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Thread: @jommy_tee

By now, most of Australia knows Angus Taylor went to see Josh Frydenberg in March 2017.

But why did really he want those meetings?

What was the real reason?

#grassgate #angusgate #farmgate
If you haven’t heard about Angus Taylor’s #grassgate issue, the story goes something like:

Angus Taylor (then Minister for Cities) in early 2017, met & strongly lobbied the then Minister for Environment, Josh Frydenberg.

And all allegedly over an illegal grass spraying issue.
We say allegedly because there’s no solid proof this was the reason Angus Taylor met with Josh Frydenberg.

So let's look at this alleged illegal grass spraying issue.

It happened on an isolated 800 hectare property in Delegate, southern Monaro NSW.

#farmgate
The incident was in Oct 2016 on a property called "Ambyne" on remote Tingaringi Road. JamLand is alleged to have owned the farm in question.

Except at the time of the incident, JamLand did not own that farm.

They leased it. On a hand shake.
Does that hand-shake lease affect JamLand's liability in the alleged issue?

Possibly.

We do know the alleged incident involved 200hectares of land on that NotOwnedByJamLand farm – 200 ha that may or may not have contained legislatively significant coverage of native grasses.
Why is that important?

Because under the legislation (EPBC Act), if the native grass cover was considered less than 50% coverage, then the farmers did not need permission to spray the grasses.

And two scientists both said the 50% coverage was about right.
In addition to the wobbly looking case against JamLand, there is also the issue of what sort of sanctions have applied to previous companies & individuals who’ve breached the EPBC Act.

And how often.

And the reality is sometimes – not much.

environment.gov.au/epbc/complianc…
So what, you say?

That still doesn't mean that Angus Taylor was not desperately worried about his "family owned company" called JamLand that allegedly sprayed grasses that may or may not have been there on a farm they didn't own over three years ago.
Well . . .

On September 23 this year, Josh Frydenberg was interviewed by Patricia Karvelas and was surprised with the following question -

Did Angus Taylor tell Josh Frydenberg prior to their March 21 2017 meeting about his family's financial interest in JamLand?
Oh yes, said Josh Frydenberg unequivocally.

Apparently Angus Taylor told him all about it - "a family company that was subject to a compliance issue and that he had an indirect interest in that company."

And Angus Taylor told him this before their meeting on March 2017?
Except there's only one thing wrong with that story.

Angus Taylor and his family and business partner did not own shares in JamLand until almost two months after the March 21 2017 meeting.

They did not buy into the company until May 18 2017.

#grassgate #farmgate
Which is awkward.

Because why would Angus Taylor be assuring Frydenberg about a "family company" he had an "indirect interest" in - 2 months before it actually was a family company he had an indirect interest in?

Was Josh Frydenberg alternative-facting in that ABC interview?
In any event, Mr Taylor has always assured parliament & anybody else asking, that he went to see Frydenberg to discuss the technical aspects of that grassland’s legislation.

In other words, the science & the way that law affects farms & farmers in their everyday life

We agree.
Because really -

why would a federal minister worry about a compliance investigation into a company he didn't own at the time, on a property he didn't own at the time involving a maybe/maybe-not grasses issue that was so debatable, even the NSW department walked away from it?
Why did Angus Taylor meet & lobby Josh Frydenberg about that native grasslands legislation?

And why did that lobbying result in a comprehensive 2018 federal government review into that legislation?

One that included this amazing recommendation:
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