Tom Harley

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Tom Harley is President Corporate Development at BHP Billiton and is active at the top levels of the Liberal Party of Australia. He is a key facilitator of a "1996 wheat "donation" to Iraq and the illegal recouping of an associated "debt" six years later by a mysterious BHP-linked company". [1]


Tom Harley is a great grandson of Alfred Deakin. In the 1970s, Harley attended RMIT, receiving a Bachelor of Business (Economics) from RMIT before going on to a Master of Letters (Politics) at the University of Oxford. He was prominent in the Young Liberals during the 1970s with fellow liberals Michael Kroger and Peter Costello.

In 1984, he joined BHP Billiton, and rose to the executive level. He was appointed President Corporate Development in January 2004.


Harley is Chairman of the Menzies Research Centre, a think tank run by the Liberal Party which also receives a federal government subsidy.

He has been appointed by the Howard government to a number of paid government positions, including Chairman of the Australian Heritage Council – the Australian Government's policy advisory body on natural, indigenous and built heritage - since January 2004, and member of the Council for Australian-Arab Relations.

Harley is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Australian National University's Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, was a Director of UNICEF Australia from 1998 until 2005 and was President between 1997 and 2001.


In 2005, Harley became embroiled in the AWB Limited scandal, when it emerged that he was a key facilitator of a "donation" of wheat to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, which he descibed at as "being akin to some form of bribe … (and) opening the company to the allegation that it is aiding an international pariah." [2]

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