Author Archives: Michael West

Michael West

About Michael West

Michael West is the founder of, focusing on journalism of high public interest. He spent eight years as a commentator with The Australian and another eight years with the Sydney Morning Herald as a journalist and editor, Michael is a Walkley-award winner and Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences.

Is Rupert Murdoch going bust?

  This video has been reposted from Michael West Media 25 November 2020

Posted in Media | 7 Comments

Feeding the Chooks: Scott Morrison’s marketing triumph over mainstream media complete

Scott Morrison has perfected the art of media manipulation by briefing a select club of Canberra correspondents together, rather than leaking to individual media outlets. Callum Foote and Michael West report on the marketing genius of the Prime Minister and … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics, Top 5 | 8 Comments

Gas Gush: the toadies of mainstream media trot out government’s fossil fuel fracking campaign (MWM SEP 15, 2020)

Gas fracking and a new fossil fuel power plant got a big leg-up today as News Corp, Nine Entertainment, ABC News and Guardian Australia faithfully splashed with the latest government gas plan on their front pages today.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Friendlyjordies’ interview with Michael West

Earlier this month John and Michael sat down with Friendlyjordies for a long-form interview. Please watch Michael and Jordan discuss Australia’s media landscape, lobbying and independent journalism.

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Silver Bullet: an elegant cure for Government spending excess (Michael West Media August 5, 2020)

If it’s good enough for tennis stars and entertainers, it’s good enough for multinational tax avoiders and consultants. Michael West addresses the Senate Inquiry into Finance and Public Administration today.

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AI Unveiled: another propaganda service for Defence, big business and the Coalition (Michael West 22.7.20)

Is AI Group just a front for big business and foreign weapons manufacturers? Michael West reports on the rise of government and business propaganda outfits who are suddenly mute when the subject turns to the delicate matter of who funds them.

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Do the grandchildren really pay the debt? The problem with Scott Morrison’s plan for recovery, and MMT

Michael West investigates Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the false assumption that the national Budget is like the household budget, or a business. They are already creating new money while denying the proposition that creating new money will expand the … Continue reading

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MICHAEL WEST. The Virgin Brides: fate of airline on a knife-edge as bids lob and cash runs dry (MWM 19.5.20)

The government has tossed $130 billion at business, the corporate largesse is dripping all over the big end of town. Even highly profitable $8 billion property developers such as Mirvac are rolling in the free money, yet when it comes to Virgin … Continue reading

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MICHAEL WEST. Virgin Australia: buy the business, don’t bail out the shareholders (MWM 02.04.20)

Virgin Australia is pleading for a bail-out twice what its shares a worth. Its wealthy foreign shareholders can afford to pay. They’ve scampered. What is the answer?

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL WEST. Too Big To Fail: Qantas, the corporate elite and the coronavirus ( 17.03.2020)

Alan Joyce is a canny operator. As the ravages of the coronavirus began to hit the airline hard, the Qantas boss announced he would take no salary for the rest of the year; no salary for the rest of the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 6 Comments

MICHAEL WEST.-Ranking Australia’s billionaires as taxpayers (Michael West Media 28.2.2020)

Community attitudes have changed. But what has not changed, and what must change, is the secrecy around the corporate affairs of Australia’s wealthiest old family business empires.

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

MICHAEL WEST.-Who Pays: should ordinary taxpayers foot the bill for bushfires or the fossil fuel giants who pay no tax?

Five of Australia’s top coal companies – Peabody, Yancoal Sumitomo, Citic and Whitehaven – racked up $54 billion in total income over the past five years and paid zero income tax in Australia, according to Tax Office corporate tax data.  … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL WEST. The Ultimate Gouge: why Australia, the world’s #1 exporter, now imports gas (Michael West)

What an outrage it is that the Northern Territory doesn’t lift its grape production, instead of importing wine from South Australia! And what about those lazy Tasmanians; rather than growing their own mangoes and pineapples they import them from Queensland! … Continue reading

Posted in Climate | 2 Comments

MICHAEL WEST.  Big Four audit firm bust-up (Michael West, 18 May 2018)

“Is it possible to amend the rules to stop giving (government) work to tax haven connections?” MP Julian Hill posing a question to public service chiefs at a parliamentary hearing into the cost of government. This post by Michael West … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

Zali Steggall takes on Tony Abbott over hospitals-to-tax-haven deal (Michael West)

Tony Abbott has come under pressure from Warringah independent, Zali Steggall, over the Government’s decision to approve the sale of the new Northern Beaches Hospital, and 42 other Australian hospitals, to an obscure company in the Cayman Islands.

Posted in Health, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL WEST, JEFFREY KNAPP. Conflicts of Interest”R”Us: KPMG pursues PwC back into insolvency (Michael West).

The Big Four, the relentless architects of global tax avoidance, have returned to the insolvency business, despite selling out of it 15 years ago because of overweening conflicts of interest. When it became known last year that the bosses of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 2 Comments

MICHAEL WEST Big Four: government’s binge on consultants goes ballistic.

The Big Four global accounting firms have banked $3.1 billion in taxpayer income in the past six years for government consulting. That’s three thousand one hundred million dollars in government revenue to just four firms – PwC, EY, KPMG and … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL WEST. Exempt: how Defence dodges the taxman (Michael West blog 15.08.18)

Foreign military contractors have been awarded a staggering $73 billion in contracts, apparently tax-free, because successive governments have struck contracts directly with offshore companies, even as far afield as the Atlantic tax haven of Bermuda.

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MICHAEL WEST. Good timing: Australia Post in talks to become a bank

The banks will fight it tooth and nail. Australia Post is considering becoming a bank, a move which could deliver significant competition to the country’s banking oligopoly through lower fees and lower-cost mortgages.

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

MICHAEL WEST. Treasury hides corporate welfare data.

There it was right on cue, at the cusp of the New Year weekend, a government press release about the cost of welfare bludgers trumpeted loudly across the press and the TV news bulletins. 

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL WEST. The Minerals Council, coal and the half a billion spent by the resources lobby

There is no peak body  or rent seeker in the country which conducts its business as belligerently, and its proponents would say as successfully, as the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). In 2010 it ousted a Prime Minister.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL WEST. BCA investigation: power of the business lobby in Australia

This is part in a series of investigations by Michael West into Australia’s most powerful business lobby groups and rent seekers. To begin, we have selected the Business Council of Australia, the most elite and influential peak body of them … Continue reading

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MICHAEL WEST. Why are we still pursuing the Adani Carmichael mine?

Why, if Adani’s gigantic Carmichael coal project is so on-the-nose for the banks and so environmentally destructive, are the federal and Queensland governments so avid in their support of it? Adani employs the lobbying firm Next Level Strategic Services.. The … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 6 Comments

MICHAEL WEST. Tax base eroded by backdoor deregulation of Australia’s labour market and jump in foreign contract workers

The biggest failure of public administration since the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1900. – Australian Tax Office insider The result of having the wrong system where taxes are too high and a labour market which is over-regulated. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

MICHAEL WEST. Goldman Sachs & News Corp tax tricks as Canberra claims battle won

Peering at the local accounts of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Goldman Sachs … is the government’s claim to have sorted multinational tax avoidance correct? As they gaze down from their glass eyries, partners of the Big Four accounting firms … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

MICHAEL WEST. Gas crisis? Or glut? Why Japan pays less for Australian LNG than Australians do.

It is bizarre that gas customers in Japan buy Australian gas more cheaply than Australians. Some of this gas is drilled in the Bass Strait, piped to Queensland, turned into liquid and shipped 6,700 kilometres to Japan … but the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL WEST. Australia’s march to corporatocracy.

Confounding the familiar government narrative of reckless spending binges by Labor, the Coalition actually has the record of greater profligacy when it comes to showering billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on external consultants.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments