IT was one of those “drop your bacon sandwich at the audacity” kind of stories – the sort of revelation that shows what power and influence in a democracy really means.
Australia’s wealthiest individual, Hancock Prospecting chairman Gina Rinehart, loaded up a couple of Federal MPs onto her private jet and flew them to India for a wedding. What for?
At the time, Rinehart was trying to secure a deal with infrastructure giant GVK, which had shown an interest in buying into some of her coal mine projects. Walking up the aisle was Mallika Reddy, grandaughter of GVK’s founder GV Krishna Reddy. As was reported in Crikey, the two MPs National Senator Barnaby Joyce and Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop were there to “lend cachet” to Rinehart.
Actually, it wasn’t just two MPs. Unreported at the time, but buried away in the register of interests, was an alteration to Brisbane Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro‘s entry. The change, recorded on 7 July, shows that Gambaro was also on the flight from Perth to India and stayed two nights in Hyderabad.