The Minister of Well being, Greg Hunt, provided Aspen Medical a powerful endorsement. Aspen Medical was granted greater than $1 billion in federal PPE contracts regardless of having no prior expertise with large-scale procurement.
Greg Hunt is an Australian politician who has been Minister for Well being since January 2017.
He’s a member of the Liberal Get together and has served within the Home of Representatives since November 2001, representing the Division of Flinders in Victoria.
Since March 2020, Hunt has been in command of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Is Aspen Medical Affiliated With Greg Hunt?
The Minister of Well being, Greg Hunt, has congratulated Aspen Medical for his or her profitable parliament-related combination occasions.
Whereas his division was negotiating with him for financially rewarded multi-million-dollar PPE proposals, Hunt drafted and signed a pleasant letter of reward for a politically linked healthcare agency.
Though the papers had been drafted and signed, the deadline had been set for February 2020.
Based on Division of Well being paperwork obtained via the Freedom of Info Act, the primary PPE declaration was made on February 22, 2020.
Mr. Hunt’s letter had been sought, in response to Aspen Medical, which confirmed it to 4 Corners.
“It was ready to help Aspen Medical in filling job openings in america and is permissible for Australian corporations aiding in international operations,” a Hunt spokesman stated.
The minister flatly denied any involvement within the firm’s PPE contracts, together with “suggestions, evaluations, approvals, contract discussions, or buy selections.”
Aspen Medical Was Given Extra Than $1billion In Authorities PPE Contract
With out a public process, Canberra-based Aspen Medical would find yourself with $1.1 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts.
In the course of the pandemic, the corporate’s pre-tax income climbed to greater than $420 million, after losses of $7 million in 2018 and 2019.
Regardless of having no prior experience with large-scale procurement, Aspen Medical’s PPE contracts with the Division of Well being had been value $500 million greater than another authorities provider, together with these with trade expertise.
Based on a 4 Corners investigation carried out in collaboration with the Sunday Instances of Colombo, Aspen Medical can be concerned in a global legal investigation into corruption and cash laundering.
Medical-Political Connection in Aspen
The company has had tight hyperlinks with high authorities officers and the parliamentary Liberal Get together for greater than a decade.
Dr. Wooldridge is a director of Aspen’s Indonesia three way partnership, which is value $1.3 billion.
Dr. Wooldridge continued to attend Aspen Medical board conferences as an adviser even after the Australian Securities and Investments Fee barred him from being an organization director.
Mr Hunt’s spokesperson stated, “We aren’t conscious of, nor do now we have any file of, any lobbying by Dr Wooldridge on behalf of Aspen Medical in connection to any procurement.”
The company has additionally been a gradual sponsor of the Australian Labor Get together over the identical 12-year interval, offering round $54,000 in donations and different receipts.
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