It pays to have friends in high places.

From the Australian

Multinational private foreign aid contractor Palladium mid-last year appointed Australia’s former foreign minister Julie Bishop to its board of directors.

The job with one of Australia’s biggest foreign aid contractors came just a few months after Bishop left federal parliament, with the appointment prompting Labor to allege a breach of ministerial standards.

Palladium in recent weeks has landed at least two hefty federal government contracts worth a combined $7.6m to assist in fighting the coronavirus pandemic that’s sweeping the globe.

There’s been a $2.5m deal to help the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade via its foreign aid program screen outbound Pacific travellers, as well as a $5.1m contract also with DFAT via foreign aid for logistics support to the Australian response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Asia Pacific.

Both contracts are for six months’ work.

Notably, Bishop shares the Palladium board table with former local cruise ship operator Carnival Australia boss Ann Sherry, who quietly left that job last year before COVID-19 had even come to pass in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Carnival, of course, operates the Ruby Princess, with Australian businesswoman Katie Lahey now on the board of Carnival’s listed global parent, Carnival International. Sherry’s knack for timing is further reflected in her exit from the Rugby Australia board in April last year, making us wonder whether the former Westpac exec and now National Australia Bank director carries about a crystal ball.

Is this how our politicians sell out our nation for their own financial gain?

Sure looks like it.

#BetterPolicy #BetterFamilies #BetterNation