22 June 2009

PM, Swan, Turnbull shout 'resign'

WAYNE Swan and Malcolm Turnbull are facing heated demands to resign today.

KEVIN Rudd reckons Malcolm Turnbull is in trouble. Malcolm Turnbull says Wayne Swan should be worried. Wayne Swan says he has nothing to hide, but he won't show you the proof.

The so-called utegate scandal is set to come to a head today with the Government setting up a showdown with the Opposition Leader in Parliament.

The drama centres on whether Mr Rudd, Mr Swan or members of their staff pressured Treasury officials to help Ipswich car dealer John Grant, a neighbour of the PM who has given him a ute to use as a mobile office.

Mr Grant applied for help from the OzCar emergency credit scheme, which was set up to help car dealers stay afloat after two major financiers pulled out of the Australian industry during the worst of the financial crisis last year.

There is a Senate inquiry, an auditor-general's inquiry and an Australian Federal Police investigation into the matter, including the PM's office, the Treasurer's office and Treasury staff, to see if Mr Grant's application was favoured.

The political future of Mr Rudd and Mr Swan will hinge on the paper trail of emails and faxes and whether they prove either man misled Parliament. For Mr Turnbull, it will come down to how he handles the existence of the single email he claimed showed Mr Rudd's hands were dirty.

A series of emails tabled at a Senate inquiry on Friday appears to show that the Treasurer and his office were taking a special interest in Mr Grant's case. It also emerged an update on Mr Grant's progress had been sent to Mr Swan's home fax.

Mr Swan says there are more emails and correspondence in the system about representations from other dealers that show Mr Grant was not favoured. But he will not release them to the public because they are "commercial-in-confidence".

He says the emails will be given to the auditor-general's inquiry.

Instead, he has pointed to a report in today's Daily Telegraph which quotes the Motor Traders Association as saying many car dealers received the same treatment as Mr Grant.

"I think Mr Grant has been treated less well because he went to the Treasurer," MTA boss Michael Delaney told the Telegraph.

Rudd email

The Government instead wants the focus on Mr Turnbull, who had reportedly been telling journalists of the existence of an email from one of the Mr Rudd's staff asking Godwin Grech - the senior bureaucrat at OzCar - about Mr Grant's case.

Mr Grech told the Senate inquiry on Friday he believed communications from Mr Rudd's office on behalf of Mr Grant had been made.

The Prime Minister says Mr Turnbull must produce the "smoking gun" email or resign. Mr Rudd says there is no such email.

Mr Turnbull, who has backtracked over having ever seen the mystery email, now calls it a distraction and instead wants to keep the heat on the Treasurer.

Mr Turnbull rejects Mr Rudd's deadline to produce the mystery email and instead wants a timeline for the Senate to hear more from Mr Grech.

"He wanted to say more about that email but the minute he talked about it they jumped on him like a tonne of bricks and basically prevented him from giving his testimony," Mr Turnbull said on Macquarie Radio.

"He has said that he recalls receiving a short email from the Prime Minister's office but before he could say anything more about it, Mr Rudd's henchmen in the Senate stopped him from answering questions."

Mr Rudd says Mr Turnbull cannot have it both ways. "You cannot simply throw mud in this business and seek to completely besmirch a politician or a prime minister's or a treasurer's reputation and then say 'oh by the way, this email doesn't exist'," Mr Rudd said on Channel Nine this morning.

"That is why he has one option: stand in the Parliament, produce this email, or apologise and resign."

news.com.au 22 Jun 2009

Turnbull has engaged and continues to engage in fraudulent business activities.

Since these people are politicians, they are ABOVE the law, and will NOT be prosecuted.

The police only prosecute people who commit petty crimes.

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