Travel scandal spreads through Coalition

By Leith van Onselen

Earlier this week, The SMH reported that Finance Minister Mathias Cormann was found to have received free flights for a family holiday to Singapore from Hello World – a company controlled by Liberal Party Treasurer Andrew Burnes – within weeks of the company winning a $1 billion contract from Cormann’s Finance Department.

Now the scandal has spread to former Treasurer and US Ambassador, Joe Hockey. From The SMH:

In April 2017, Mr Hockey told Washington embassy staff to meet with an executive from Helloworld…

The meeting was intended to help Helloworld understand the travel requirements of foreign affairs staff stationed in North America, to help it pitch a proposal for a commercial arrangement with the department.

The meeting in Washington in April 26, 2017 was arranged after Mr Burnes contacted Mr Hockey. The company’s 2017 annual report shows Mr Hockey is one of Helloworld’s 20 largest shareholders, with a stake now worth more than $1.3 million.

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.

[email protected]


Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


  1. Where’s smhokey – there’s ……

    On the other hoof – didn’t Hockey do what he advocated so so ardently? He got a better job? So not a leaner, is he? 😀

  2. That hockey always struck me as a sleazy bugger.

    I hadn’t thought that he was THIS sloppy, though.
    I mean, holding the shares in own name….?? Ffs!

    • especially after the SMH disclosed a few years ago that he was a “Treasurer for Sale”. You’d think he’d be more careful with the bribery.

      Good to see the SMH still doing this sort of reporting after being bought out by 9, though. Let’s hope if continues.

    • Not a good look from Sloppy Joe. From an ethical standpoint he should get turfed from his position as Ambassador. Whether he will or not, sadly I have a feeling they may give him a pass.

      • Friend of mine is married to the Australian consul in a major us city.
        When Mr Hockey comes to town, the consuls main job is to limit the interaction between Joe and the city police.
        Joe is a party,party boy, and a teensy bit exuberant at times.

  3. I’m sure some boats will arrive or a terror attack will happen soon to distract Joe Public, and remind him to vote for the Liberals, the only party who can keep him safe!

  4. The poor do not drive very far, they get free air tickets from Harvey World Travel instead.


    Joe Cigar

  5. Oh for fcks fcking sake have these fckin hoovering c0ckwombles got no fcking shame.

    What the fvcking fvck are these knbgoblins doing walking around free, let alone not beat up on sight?

    How many have they killed with their robodebt fvking letters?

    For fvckin fvck……… fvking hypocritical cvnts.

  6. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Good on them. The one and only reason I’d ever go into politics would be to increase my profits. It’s the Aussie way.

  7. Isn’t this illegal? How can the treasurer of the party running the country get a contract worth billions for a company he runs? I thought there were laws against this sort of thing? These fvckers are getting so cocky that they think they are untouchable.

    • Anybody surprised? Hockey today, some other pollie tomorrow or today or in C terms
      for (;;)

      • Politicians are certainly known for following scripts but I think we should use some OOP here to capture the class based system. Let’s start with recent politicians:

        class Politician{
        public enum Affiliation;
        private bool hasIntegrity;
        Public bool HasIntegrity;
        public string PollyName;
        private double bankBalance;
        public bool LifterStatus;

        Politician(string name, enum party, double starting_balance){
        hasIntegrity = false;
        HasIntegrity = true;
        PollyName = “The Hon ” + name;
        Affiliation = party;
        bankBalance = starting_balance;
        LifterStatus = true;
        public string Rort(double polly_cut){
        bankBalance = bankBalance + polly_cut;
        return “I earned it. Get a better job”;

  8. And they are two of the more capable members of this current season of Governing at First Sight (GAFS). Just let that sink in for a moment.

  9. When leaders have their fingers so obviously in the till, it spreads a message that everyone else should try to put their fingers in the till. Pretty soon, everyone is scamming everyone, trust breaks down and the social fabric disintegrates. Thieves and liars everywhere. That’s why the penalty for corruption needs to be extreme for those in power, much more punitive than it is for other citizens.

    Cicero knew it all too well, over 2000 years ago:

    In fine, let those who are to preside over the state obey two precepts of Plato, — one, that they so watch for the well-being of their fellow-citizens that they have reference to it in whatever they do, forgetting their own private interests; the other, that they care for the whole body politic, and not, while they watch over a portion of it, neglect other portions.

    For, as the guardianship of a minor, so the administration of the state is to be conducted for the benefit, not of those to whom it is intrusted, but of those who are intrusted to their care. But those who take counsel for a part of the citizens, and neglect a part, bring into the state an element of the greatest mischief, and stir up sedition and discord, some siding with the people, some with the aristocracy, and few being equally the friends of all. From this cause arose great dissensions among the Athenians, and in our republic it has led not only to seditions, but also to destructive civil wars.

    Partiality of this kind, a citizen who is substantial and brave, and worthy of a chief place in the state, will shun and abhor, and will give himself wholly up to the state, pursuing neither wealth nor power; and he will so watch over the entire state as to consult the well-being of all its citizens. Nor will he expose any one to hatred or envy by false accusation, and he will in every respect so adhere to justice and right as in their behalf to submit to any loss however severe, and to face death itself rather than surrender the principles which I have indicated.

    Most pitiful in every aspect is the canvassing and scrambling for preferment, of which it is well said by the same Plato, that those who strive among themselves which shall be foremost in the administration of the state, act like sailors who should quarrel for a place at the helm. The same writer exhorts us to regard as enemies those who bear arms against us, not those who desire to care for the interests of the state in accordance with their own judgment, as in the case of the disagreement without bitterness between Publius Africanus and Quintus Metellus.

    • Can’t imagine he’d get arrested, but Trump would love some payback on Hockey. I wonder if he’d be able to find a way to limit the payback to just Hockey and not the rest of us.

  10. It would appear that Labor might have a source within our embassy in Washington DC going on a couple of questions that were put to scummo today in question time. One was asking scummo to deny that certain documents were in the system I think regarding that breifing that was given to the travel company (as in that the briefing was arranged by Ambo Joe). And a second question was whether the same Sloppy Joe had paid commercial rates for a trip to Los Vegas he did with I think his mate the boss of the travel company.

    The problem for scummo and the muppets is that they don’t know exactly how much information and evidence has been given to Labor and to the journos working this story. If there were to be evidence that there is a pattern of senior Liberal people getting free travel from a company that is then getting major contracts from the government they would not be able to brush it aside as just being a careless oversight.

    There is a gangrenous stench around capital hill tonight.

  11. It’s clear they have thrown in the towel regarding winning the next election.
    Take everything that ain’t bolted down.

  12. Burn them at the stake. They have zero conscience about stealing from battling taxpayers to fund their lifestyles (bullsh!t trips overseas, or a generous contract to a mate), all while telling us how much they care. The bottom line is, it’s “taxpayers contributions” they are fiddling with, not “government money” as in “their own” to spend. Time the distinction was made and the contempt for the hand that feeds these parasites raised in everyone’s consciousness.

  13. HadronCollisionMEMBER

    Tool’s Ænima springs to mind especially the surging final exhortation to flush it down