'Serious biosecurity breaches' uncovered in CCC Murdoch University misconduct report

24/06/2022 11:54:00 AM

'Serious biosecurity breaches' uncovered in CCC Murdoch University misconduct report

Kim Thomas, Murdoch University

'Serious biosecurity breaches' uncovered in CCC Murdoch University misconduct report

The Corruption and Crime Commission finds 'serious misconduct' by Murdoch University livestock manager, which put Australia's biosecurity at risk.

The CCC report labelled Murdoch University farms as a "breeding ground for misconduct"Commissioner John McKechnie QC said the investigation uncovered "very serious breaches of various biosecurity laws and rules"."It extended over many, many years, and for his personal benefit as well. It was quite deliberate."

ABC News: James Carmody"He would exhibit cattle at the Royal Show that were in fact Murdoch cattle but claim them to be his."There's no doubt that he is passionate about farming and passionate about cattle, and probably that passion has led him to make decisions which were wrong, and which disadvantaged Murdoch."

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"Serious misconduct" by Murdoch University livestock manager Kim Thomas has been revealed in a Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) report tabled in WA parliament this week.Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and actress Jerry Hall are getting a divorce, the New York Times reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.Murdoch’s 90th birthday together in New York, at the Tavern on the Green.The New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Key points: A CCC report found a university livestock manager repeatedly falsified documentation The CCC report labelled Murdoch University farms as a "breeding ground for misconduct" Murdoch University has commenced a disciplinary process to deal with matters identified in the report The CCC investigation was launched into Mr Thomas's conduct following reports of continued non-compliance with biosecurity requirements. Commissioner John McKechnie QC said the investigation uncovered "very serious breaches of various biosecurity laws and rules". The Fox Corp chairman and his former supermodel wife were frequent fodder for the tabloids, which chronicled their marriage at Spencer House and the festivities surrounding the elder Murdoch’s 90th birthday celebration last year at Tavern on the Green in New York City. Mr Thomas was found to change ownership records of cattle owned by Murdoch University in order to indicate the cattle were owned by another party, then change the records back. One source confirmed the obvious: the event did seem tailor-made for an episode of Succession, the buzzy HBO drama. "As an example, he might loan out a bull to a breeder, transfer the bull's name into the breeder, and then afterwards, when the bull was returned, transfer it back," Mr McKechnie said. Credit: AP Murdoch’s divorce, his fourth, is unlikely to alter the ownership structure of businesses he holds stakes in, which include Fox Corp, the parent company of Fox News Channel, and News Corp publisher of the Wall Street Journal , according to the report. "It extended over many, many years, and for his personal benefit as well. Mr Murdoch’s divorce, his fourth, is unlikely to alter the ownership structure of businesses in which he holds stakes according to the report.

It was quite deliberate. Bryce Tom, a spokesperson for Murdoch, declined to comment.” On Wednesday, the age disparity between Murdoch and Hall prompted the Times to label them an “October-December pairing”." John McKechnie believed "personal aggrandisement" was the motivation for Mr Thomas' actions. ( ABC News: James Carmody ) While the financial benefit gained was "not enormous", Mr McKechnie said Mr Thomas gained acclaim through his misconduct. Loading. "He would exhibit cattle at the Royal Show that were in fact Murdoch cattle but claim them to be his. "He regularly won the prize for Illawarra cattle that he wrongly asserted were his, but were in fact the Murdoch University cattle, so Murdoch missed out on any acclaim that there might've been. Billionaire Mr Murdoch, whose net worth Forbes estimates at $US17.

" Mr McKechnie believed "personal aggrandisement" was the motivation for Mr Thomas's actions. "There's no doubt that he is passionate about farming and passionate about cattle, and probably that passion has led him to make decisions which were wrong, and which disadvantaged Murdoch." Regardless of the acclaim or financial benefit, Mr McKechnie said the "very serious" breach of biosecurity was the CCC's principal concern. The report said the investigation was undertaken principally because of the suspected biosecurity hazards. "The biosecurity rules are there for a good reason, and it's to protect Australia's reputation and protect Australia's herd," he said. Mr Murdoch was previously married to entrepreneur Wendi Deng, whom he divorced in 2014 after 14 years of marriage.

Murdoch University's lack of governance created 'breeding ground for misconduct', the CCC report found. ( ) Breeding ground for misconduct: CCC Murdoch University operates four farms with expenses in 2020 totalling close to $1.2 million, and revenue of less than $265,000. Mr Thomas was responsible for the operational and financial management of the farms and associated livestock. Mr McKechnie said in the CCC's opinion, the university's lack of leadership and governance contributed to the misconduct.

"Their lax supervision structure created a breeding ground for Mr Thomas's misconduct. "He had many supervisors, none of them knew much about the farming business, he was no doubt efficient at the farming business, so they left him alone. "To their credit, once this became known, Murdoch got in consultants and are working with those consultants to put in proper governance and processes." CCC Commissioner John McKechnie QC said Mr Thomas' actions put Australia's cattle heard at serious risk. University disagrees with findings Murdoch University vice-chancellor Andrew J Deeks dismissed the CCC's claims.

"The university does not agree that a 'breeding ground for misconduct' was created," Professor Deeks said in a statement. "Rather, this appears to be a situation where a trusted employee did not act with the levels of integrity and professionalism expected of him." Professor Deeks said the situation was "disappointing". Murdoch University has begun a disciplinary process "to deal with the matters identified in the CCC report". Mr Thomas declined to comment.

A spokesperson for the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development department said livestock traceability and biosecurity had "never been more important than it is currently". "It is important for all persons involved in the livestock industry to ensure their obligations are properly understood and met. "Failure to meet those statutory obligations puts our livestock industries at risk." Get the latest rural news .