Malcolm Turnbull

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Malcolm Turnbull is the current leader of Australia's Liberal Party and leader of the opposition. Prior to winning his seat representing the federal electorate of Wentworth in the Australian House of Representatives, he was a high-profile lawyer and businessman.

Before entering parliament, Turnbull was Federal Treasurer of the Liberal Party, and a member of the Liberal Party's Federal and New South Wales Executives, (2002-03), and was also a director of the Menzies Research Centre, the Liberal Party-controlled think tank.

In 2001/2, then-chairman of the Menzies Research Centre, Turnbull donated $150,000 to the Centre. In 2004, Turnbull received Liberal preselection, and was elected to the House of Representatives as Member for Wentworth. In 2004/5, Turnbull was still the Centre's biggest individual donor, donating $15,000.

Controversy

Mr Turnbull owned shares in and was chairman of the Hong Kong-listed Axiom Forest Resources, which owned and operated logging concerns in the Solomon Islands. Axiom has been accused of clearfell-logging large areas in the Islands and causing significant environmental damage. [1]

In 2007, Turnbull attracted controversy over a $10 million grant he awarded to a start-up company, Australian Rain Corporation, whose Chairman and part-owner, Matt Handbury, had been a major donor to Turnbull's re-election fundraising group - the Wentworth Forum. [2]

In February 2009, the Sunday Age newspaper revealed that "Turnbull has taken a large campaign donation from an American billionaire closely linked to the predatory lending practices that triggered the subprime lending crisis and global recession. . . . Peter Briger, chairman and director of controversial "vulture company" Fortress Investment Group, contributed $US50,000 ($A75,000) to the Liberal campaign fund for the Opposition leader's seat of Wentworth last year." [3]

External Resources