So Clive Hamilton might not remember calling for the temporary suspension of democracy but what else doesn’t he remember?
This morning he calls on the ATO to audit the IPA because
The IPA is notoriously secretive about its sources of funding.
The public may not have the means to shed light on the murky world of IPA finances, but the Tax Commissioner does. He should open up the Institute’s books to ensure it is complying with the law and to force on the IPA the transparency it demands of others.
He clearly doesn’t remember running a think tank – mind you the shirt-tail on his piece reminds us all about the Australia Institute.
He was formerly the executive director of the Australia Institute, which he founded in 1994.
Hamilton, too, is coy about benefactors but claims they do not attach strings to funding. He says the institute has a mixed group of board members whose opinions do not necessarily tally with research findings. They include the ACTU president, Sharan Burrow, and Melbourne businessman Kim Todhunter, who heads Tricom Securities. The institute has 500 members and has drawn funds from commissioned research for organisations such as the NSW Environmental Protection Agency, BP, AGL, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Greenpeace.
But the bulk of its money comes from an offshoot of Rupert Murdoch’s family – the Kantors – who became wealthier when they sold their stakes in Murdoch’s company to him and channelled funding to Hamilton’s group through two private organisations, the Poola Foundation and Treepot Foundation.
Update: While you’re at The Drum read the comments thread.
Update II: The Bunyip comments here.