Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Death robs Australian people of justice

"The bodies of six Australian mining executives killed in a west African plane crash remain at the site of the wreckage as recovery personnel continue to clear thick rainforest. The wreckage of the CASA C-212 aircraft chartered by Perth-based Sundance Resources was discovered on a ridge in jungle in Congo on Monday afternoon. The plane was flying from Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, to Sundance's Mbalam iron ore project near Yangadou in the Republic of Congo when it went down on Saturday, killing all on board. French military personnel and Sundance's emergency response team on Tuesday began the difficult recovery, which involves clearing a 10km track to enable the retrieval of the bodies. Australian mining contractors and trucks have been brought in to hel p bulldoze dense jungle. Cameroon's aviation authority has said it retrieved and identified all 11 bodies from the plane, but Sundance and Australian foreign affairs officials said the recovery work was continuing on the ground." - AAP

The death of Queensland coal mining magnate Ken Talbot in a plane crash in Africa has robbed the Australian people of the chance of seeing him prosecuted and jailed over corruption charges.

Talbot was to face charges of paying some $360,000 in bribes to former Queensland Labor minister Gordon Nuttall who has already been tried and convicted and put into a cell.
If Talbot was prepared to engage in bribery in a nice "clean" country like Australia, one wonders what opportunities may have presented themselves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which currently sits at no. 162 out of 180 countries rated for their level of corruption by Transparency International!

Talbot has a personal fortune estimated to be close to $1 billion and has been an active partner with the Chinese Government's CITIC Australia in a number of exploration and mining ventures.

In all the crap now being written about Talbot in the obsequious capitalist press there is no mention that he and CITIC were the major shareholders in the grubby little Marathon Resources company that has already despoiled the Arkaroola Wildlife Sanctuary, and has plans to mine the killer mineral uranium from this iconic wilderness area.

Now we will never see a South Australian independent commission against corruption (ICAC) - even assuming the ostrich-like Premier Rann would set one up - investigate the crony capitalism that seems to have embraced former Labor Senator Schacht, (a Marathon executive director), CITIC, Talbot and his nominees within Marathon, and the SA Labor government.
There are indeed good reasons to feel sad at this news.

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