Friday 18th of September 2020

Lord Halliburton Claims Australia.

Having absorbed the links between Halliburton and the attempted sabotage and takeover of the Romanian petroleum industry, let's celebrate the announcement of the Lord Of Halliburton, Vice President Cheney's visit to Australia with a look back..

The last time the US Vice President came to Australia was as the Leader Of Halliburton. Fresh from a stint as "Secretary of Defense" in which he'd outsourced a lot of military work to the private sector, Cheney was extending his scheming into the rest of the world. In the parlance that considers resources as something not yet turned into cash, there were many opportunities in Australia for "monetisation".

Getting access to defence work was easy, especially after the Australian head of his company was commissioned to reconfigure the local defence procurement system. Malcolm Kinnaird was the head of an Adelaide engineering firm, Kinhill, which Cheney acquired and turned into a wholly US owned subsidiary. The Adelaide office became not only the Asia-Pacific headquarters but also Global Headquarters for Infrastructure. While Kinnaird faded as the public face of the company, the Kinnaird Report was followed by Halliburton gaining no-bid contracts a-plenty. Cheney's Men "won" jobs providing everything from naval internet security to helicopter pilot training. When Australia announced it was building a contriubition to the US Misssile shield, a suddenly-former Halliburton Global Vice President was given control of the dockyard in which the ships are to be constructed. The dockyard is just downstream from the cement factory on whose board Malcom Kinnaird has spend a few years, and is a couple of miles, as the crow flies, from the Yacht Club where Kinnaird has manned the helm as Commodore. It seems that Kinnaird was not the Ship's Captain he pretended to be.

Then again, on his watch the State Premier allowed Halliburton's proposal to run Adelaide's water supply to be tendered hours after the others, then gave them the job. That State Premier is now Australia's consul general to New York. He shares apartments with Australia's ambassador to the UN, former Defence Minister and fellow South Australian Robert Hill. Hill once proclaimed on national television that Australia was safeguarded from companies like Halliburton by "the culture of the Australian beauraucracy".

Halliburton have proposed that a 100 kilometre diameter levee (with townhouses and a marina) be built in the middle of the country's largest expanse of fresh water, South Australia's Lake Alexandrina. The concept has had as its local champion the current SA Premier Mike Rann. Mr Rann has declared the state to be in a water crisis, while the engineer who introduced the lake plan has been building a nut farm on the banks of SA's main water supply, the River Murray. The farm was constructed as an opportunity for overseas investors. Halliburton have also built a desalination plant on Kangaroo Island, on which the State's original capital was abandoned due to lack of adequate water supply.

Officially the current Federal Government have only been supporting a large scale nuclear industry for around a year. When Halliburton built the railway from Adelaide to Darwin nothing was mentioned about carting uranium and nuclear waste. Years later the company would blame losses in incurred on the investment on mining delays and holdups in rebuilding the country's topmost port in Darwin.At the time, however, the bands and flag-waving heralded a new era in Australian tourism and trade. While Halliburton were calculating statistics for nuclear waste dumps they were building tracks for the third of the world's uranium that one South Australian mine holds to be sent to Darwin, and on to the rest of the world, while imported nuclear waste is cargo for the return journey. Halliburton has control of the railway for close to the next fifty years.

There was nothing in the Australian press, either as Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar took the inaugural ride north, of the massive oilfield reconstruction contracts he'd won in Iraq. This after all, was a celebration for Australia.

The railway turned out to be a godsend to increases in South Australian defence. Because transverse-Australia military rail transport was now an option, a training base was tripled in size and a new battalion was scheduled to move to the city. Adelaide also became a southern hemispheric command centre for Missile Shied radar monitoring, the necessary internet cable layout being disguised in the press as a boon for education facilities.

In the meantime the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade were pretending that Halliburton were a local company. Halliburton were championed by DFAT spin doctors as local boys made good in gaiing aid contracts. The same department dog-wagger was the protagonist for print propaganda supporting local Missile Shield Warship construction... from behind the desk of Rupert Murdoch's very first (and still owned) newspaper.

As the Occupation of Iraq passed it's third ammoversary, Australian Prime Minister Howard made a surprise visit to Iraq to promise a prominent Australian role in aid for Iraq. During the same week Halliburton was advertising for someone to head their international aid efforts... from Adelaide.

In spite of attempted separation of the local view of Halliburton from that of the rest of the world, it will still be Cheney's company getting more non-US-taxable profit from Iraq. How much money has been concealed from the eyes of Congress by this method of international aid fund laundering will not be clear until the Prime Minister announces future Australian aid work in Iraq. Surely Vice President Cheney's visit won't be used for such a spin? It should also be noted that Ausaid, who are Foreign Affairs' aid-administering arm, admitted last year that they have no system in place to report corruption.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, became President George W. Bush's proposed candidate for Director-Generalship of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Information Technology seems to have been easy. The head of the South Australian IT Council once told me that the tendering process for local contracts was weighted so that only companies such as Halliburton could win them. Eventually he won- late last year the State Government announced that the procedures had been changed to give local IT a chance. This could be interpreted as a State Government warning to the company that times were changing.

Conversely the urge of the Federal Government to appease Cheney is so great that when a protest organiser who had caused a lot of anti-Halliburton publicity in the US was discovered on Australian soil he was arrested and kicked out, no explanation being made available. Currently our spy agency is appealing a Federal Court decision that Scott Parkin learn why he was deported. ASIO has only today admitted it was wrong in its classification of one of Parkin's co-plaintiffs

In Canberra, Halliburton are in charge of the roadworks. In Sydney, amongst other things, they carry out naval contracts. In Melbourne they build the infrastructure for the Australian Grand Prix. In Adelaide they do the lot!

They also co-ordinate small business contracting for the Australian end of the Joint Strike Fighter project.

Mr Cheney will also be visiting US troops in Guam, who are currently using Northern Australia for long-range target practice.

All of this activity seems to have been iniated on Cheney's last visit Down Under. It makes you wonder what's going to happen after the next one. He says he's coming to discuss Asian security and the War On Terror. No doubt he will be inspecting the success of his private sector Australian army who, it would seem, are going to be busier than ever over the next few years.



Mal our saviour?

Could it be - wild fantasy, I know - that the Perrier-sipping ponce from Point Piper is all that stands between the Cheney and our fee-free water? If so, Mal had better wear the full body armour when Crazy Dick is in town. With extra reinforcement for the groin region. And Mal should have an excuse ready, to absolve him from going along on the pig shoot.

Howard Murray Takeback PPP Takeover ?

As the one who introduced me to PPPs, Mr Kerr, Im sure you're thinking on a similar path. Howard's action takes control of the "publlic" aspect of the water resources out of the hands of the likes of Premier Rann, who would be working like crazy to protect the interests of his benefactors. If Rann has made promises of organising other PPP's on the waterways, say as part of a package deal, then he is about to lose a fair bit of buying power.

The Advertiser turned on a nice spread today as Howard cane through the State for a Murray Mouth photo-op, proclaiming the virtues of the Port Adelaide defence revamp. To me it was ironic that Paul Starick was filing this story just as I was posting the above blog



MORE than $1 billion worth of infrastructure works are in progress in the Port Adelaide region ahead of a defence and housing boom.

Freight links in the city's north-west are being upgraded, with bipartisan support, as the Port is about to be transformed by the $1.5 billion Newport Quays inner harbour redevelopment and the $6 billion air warfare destroyer contract.

Long-awaited $178 million opening road and rail bridges over the Port River are expected to be finished this year.

The road bridge, which connects the $90 million Port River Expressway with Victoria Rd, will achieve the longstanding ambition of diverting trucks from the Port Centre.

Both bridges will open for shipping with the road span expected to be finished by the end of the year and the rail link by the middle of the year.

The rail bridge connects with the Le Fevre Peninsula rail corridor, which is being upgraded to dual track as part of a $24 million program.

This will link with the container terminal and $100 million Outer Harbor grain terminal, operated by ABB Grain, which is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

A dredging of Outer Harbor's channel was finished last year, extending it from 9km to 11.7km and deepening the channel by 2m to 14.2m. The $45 million project was jointly funded by the State Government and Flinders Ports.

A $24 million marina is being built at Largs North, which will house the Port Adelaide Sailing Club - relocated from the inner harbour.

The joint state / federal Northern Expressway, expected to cost $550 million, will link with the Port River Expressway via Port Wakefield Rd.

The air warfare destroyer construction, based at Osborne's ASC, is an important driver of the freight link upgrades. As part of the deal to secure the contract, the State Government will spend $243 million on a defence precinct for subcontractors and others involved in the destroyer construction.


Now that this job has been done, the next logical step would be to secure the resources to support it. It would seem that that this task, and any profitable aspect of it, has been snatched from Rann's grasp by Howard. It's like Howard has taken the gold ring on the merry-go-round by standing on Rann's shoulders.

New Silk Road

China's global aspirations are probably linked to its ship-building capacity. I read about it somewhere, and the figure in tonnage was mind-boggling. At least a few factors ahead of Adelaide's.

From China is stirring: why now?:

  • China knows that the US is terribly distracted by other foreign policy imperatives. Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea are “sucking the air out of our ability to breathe and concentrate on other, seemingly lesser trouble spots,” a former State Department country officer told us. “Why do you think we don’t pay much attention to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela?”
    Last July, at the height of the war between Israel and Hezbollah, the US Secretary of State had a scheduled trip to China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia. Naturally, in the heat of war, the American Secretary of State scrubbed the entire trip, save the Malaysian piece. Asians we know, were very offended - each nation lost face and all Asia lost face, they told us.
    The Chinese were particularly concerned that Israel and Hezbollah seemed more important to Ms Rice than all of China. Making things worse, the US Secretary of State went to Malaysia for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers. Instead of visiting with heads of state in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and Hanoi, the Secretary of State went to a club meeting of Foreign Ministers and played the piano for the assembly at dinner (Brahms’ Sonata in D Minor, 2nd Movement).
    Worse still, for right or wrong, the Secretary of State rushed back to the Middle East, it seemed, to deal with the troubles of Israel; a small and insignificant nation in the eyes of many in the vast populations of Asia. We, in America, lost face - especially in the calculating minds of the Chinese.

The New Silk Road goes through the East China Sea.

scott parkin update .....

In November last year, the Federal Court Court ordered discovery of security assessments and other documents relating to Scott, Mohammad Sagar and Muhammad Faisal, the last two Iraqi asylum seekers detained on Nauru. 

ASIO appealed to the Full Court, arguing that even revealing the number of documents they hold could jeopardise Australia's national security. 

If the discovery order is upheld, Scott's legal team will be able to apply for access to the adverse security assessment and other documents. This could mean that Scott finally finds out what he is alleged to have said or done to warrant his detention and forced removal from Australia in September 2005. 

One of the documents Scott's lawyers are seeking is a secret 1990 "determination" which sets out the criteria which ASIO applies when assessing threats related to "politically motivated violence". Given Scott's clear and well documented commitment to nonviolence in word and deed, one has to wonder whether ASIO may in fact interpret acts of nonviolent civil disobedience as the exact opposite. 

It's equally worrying that under legislation introduced by the Howard Government, the new Attorney General, Robert McClelland has the power to overrule the courts by declaring the appearance of evidence or witnesses to be prejudicial to national security. 

This means Mr McClelland could come under pressure stop Scott, his lawyers or anyone else finding out exactly why ASIO considers a peace activist with a firm commitment to nonviolence to be a "direct or indirect threat" to Australia's national security. 

Help us remind our new Attorney General that ASIO answers to him – not they other way around. Please write to Mr McClelland today and tell him to let the courts do their job without interference. 

Tell McClelland to let the courts do their job …. send an e-mail to Mr McClelland at