This Saudi sheep saga is turning into death by a 1000 cuts

The ongoing Saudi Sheep Saga is starting to get some legs with the latest revelations showing that a government tender process was potentially compromised by keeping one tenderer in the loop.

That sounds like corruption to me.

The letter ONE News has shows just how close Brownrigg Agriculture is to Hamood Al Ali Al Khalaf and his business partner, George Assaf.

It’s written by David Brownrigg on their behalf to Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

It says Mr Brownrigg, Mr Assaf and Mr McCully met in November 2011 to discuss “the resumption of a specialised live export sheep trade”.

Mr Brownrigg warns if that doesn’t happen Mr Khalaf “would have no option but to seek commercial redress”.

Two years after that meeting, the tender. The final proposals were in from Brownriggs and industry heavyweights like Deloitte and PGG Wrightson. It was up to Foreign Affairs, Trade and Enterprise and “interested Saudi parties” to evaluate them. ?

In a statement, Foreign Affairs says the Saudi businessman had no say over who won the tender process, but it does admit that it kept him in the loop from time to time about progress. It also says that Brownrigg Agriculture did disclose previous business dealings with the Saudi man.

Jordan Williams of the Taxpayers Union says the purpose of the tender process is to give taxpayers value for money. “Why on earth was the Government reporting back to this chap in Saudi Arabia?” he asks.

If there is $6 million of farming equipment in Saudi Arabia – where is it?

What does this ‘farm’ look like?

Where are the sheep now? Surely if they were breeding stock they’d still be alive and well in air conditioned luxury being pampered?

There are many questions that Murray McCully needs to be answering right now.