News & Current Affairs
28 November 2014
by Larry Pickering
AUSTRALIA POST'S MUSLIM MUSEUM A FAMILY AFFAIR
The Lebanese CEO of Australia Post, Ahmed Fahour, earned (that’s probably the wrong word) an unprecedented $4.8 million last year. It made the ABC’s Mark Scott’s $800,000 look miserly and made him the highestpaid postman in the world, ten times higher than the top US postman who runs a business 20 times larger. Not bad for a public servant.
But a little digging has unearthed some very disturbing stuff concerning Mr Fahour’s “philanthropic” $2 million donation to his brother.
The museum itself is no more than an elongated shed with a rusty facade and if you offered more than $1.5 million for it you, rather than halal milk, need to be certified.
It’s hard to know where to start with what appears to be another giant Islamic attack on Australia’s taxpayers. Nowhere near the con of halal certification of course but certainly a nice little multi million, tax-free earner for the Fahour family.
A major contributor to this arcane museum was Julia Gillard who tipped in a borrowed $1.5 million from our shallow pockets.
Undisclosed amounts from tax-free funds have been paid for Islamic “works of art” one of which, a painting of Muslim hero Waleed Aly, (Australia’s apologist for terrorists) by an Abdul Abdullah, has pride of place.
Other pedestrian looking paintings and sculptures by hitherto unknown, and otherwise unemployed, members of the Islamic inner circle of postman Ahmed Fahour, have also been paid for by Aussie taxpayers, in undisclosed sums of course.
So how did the world’s richest postman manage to shift $2 million of taxpayer funds into this family affair called the Islamic Museum?
Well, Mr Fahour’s base rate of pay is $1.9 million, even that amount is extraordinary for a non-accountable public servant, but this amount was boosted by an incredible $2.9 million in 2013 for “performance” bonuses.
But what “performance” can this amount possibly be attributed to?
Australia Post, despite being a virtual monopoly (due to its 4,500 outlets) has done poorly under Mr Fahour’s tutelage. Australia Post’s return on equity actually fell in 2013 from 16.8% to a mere 10.6%.
At the same time its operating cash flow worsened, from $551 million to $450 million. So how exactly has the “performance” of the world’s richest postman warranted a $2.9 million bonus?
Well, you will battle to find out how by reading Deloitte’s annual audit, but it’s all hidden away right there in a report that was cannily released on a Sunday morning to escape scrutiny.
Australia Post’s Directors and even the Deputy Chairman earn less than $100,000 p.a. and workers received a paltry pay rise of 1.5% in 2013.
But Fahour himself copped a pay increase of 66%, and with bonuses, he took home $4.8 million.
Hmmm, but did he really take all that money home?
How in the hell did he pull such an outrageous swifty? Okay, letters have made a huge loss, due to the digital phenomenon and regulatory requirements, but Aussies who use the Australia Post package service, (it uses exactly the same infrastructure as the plain old letter) will have felt the pain.
Curiously, Australia Post’s package branch is unregulated and it charges equivalent to whatever the market will bear... and it appears the Christmas market is bearing quite a lot with competitors at a huge disadvantage failing the 4,500 outlets that Australia Post enjoys at the taxpayers’ cost.
Taxpayers have forked out billions in asset infrastructure which is now being used to rip them off!
So Australia’s richest postman, without any shareholder oversight, was able to reduce his taxable income by donating $2 million straight out of Australia Post’s bank account to his dodgy family Museum, leaving himself a lazy $800,000 bonus, to ensure a nice Xmas (a festivity he doesn’t actually recognise) on top of his $1.9 million base pay.
Bloody hell, the ABC is starting to look austere!