Friday, 8 November 2013

Is Peter Reith splitting hairs in the hope no one will pursue his connection with the gas industry in Australia?

On 7 November 2013 an ABC News article contained these statements:
The Government has been widely criticised for not making public Mr Reith's report, which was commissioned by former premier Ted Baillieu in January. The ABC has learnt that all the taskforce members, except for Mr Reith, represent energy companies or associated industries and lobby groups.
While this interesting exchange turned up on Twitter on 4 November:

Mark Anning ‏1@EarthMedia 4 Nov
Peter Reith ‏@Peter_Reith 4 Nov
@1EarthMedia you have your facts wrong. Best not to follow people who enjoy conspiracy theories.
Mark Anning ‏@1EarthMedia 4 Nov 9:09 PM - 4 Nov 13 
Peter de Voil ‏@skroggitz 5 Nov
@Peter_Reith Which facts are wrong? Working for @thiessgroup, or ALC? #auspol @1EarthMedia

So is former Howard Government minister and active Liberal Party member, Peter Keaston Reith, far removed from any connection with liquefied natural gas and coal seam gas and therefore above suspicion when it comes to the Victorian Premier's Gas Market Taskforce he chaired?

Mr. Reith is still a special counsel at First State Advisors & Consultants Pty Ltd, having joined that 'team' in late 2012.

I am not sure if in his capacity as special counsel he actively lobbies on behalf of Theiss Pty Ltd or the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.

However, as a sole trader he is currently listed as the official lobbyist for Bechtel Management Company Ltd a civil engineering/construction subsidiary of the Bechtel Corporation which has coal, oil and gas interests around the world. Including gas projects in the Pilbara region of West Australia and the Gladstone region in Queensland. 

This subsidiary company appears to be his only client as of 2 July 2013.

The parent company Bechtel Corporation claims its Curtis Island LNG project off the Gladstone coast represents the greatest concentration of Bechtel projects anywhere in the world.

In its 2012 annual report Bechtel explained that; On Curtis Island, in eastern Australia, we are building three world-scale plants to process the region’s vast coal seam gas reserves.

Bechtel Corporation though the Bechtel Power Corporation is also a member of the UK Nuclear Industry Association.

So unless Peter Children Overboard Reith suddenly resigned as a lobbyist once the Gas Market Taskforce was established in 2012 but forgot to inform state and federal agencies, he is running true to form and being less than honest with both the twitterverse and mainstream media when discussing his connections with industries associated with energy supply or coal seam gas.

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