A Swiss-educated spiv named Matthias ‘Matt’ Bekier is the current CEO of Echo Entertainment. He is a bloke who came up through the ranks of McKinsey and Co, the global management consultancy and capitalist cult that was loosely the inspiration for ‘The Firm’, John Grisham’s best-selling book and later hit film.
Bekier, the archetype of the much loathed slick yuppie, used to be the CFO of Tabcorp, the public-owned Victorian TAB that the loathsome former Premier Jeff Kennett sold for $77.8 million in 1994.
Ain’t privatisation grand? Last year Tabcorp made $130 million profit – nearly double the amount the double-dealing Kennett sold it for. It’s no wonder that Fast Eddy is so keen on the LNP.
But that isn’t the story here – what we want to focus on are 2 things: Bekier’s statement in relation to Echo Entertainment’s bid for the second Brisbane Casino licence; and the Labor-linked lobbyist who appears to follow Bekier everywhere that he goes.
Former ALP Treasurer turned LNP donor and lobbyist Damian Power
Now Echo Entertainment is not some you beaut company that started on its own two feet: in fact it’s nothing of the sort, and is simply the mongrel creation of the demerger of the former state-owned TAB that saw all the assets, licences and inventories fall into the hands of the newly demerged private company that, like a surfers bleeding limb among a school of sharks, was immediately set upon by venture capitalists from guess who?
McKinsey and Co.
And where did the investors come from?
Hong Kong. And China.
Guess what their names were? I don’t even need to tell you, do I? Fung, Ho, Chiu, Cheng, Tung – the usual suspects. The good folk that Bekier spent years working with in his role as an expert Asian financial analyst. Funny that.
Hey Dad, that Archie’s onto us again – Stanley Ho and daughter
After the Tabcorp demerger Bekier skulked across to the new entity Echo Entertainment. You know, the one he helped to create. He spent a few years there as the second-in-charge before his patience ran out and he knifed the boss Larry Mullin – who is not the guitarist for U2, despite sharing the name – and became the CEO. a position he holds as we speak.
Bekier loves his job, and loves his casino bid consortium partners in Destination Brisbane too, telling the world that:
“Echo is delighted to work in partnership with two significant Asian-based partners and the government to develop and submit a proposal for the Queen’s Street Wharf site:”
Of course Echo is delighted to work with Far East Consortium Internal Ltd. And Bekier too. After all, we all love people who kill police officers, and absolutely adore their parents and siblings who are accused of corruption, bribery and fraud. And let’s not forget their business partners Chow Tai Fook, the long time business associates of (and some believe front men for) the bloke many say is actually the principal of the bid, our old mate Stanley Ho, who as the whole world knows is the one of biggest racketeers and drug-money launderers in Asia.
Chow Tai Fook Principals Henry Cheng Kar-Shun and his Dad Cheng Yu Tung, a longtime business associate of Stanley Ho
Ho, Ho, Ho.
None of this is conjecture. It is fact, backed up by court documents and matters on the public record.
So what the hell are these people doing in Queensland; and why are they in the running – and an even money chance – to secure our State’s second casino licence?
I’ll tell you why, in one word – Graft. Bribes, favors, shares, tips, jobs, free trips, handsome lobbyist fees and political donations. That’s why.
And guess who Echo Entertainment’s lobbyist is? None other than our old friend Damian Power, the principal of lobby firm Govstrat; the employer of the former Premier of Queensland Mr Robert Borbidge, the man who granted the lobbyist’s family firm an eternal licence to print money, in the form of the exclusive Queensland contract to produce personalised motor vehicle number plates under the banner of Personalised Plates Qld, a supposed joint venture with the public (via the Dept of Transport and Main Roads) that proved the gift that just keeps on giving.
Hong Kong Tony Fung outside his proposed Cairns Casino
What goes around comes around I suppose, and now its the Power’s turn to look after Borbidge. But here’s a question for you: why do you reckon it is that Power and Borbidge dumped their previous client Hong Kong Tony – when he failed to submit the documents required for probity checks into his bid for a Casino licence in Cairns – and then just hours later became the lobbyists for Echo Entertainment?
Maybe it’s simply because of their success rate in securing Casino licences, for they did use the Cairns smokescreen – and their connections with Keithy – to get Hong Kong Tony licences for the Reef and Canberra casino’s. Or perhaps there is a more sinister explanation, and Hong Kong Tony is tied up with, or the front man for, a group of punters including Mr Ho Ho Ho himself.
Here’s a few more questions for you.
Why do this odd-couple lobbyist pair, with links dating back to the Principal’s youth, also represents Taborp, the former owner of the now-demerged Echo Entertainment? A company so closely associated with Echo that one could say they wear the same skin?
Why are a former ALP Treasurer and a Queensland Premier representing the interests of a consortium that is closely linked to a globally renowned gangster; and includes a cop killer and a number of alleged corrupt fraudsters?
What exactly have these lobbyists done to promote their client’s interests?
Whose funny bones have they tickled?
And is there a hidden success fee buried somewhere in their lobbyist fees? I for one hope so, because they are not going to get it. The world is going to find out about their clients criminal connections and convictions.
Why, some parts of it already have.