Rod Culleton is set to appear before his former colleagues when he gives evidence tomorrow to One Nation’s Senate’s inquiry into Lending to Primary Production Customers. The bankrupt Culleton was forced out of the Senate in January 2017, but continues to style himself “Senator Culleton” and address complaints to the Senate about his treatment. The highly litigious Culleton, who has long argued many courts in Australia are unconstitutional, was reported by a conspiracy theory news site to have also filed criminal conspiracy charges against both his former leader Pauline Hanson and Attorney-General George Brandis.
Culleton had a long dispute with, inter alia, ANZ over a $3 million loan and has lodged a 10,000-word submission with the inquiry about it (this was the debt over which Culleton was made bankrupt). ANZ hit back with its own response that details its numerous efforts to reach a settlement with Culleton and his wife, and a judge’s response to Ioanna Culleton’s efforts to have the debt set aside, in which the judge found about ANZ:
“I am unable to detect a whiff of misconduct, any disregard of conscience, or a degree of moral obloquy to provide a sufficient basis for an argument by Mrs Culleton to take to a trial, to support the setting aside of what was a regularly obtained default judgment standing against her.”
The Senate ommittee, which, to the chagrin of the Nationals, was backed by the government in an effort to win over One Nation, is chaired by Rothschilds conspiracy theorist Malcolm Roberts; the deputy chair is Nationals Senator John Williams. Both appeared in a peculiar video pleading for submissions after the initial establishment of the inquiry only elicited a handful of submissions from a supposedly enraged rural sector. The inquiry, however, still only has 53 submissions, nearly a third of which are from banks, government departments or regulators.
Despite submissions closing in mid-June, Roberts is still urging people to lodge one. A Facebook post from anti-bank group “Bank Reform Now” last week said “there have been further discussions with Leon Ashby today, who is Malcolm Roberts’ [One Nation] assistant and further submissions to this inquiry are requested from anyone who has been captured by the bankers criminality.” Ashby — he appears unrelated to Hanson’s chief of staff James Ashby — is a Canberra climate denialist who has previously stood for far-right parties in Western Australia. Unusually, however, would-be submitters have been told to direct submissions to Ashby, in Roberts’ office, rather than the apolitical Senate committee secretariat, which normally handles submissions and deals with requests for confidentiality and other sensitivity issues. Ashby did not respond to Crikey’s request for an explanation.