The Abbott Government and Aspen Medical: The black man's burden

By | | comments |

Aspen Medical's link to Barack Obama, George W. Bush, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Donald Rumsfeld, the Islamic State, mercenaries, U.S. intelligence and the NSA, by contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence. 





ASPEN MEDICAL, THE 'AUSTRALIAN' COMPANY awarded the controversial $18 million contract by the Australian Government to operate an Ebola treatment hospital in the former British colony of Sierra Leone is linked to an attempted military counter-coup in that country, arms-trafficking mercenaries, blood diamonds and the rise of the murderous Islamic State in Iraq. Big time.

Given the tardy response by Australia and Aspen to the outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever in West Africa, it seems they consider the Ebola Virus is not 'the White Man's burden'. No sah, Bwana Mkubwa

Whilst money is clearly an incentive for Aspen, local and international public approbation has shamed the Government into this small act of utter tokenism in what has the potential to develop into a global contagion.

Last Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned there were 5160 reported Ebola deaths in the region out of a reported 14,098 cases and flagged the genesis of a new outbreak in the former French colony of Mali.


The decision by Russia's President Vladimir Putin to 'shipfront' Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, with his flotilla of warships, showing off his military bling, was a great warm-up act to the G20 https://www.g20.org/about_g20/g20_members Summit that started today in Brisbane. Abbott had earlier publicly taunted Putin by threatening to "shirtfront" him about Malaysia Airlines MH17, shot down over Eastern Ukraine territory by separatist pro-Russia terrorists on July 17 this year, killing all 298 people on board including 38 Australians.

The eagle has landed.

Yesterday morning, Air Force One gently clawed the tarmac cradling its precious cargo — a cute, 50 shades of grey-speckled lame duck called Barack Obama, President of the United States.


Back home, Obama looks doomed to be even more stymied by the Republican dominated Congress, but hey, when he gets behind that lectern, ain't nobody can touch him. His clarion call high-fiving climate change and human rights at the University of Queensland made the afternoon's address by Prime Minister Abbott sound vacuous and banal — so I've marked a fail minus for the latter.

Given his recent startling canonisation of coal, attributing the fossil fuel with sentient characteristics, praising its goodness for “humanity”, Abbott would not be wrong in thinking that Obama was verbally shirtfronting him.


On his APEC stopover to G20, President Obama and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping revealed they'd been panda hugging for some time, announcing a Chinamerica greenhouse pact that exposes Abbott and like-thinkers, as drongos.

However, we know that Barack Obama and Tony Abbott are only too aware of Aspen's questionable links. And there is much to see here.

For example, what would regal G20 attendee, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, say if he knew what Aspen Medical's co-founder, Dr Andrew Walker really thinks about doing business with the Saudis?


Hopefully, we'll find out when we contact the Saudi Embassy for a comment. Meanwhile, we can help His Royal Highness with that one.

This is part of what Mr Walker thinks:

We had initially tried to work with the Saudi government, who had put out a large tender to provide environmental health services to Saudi Arabia, like pre-inspections, water inspections and other environmental factors that impact on health. We tried to get that bit of business when we were still quite young. 

We were shortlisted, and told that we were the third bidder and that the contract was on the Prince’s desk. It then remained on the Prince’s desk for about two years.

However, being told that you’re the preferred bidder and that your contract is on the Prince’s desk means nothing in Arab culture. It simply means that “Well, we’ll think about it and we’ll get around to it. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

Well from my experience — that’s very much the Arab culture, in that your wants and needs are very much subordinate to their wants and needs.

That last paragraph says it all about Aspen's notorious arrogance. It's not about the customer's wants and needs. It's all about the money. King Abdullah may be unaware of Mr Walker's appearances in court relating to allegations of fraud and tax avoidance.


In April this year, under the Sydney Morning Herald's headline 'Doctor accused of hiding $15m worth of shares', Ben Butler described Dr Walker as a medical entrepreneur. Correct. Nothing wrong with that. We need more of them.

... Andrew Walker has been accused of defrauding creditors by hiding $15 million worth of shares in tax haven the British Virgin Islands.

It is alleged the shares, in unlisted US telco Iridium Holdings, were about to explode in value when they were transferred to BVI-registered Trexton International Limited in September 2009.

The liquidator of Dr Walker's investment company, Apsara Capital, on Friday launched legal action against Dr Walker and Singapore-based businessman Georges Daniel Mercadal over the transaction.

Backgrounding the dispute, Butler wrote:

'...The Victorian Supreme Court lawsuit is the latest bout in a long-running stoush between Dr Walker and Sonic Healthcare founder Michael Boyd, whose listed group Fulcrum Equity sold the Iridium shares to Apsara in 2009.'

Explaining that:

'Since founding healthcare group Aspen Medical in 2003, Dr Walker and school friend Glenn Keys have built the company into a profitable enterprise that employs 2200 people and boasts former health minister Michael Wooldridge on its board.'

Except, Michael Wooldridge, Federal Minister for Health from 1996 to 2001, is no longer on Aspen's Board.



Last year's Friday the 13th of December was an unlucky day for Wooldridge.

The Federal Court in Melbourne found Wooldridge and four other former Prime Trust directors liable for breaching their duties as officers of Australian Property Custodian Holdings Ltd (APCHL). Findings were also made in relation to APCHL's conduct. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website reports that:

APCHL was the responsible entity of the Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust (Prime Trust), a managed investment scheme which owned retirement villages in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

APCHL collapsed in 2010 when administrators were appointed owing investors approximately $550 million.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said today's judgment was a reminder that responsible entities have to put the interests of their unit holders first.

‘This is a significant outcome for investors. Directors are important gatekeepers who must discharge their duties with the appropriate care and diligence. This has not happened here. The conduct of the APCHL Board was unacceptable and today's judgment reflects that’.

The Oval Office and Australia's Opal Office know of Aspen's backstory and the disturbing professional provenance of some of its high flyers.


So does Secretary of State John Kerry, his predecessor Hillary Clinton and former President George W. Bush, dangerous buffoon, serial killer and liar who claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Australia, ever eager to crawl up the political rectal passage of the United States, was amongst the first nations to sign up to the 30 member Bush posse, the Coalition of the Willing.

We helped to plunge the world into a squalid war that continues to have disastrous consequences and implications upon the global human family and is still killing militia and civilians alike; if not in body, then certainly in heart and soul.

Despite painterly attempts at revisionist history, Bush may well find himself the subject of a war crimes investigation and sharing a metaphorical cell with his partners in war crimes, Halliburton-embedded former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary for Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who knows only too well about the known unknowns of Aspen's past and present history.

Key Aspen figures may well be called to give evidence.

Nor do the links stop there. Aspen Medical and its host of other international corporate siblings and subsidiaries have serious conflicts of interest.


The tentacles extend to America's questionable National Security Agency, (NSA) exposed by courageous whistleblower Edward Snowden of, not only the mass surveillance of its own citizens in violation of the U.S. Constitution, but also for the industrial strength illegal spying upon ordinary citizens and political leaders throughout the world, including Australia.

The NSA might well be responsible for the world's largest illegal electronic hacking crimes to date. Close contacts within the U.S. Department of State, incestuous dealings with successive White House administrations, U.S. Department of Defense, Intelligence Forces and Capitol Hill lobbyists in Brooks Brothers suits, all warrant closer scrutiny.

The Australian story is inextricably linked to the above. There are insidious political relationships and legal actions on foot that are worthy of further investigation.

The awarding of the Sierra Leone contract to Aspen signals that the Australian Government has failed in its duty of care and applied little, if any, due diligence.

We have already failed our Nation, West Africa and the world because of our continuing diffidence to deploy medical response teams from AUSMAT to the Ebola crises spots.

We have sold our conscience to a private sector corporate player, rather than work with, say, the Australian division of an NGO such as Medicins Sans Frontieres, who immediately responded to the Ebola crisis and for months have been sometimes literally sweating their guts out in West Africa, saving lives, breaking their own hearts and watching other broken hearts and bodies, but still getting on with it, doing what they can, with the too little they have.

There are grave and legitimate concerns in Australia and elsewhere about the secrecy surrounding the Aspen Contract and the fact that, despite conflicting assurances that the Sierra Leone project would be an Australian project, it clearly is not. That $18 million of the Australian taxpayer's money is mere tip-jar shrapnel to Aspen, given the mega-millions of dollars it already suckles from the public purse in various contracts awarded in secretive and questionable deals.

The White House website has already posted yesterday's G20 Leaders' Statement on the Ebola crisis, reaffirming remarks made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier in the day, and urging for more international commitment and comprehensive forensic analyses and research.

It is intolerable that Aspen Medical has failed to utter anything of consequence during this. To use the vernacular, they are ' keeping their heads down'. Neither Aspen nor the Australian Government want us to know the truth.

It is not too late to appoint other teams to be deployed to West Africa, rather than decommission Aspen. We are already culpable for the deaths of thousands. Because Ebola is essentially perceived as a ' black plague', we are arguably loathe to countenance a racist dimension to the attitude of our Government towards the victims of this killer virus.

We must acknowledge the Federal Opposition's lack of vigour in prosecuting the case on behalf of the Australian people — and what is NOT being done in our name.

We have outsourced our concience and it is hard to shirtfront those whose backs are turned; such is the Black Man's Burden.

Watch this space. There is more to come.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

Monthly Donation


Single Donation


Join Newsletter

Please fill the text in this image in the field below to assist us in eliminating spam

Recent articles by Tess Lawrence
#7 TOP STORY OF 2021: The night Porter and allegations of rape

The horrifying rape allegations against Christian Porter proved to one of the ...  
The night Porter and allegation of rape

Attorney-General Christian Porter deserves the backlash received from the public ...  
Trump impeachment: He's so bad they did it twice

The destruction of democracy in the Capitol on January 6, live-streamed by proud ...  
Join the conversation
comments powered by Disqus

Support Fearless Journalism

If you got something from this article, please consider making a one-off donation to support fearless journalism.

Single Donation


Support IAIndependent Australia

Subscribe to IA and investigate Australia today.

Close Subscribe Donate