian or Indonesian waters even if they were paying double what an established Aussie firm is paying.

    Late last year AFTER the fire and spill they were looking to buy into ANOTHER lease on our doorstep (Oliver block)

    F*** you, Greens. You get your dream of shutting in all homegrown Aussie oil & gas exploration where we are subject to and compliant with all strict EH & S guidelines and our royalties all go to the Commonwealth and you’re going to end up with the likes of these foreign cowboys drilling just outside our limits polluting our waters and disregarding worker saftey. Goodonya.

  5. Ernest Ernie

    This crap about Brown being a superannuation Millionaire must stop. So he should be, he is in his sixties and has worked most of his life. A lot of people in thier fifties are also in that category. This silly attack does you little credit Andrew and is almost as silly as your once constant referrals to ex Vic. LHMU State Secretary Brian Daley, as a property Millionaire due to his home ownership.

  6. Christy Pine

    Would! (with a paper bag)

  7. srsly.this is wow.i don’t even care abt Torres anymore.this Carroll guy is young.n awesome ppl love to say.

  8. Biting Flea

    First its “revelations”, then i the second paragraph it turns into a “Speculation in the nation’s capital”. Can we please have a reliable valid source to verify it? Someone said something and without a blink and through the heat and humidity it turns into truth.

  9. RDR

    Oh god no, dont txt me, please. Richard.

  10. Zoran love them oiled up ladies….hmmmm

  11. can steep climb ahead. this info makes further of a case for building within the draft. plus a pretty good case for dumping ronnie too.

  12. I love it when Burkie gets called out. The Toronto media still refuses to do it but other media and NHL players do not have problem with it.

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