It is now well-established that Therese Rein’s business, Ingeus, is highly dependent on federal government contracts as the largest privately owned company delivering job placement services for Australians.
However, a quick walk through the Rudd family share portfolio establishes that they like owning big companies that happen to be highly dependent on government concessions, contracts and licences.
While CSL is clearly the worst and most unacceptable example, the rest of the portfolio will raise a raft of conflicts if the Rudds make it to The Lodge.
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Here is a full list of the Rudd family share portfolio as at December 2006, ranked by value based on last night’s closing prices and with explanations of the government-dependence:
CSL, $175,700: enjoys plasma monopoly and big spending Federal health initiatives such as national immunisation program for cervical cancer.
BHP-Billiton, $158,675: operates Australian resource projects worth more than $50 billion and would be big beneficiary from uranium expansion.
National Australia Bank, $153,900: federally licensed member of the lucrative banking cartel.
DUET Group, $116,270: second largest energy infrastructure company owning formally state-owned assets often subject to regulatory price determinations.
PBL, $138,815: federally licensed for TV and state licences for casinos.
Transurban, $113,250: Australia’s biggest tollroad company with key government concessions in Melbourne and Sydney.
Westfield, $111,036: Australia’s biggest shopping centre company with masterful ability to get support from all levels of government for big developments.
ANZ, $103,985: federally licensed member of the lucrative bank cartel.
Ramsay Healthcare, $88,875: Australia’s biggest private hospital company has enjoyed 15-fold share price rise over the Howard years as health spending ballooned.
Macquarie Bank, $33,228: federally licensed and loves buying monopoly assets from governments.
APN News & Media, $29,900: federally licensed radio operator and big beneficiary of new media laws.
Ventracor: $1,860, heart implant developer.
When the Herald Sun listed the portfolio valuations on 14 December last year, they were worth $1.134 million, so the Rudds have ridden the market for an apparent $91,000 paper gain over the past few weeks.
Given the stink that Labor and the media caused in the recent Queensland and Victorian state elections about conflicts of interest from shareholdings, the same should be happening to Kevin Rudd right now.