How lobbyist Greg Rudd is pushing the case for PNG security firms
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How lobbyist Greg Rudd is pushing the case for PNG security firms

Greg Rudd, the older brother of former prime minister Kevin Rudd, is the lobbyist working for two companies recently awarded multimillion-dollar contracts in controversial circumstances for offshore detention-related work in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Rudd’s lobbying firm Making The World A Better Place fronts for Pacific International Hospital, a private operator paid more than $21.5 million by the Home Affairs department in the past year to provide health services to asylum seekers on Manus Island.

Greg Rudd in 2007.

Greg Rudd in 2007.Credit:Paul Harris

The firm also looks after security firm Controlled Outcomes, which The Age and Sydney Morning Herald reported last week had won a secretive multimillion-dollar contract to provide garrison services at the new Australian-built Bomana Immigration Centre in Port Moresby.

Mr Rudd also represented PNG’s APEC Coordination Authority, which has come under recent criticism for buying 40 luxury Maserati cars to ferry delegates around Port Moresby in November, while the country’s hospitals have run out of medicines.

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Australia contributed about $100 million in funding and in-kind support to help PNG deliver the APEC summit and Mr Rudd’s client, Controlled Outcomes, was heavily involved in providing security advice to PNG authorities to help keep high-profile visitors safe.

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There is no suggestion Mr Rudd has engaged in any wrongdoing in his representation of his PNG clients. Of Making the The World A Better Place’s eight lobbying clients, three are based in PNG, where Mr Rudd has built strong relationships over the past decade.

The revelation of his involvement in the murky world of immigration contracts in PNG comes with public and political focus on the Home Affairs department over its $423 million worth of Manus Island contracts awarded to little-known security provider, Paladin, in questionable circumstances.

Paladin was awarded the first of its Home Affairs contracts in 2017 after the collapse of a PNG-run tender process left the Australian government facing the dangerous prospect of being without a security provider on Manus Island while it was closing the detention centre.

The Age and Sydney Morning Herald revealed last month that Paladin had just six days to cost and submit its bid to Home Affairs under a limited tender process in which it appears to have been the only company approached.

Pacific International Hospital, which runs Port Moresby Hospital, was also engaged by Home Affairs in June last year through a limited tender usually only used in exceptional circumstances such as extreme urgency or a scarcity of suppliers.

Refugee Hamid Khazaei, who died at the Pacific International Hospital.

Refugee Hamid Khazaei, who died at the Pacific International Hospital.

PIH previously has been criticised about its standards of care, both on at the small clinic on Manus Island and at its Port Moresby Hospital. A Queensland coroner found in 2016 PIH provided “inadequate” care to Hamid Khazaei, who died from a treatable leg infection in Brisbane in 2014 after being transported from PIH’s Port Moresby Hospital.

PIH is chaired by former PNG deputy prime minister, Sir Moi Avei, who in 2007 was found guilty of misconduct in public office over his handling of public monies.

He is not accused of any wrongdoing in relation to his PIH role and its Australian contracts and remains one of PNG’s most senior statesmen and chairman of major state-owned companies.

Mr Rudd said although he now spent most of his time away from lobbying activities, he did play a small role in relation to last year’s APEC meeting by assisting with communications between Australia and PNG to help “things run as smoothly as possible with reduced risk of confusion”.

The Bomana Immigration Centre on the outskirts of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

The Bomana Immigration Centre on the outskirts of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.Credit:Facebook

He said he was proud to have Controlled Outcomes, a joint venture between Australian security firm C5 Management Solutions and PNG’s Tactical Solutions International, as a client because it was providing local employment and contributing to the PNG economy.

“I work with Controlled Outcomes … I fully support their endeavours in a hard jurisdiction (compared to Australia),” Mr Rudd said.

Neither the Australian nor PNG governments will talk about the security contract for the Australian-built Bomana Immigration Centre in Port Moresby, with both saying it is up to the other to comment. Bomana is where dozens of men currently on Manus Island who do not have refugee status will be again forcibly detained.

The decision to award the contract to Controlled Outcomes has raised conflict of interest questions about the tender process run by PNG’s Immigration and Citizenship Authority.

C5, which is owned by former federal police agent Ty Clark, was providing PNG Immigration with advice about what kind of security services Bomana would require around the time the tender went to market. C5 has also won about $15 million in Home Affairs contracts through limited tender processes for security escort training in PNG.

TSI is owned by PNG businessman Chris Carroll and was previously a security sub-contractor to Wilson Security under a Home Affairs contract for facilities on Manus Island.

Mr Carroll formed another security company called Black Hawk International in 2013 with fellow businessman Bryan Kramer, who has since become a prominent opposition MP. Black Hawk has no assets and has never traded.

The recent spate of media stories about the Paladin contract, and other generous Australian-funded deals in PNG, has sent the Pacific country’s social media networks into a frenzy of claim and counter claim about which politicians and officials might be benefiting from certain contracts.

Controlled Outcomes last week released a media statement to counter recent “false statements” about it and TSI.

“Controlled Outcomes and TSI are law abiding PNG corporates and completely refute all allegations of corruption,” the statement said.

C5 and Mr Clark have, for the most part, avoided publicity over the years. The only time C5 has made the news was in 2014 when it was embroiled in a mining company-funded covert operation to infiltrate anti-coal activists in NSW.

Several security sources told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald that C5 and Mr Clark were credible operators.

According to the C5 website, the company has provided security advice at the London Olympics and Commonwealth Games in India, as well as at several international meetings involving senior politicians from Australia, the United States and Great Britain.

It also offers due diligence and investigations services. But it appears to offer more shadowy services as well, with the C5 website reporting its provision of “high technology surveillance and monitoring solutions to government agencies”.

Mr Clark said he could not comment about his companies’ work for Australian and overseas governments. Nor could he discuss work undertaken for PNG’s APEC authority.

Richard Baker is a multi-award winning investigative reporter for The Age.

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