In this Gilbert + Tobin Insight we look at the AWB “oil for wheat” scandal, a long and costly saga for ASIC, and the subsequent implications for. AFTER a corporate disaster theres always a gap between public expectations of punishment, and the realities of who gets whacked with what. Shortly after he became Prime Minister of Australia in William Morris Hughes headed for London via North America. He was absent from Australia for more.

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Council on Foreign Relations.

Against the grain : the AWB scandal and why it happened | EQUELLA

And in that total environment, and particularly with oil-for-food under a humanitarian banner, it is inconceivable that a micro-managing Prime Minister and his other ministers would not be carefully attuned to eveything that was happening there.

Retrieved 9 July AWB told the UN investigation that it believed the fees it was paying to Alia were genuine transportation fees, and was not aware of its ownership and operations being so tied to the Iraqi Government, nor of the fact that it was paying kickbacks to the regime.

The later Australian Cole Inquiry was far less charitable. From Awg, the free encyclopedia. The Australian Government also launched aab Royal Commissionwhich recommended that criminal proceedings commence against 12 people.

However, in Scandzl it entered into this new scwndal with the Iraqi Government that had AWB assume responsibility, through Alia, of transporting wheat to points throughout Iraq. This money could then be used by the regime, with UN oversight, to purchase a strict list of humanitarian supplies. Soon after, the UN launched an inquiry into the oil-for-food program and in found almost sacndal the companies operating under the program – including AWB – paid kickbacks to secure Iraqi business.


The exigencies of war and the high demands on available shipping had led the British authorities to seek to meet requirements for wheat from Canada and Argentina. Alia’s General Manager, Othman al-Absi, said that AWB had been very interested in the capacity of Alia to transport wheat, and had asked the Jordanian Government whether Alia was a genuine trucking company.

Australia welcomes in spectacular style. But until the recent debacle of sales to Iraq, the privatised AWB still expected to have a number of the benefits of government protection especially in relation to the so-called single desk scandap of international sales. For much of the 20th and early 21st century, it was an Australian Government entity operating a single desk regime over Australian wheat, meaning it alone could export Australian wheat, which it paid a single price for.

How the AWB oil-for-food scandal changed Australia’s wheat industry: 10 years since deregulation

Wheat has been central to these activities and in the years when international marketing came directly under the Commonwealth Government, chairmanship of the Australian Wheat Board was a prized and well-remunerated appointment. When the scandal was uncovered, Australia was part of the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq, where it had helped depose the government of Saddam Hussein. The Australian Government attempted to distance itself from the AWB, who from had been restructured into a private company.

The Cole Inquiry found in “secret evidence” that the ownership of Alia was known since in the departments of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Prime Minister and Cabinet, as indicated by an intelligence report from a “foreign agency”. Its profitability has suffered. He was absent from Australia for more than a year.


Civil charges have however been successful. It heard these payments and commissions were in contravention of UN Security Council sanctions against Iraq, imposed after its invastion of Kuwait.

How was AWB enmeshed in Iraq’s oil-for-food scandal? | SBS News

Retrieved from ” https: ThroughoutAustralian media headlines were dominated by the proceedings of the inquiry instituted under the royal commissions legislation into certain Australian companies in relation to the UN oil-for- food programme.

Excerpts, quotations and paraphrasing must be fully referenced.

As early as Februarythe Government expressed displeasure with its monopoly, saying it could be used as a bargaining chip in international trade negotiations. Bangladesh PM denies election was rigged. Retrieved 29 May Guns, climate change and dual citizenship: It was intended to weaken the Iraqi economy so that Saddam could not build up weapons for further wars. By 1 May, the government of Saddam Hussein was defeated, although resistance and insurgency against the military occupation still continued.

AWB oil-for-wheat scandal

His Canadian counterpart, Sir Robert Borden, also headed for London but he was absent for barely two months. The program was discontinued on the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. This was in direct contradiction of United Nations Sanctions, and of Australian law.