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If the PwC consultancy crisis has revealed one important thing it is the role of accountants as professional enablers for rip off merchants in the corporate world. Now, we are informed via an ABC investigation of labour hire fraud in the oil and gas industry in Australia. The shifty paperwork was completed by a local accountant in Perth, WA – one Blake Read.

“Christmas 2022 was a busy time for Altrad, a global supplier of labour to the oil and gas industry. Just two days prior to the holiday, the Montpellier-based multinational and self-described “world leader” went on a buying spree in Western Australia. It snapped up nine locally registered private companies apparently specialising in oil and gas maintenance. At least five of them appear to have been labour hire firms. Three of these companies are now the subject of a wide-ranging investigation by Australia’s industrial regulator, which found conclusive evidence one was little more than a sham.

The sham company in east Perth that Altrad bought was called Workforce Logistics Pty Ltd. It was incorporated in August last year, and at the time of writing is in the process of being dismantled. Though it lived a short life and suffered an inglorious demise, it has shone a bright light on the shadowy ways huge fossil fuel companies drive down costs any way they can. The man who established Workforce Logistics is Blake Read, a 48-year-old chartered accountant from Burns Beach, north of Perth, who has since scrubbed his LinkedIn profile from the internet.

The context here is the steady degradation of proper and reliable employment in heavy industries across this country in favour of bespoke labour hire firms. This has become a status quo for those working offshore for the large oil and gas majors, which are motivated to drive down labour costs.

confident senior businessman holding money in hands while sitting at table near laptop
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Corporations Screwing Australians With The Help Of Local Accountants

Is it a case of dirty deeds done dirt cheap, well relative to the billions made by these oil and gas giants mining our natural resources? Not only do they pay relatively little tax to the Australian people, it is now being revealed that they do whatever they can to pay the lowest wages to their Australian workers via whatever nefarious means possible. They are being aided and abetted in these schemes by other Australians, accountants and lawyers, to screw our nation out of our just deserts. It is time to name and shame these professional enablers, so that those who live in the same streets and suburbs know who and what they are living next to. It is time to bring from out of the shadows these dodgy practices, which are ripping off this country and its people.  

The mining industry makes a big show of being an important employer of Australians and of being made up of good corporate citizens. However, the reality tells a different story with fairly few jobs within the sector and labour hire firms screwing workers in some instances to boot.

These international miners do not pay enough tax and do everything possible to minimise their financial investment at every turn. Governments need to wake up and there should be thorough investigations into the financial relationships between mining companies and the politicians making the important decisions.

Pwc white collar crime

Dirty Deeds Done By Accountants For Their Corporate Masters

We have had decades of Coalition governments putting the boot into unions and spinning narratives about union corruption. However, this has been largely a smokescreen and deflection from the real rip offs by those in power. Australian workers are getting screwed by labour hire firms feted by the LNP and it is time to clean up the corporate corruption at the heart of it. Name and shame the professional enablers involved in these shady deals, the accountants and lawyers doing dirty deeds for their corporate masters.

Break up the consultancy giants and return primacy to national loyalty over corporate greed. Australia does not ask enough of its citizens – it sets the bar too low, when it comes to civic duty and morality in the business world.

Money Matters by Robert Sudha Hamilton

Crimes Against Australia

We have the seen the son and daughter of an ATO tax commissioner commit heinous crimes and be sent to prison for long stretches. What kind of parent was he and what kind of community standards are lacking to create this kind of thing. A reasonably wealthy family produces this appalling behaviour in its children – it is an indictment on modern Australia. Where are the cultural codes of conduct within this country that demand more from its citizens? Inflated property prices have poisoned the air in Australia. Adam Cranston would meet in a lavish strip club with his co-conspirators to talk about the millions of dollars they were criminally leeching out of the companies and the ATO. It is a fitting reflection of the Australian business world indulging in the commodification of sex and celebrating ripping off ordinary people.

Corruption within the business world is becoming more and more common with accountants as professional enablers. White collar crime worth billions dances under the noses of an underfunded ASIC and ACCC. Toothless tigers abound in the oversight of the Australian corporate realm.

“The Morrison government came close to breaking up the corporate regulator under the former chairman James Shipton, after Treasury investigated the idea when it was raised in the final recommendations of the Hayne royal commission.”

  • (Patrick Durkin, AFR, Feb 2023)
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White Collar Crime Goes Largely Unpunished

“She’ll be right mate!” This Australianism captures the almost fatalistic essence of the national spirit, where politicians don’t do much more than a nod and a wink when it comes to combatting corporate crime. There is too much at stake in terms of political donations and influence to really tackle the situation. Australia sets the bar too low when it comes to morality and expectations of civic duty. A convict nation at its roots.

A parliament in Canberra with heavy drinking and misogynistic failings. We talk a good game but things remain the same when it really matters. It has taken more than a century to get a National Anti-Corruption Commission.

focused professional man using laptop
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Accountants Syphoning Off Government Spending

Legions of accountants and lawyers at corporate behemoths like PwC and KPMG are employed to do endless expensive reviews. When people talk about the billions spent on things like Aboriginal Affairs by governments it is never mentioned where large amounts of that money has actually gone to. In the fine print of budgets you will see the syphoning off of that money into these reviews by consultancy firms. Governments cannot act without sizable preliminary studies into what they are supposed to be doing. Plus, the departmental public service receive their renumeration too. Secretaries of these government departments, like Mike Pezzulo, are on million dollar contracts. Australians are being screwed good and proper but are too dumb to really pay attention. This shit has been going for a long time and most folk just keep their head down in their own little patch. Is it time to actually do something about this state of affairs?

There are more than 200, 000 accountants in Australia – https://labourmarketinsights.gov.au/occupation-profile/Accountants?occupationCode=2211

Let us call for the naming and shaming of professionals who enable rip off merchants to fleece Australia – its workers and the ATO. Break up the big four consultancy firms; and demand more from our governments in terms of transparency and accountability.

Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt, and Financial Freedom.

©MidasWord

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