Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Former Australia Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb - moved from parliament to private sector without a pause

Andrew Robb with Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and former prime minister Tony Abbott
at the signing of the China trade agreement in 2015. Alex Ellinghausen

Former Liberal Member for Goldstein and former Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb officially retired when the federal election was called on 9 June 2016 after around twelve years in the House of Representatives.

His annual parliamentary pension is thought to be well in excess of $102,000 for life.

Despite receiving a pension which is at least four times higher than an average person on the aged pension, a month later Mr. Robb announced he had found employment in capacities which allow him to take immediate advantage of contacts he made as a minister of the crown.

What could possibly go wrong?

The employment list so far……..

Former trade minister Andrew Robb will advise a Geelong start-up that's invented a genetic guide to antidepressant drug dosage, in the mental health advocate's first corporate role since retiring from politics at the recent federal election.
CNSDose, founded at University of Melbourne's MAP accelerator last year by alumni Ajeet Singh, has just raised $1 million and in January inked a distribution deal with a US-wide chain of DNA testing labs, AlphaGenomix.
Now Mr Robb, inspired by his own experience battling depression, is helping the start-up make connections with pathology lab chains in China, Hong Kong and the US, based on his own networks.

Former trade minister Andrew Robb has joined investment bank Moelis & Company, where he will focus on deals with China.
It is Mr Robb's second appointment since leaving politics at the recent federal election, after he took up a role advising Geelong healthcare start-up, CNSDose.
The role with Moelis, a New York-listed investment bank, will see Mr Robb mainly helping Chinese companies looking to enter the Australian market.
He will have the title of independent adviser.
Moelis also has an asset management business focused on wealthy Chinese wishing to obtain an Australian passport, through the Significant Investor Visa program.
Mr Robb was responsible for redesigning this program while in government to tilt the required $5 million in investment away from passive bonds, towards higher risk venture capital and small company investments.
Moelis says it has about $1 billion in assets under management from this program.
As a Minister in the Abbott and Turnbull governments, Mr Robb was responsible for concluding long-stalled free-trade deals with China, Japan and South Korea.

The Australian, 15 July 2016:

Malcolm Turnbull is being urged to greenlight a private-sector proposal by eager regional councils for a $200 billion fast train linking Sydney with Melbourne.
But the keen response from rural councils in NSW and Victoria was tempered by a more cautious approach by state and federal governments to the ambitious proposal from private company, Consolidated Land and Rail ­Australia.
CLARA, which is advised by high-profile former politicians including former Victorian premier Steve Bracks, former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell and former trade minister Andrew Robb, is proposing a 915km fast-train project for travel between Sydney and Melbourne in less than two hours.

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