Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Senate candidate Brett Cooke has called on Energy Minister Angus Taylor to publicly release his tax returns to prove he’s never had a financial interest in the company that received $80 million taxpayers’ money for selling non-existent water.
SFF Senate candidate – Brett Cooke
The $80 million purchase – almost twice the book carrying value held by the company – was approved by Mr Taylor’s then cabinet colleague Barnaby Joyce.
“Angus Taylor said he has never had a direct or indirect financial interest in the Cayman Islands-based company he co-founded and was a director of for five years,” Mr Cooke said.
“So why is he refusing to answer media questions on this?”
“If he has nothing to hide, he should front a press conference, answer questions and release his tax returns and share registry information for each year of the last 10 years to fully clear the air”
Mr Cooke said people he has spoken to on the campaign trail are furious at this water buyback scandal, and frustrated at the lack of answers.
“Barnaby Joyce has washed his hands at this, even though he was the Minister who signed off on the purchase”
“Angus Taylor hasn’t done a proper interview, he’s ignored questions, and threatened journalists with defamation law suits for simply mentioning the story”.
“But Taylor’s Donald Trump-style approach to this scandal won’t work in Australia”.
“This is our money. It’s our taxes. We don’t have answers and we want them now.”
“There is a strong public interest here that overrides personal privacy”
Can’t afford to wait until after the election
Mr Cooke said calls for an inquiry after the election won’t cut it.
“The government announced the auditor-general will be looking into water purchases since 2008,” Mr Cooke sai
“This announcement was made simply to kill the news story”
“By the time an inquiry happens, the heat will be taken out of this issue. The media will have forgotten about it”
“Yes, I want to see a federal corruption watchdog and a royal commission on water mismanagement,”
“But it’s not enough. What has the NSW corruption watchdog (ICAC) done about the Four Corners Pumped scandal revealed almost two years ago?”.
“We need to put the pressure on now. The media, public, everyone.”
“If Angus Taylor has done nothing wrong, he should show us his tax returns to prove he received no financial benefit through this sale”.