Prime Minister Kevin Rudd accepted international flights and hotel accommodation from a German foundation that controls one of the key elements of the international tobacco industry, despite his earlier statements that “cigarettes kill people.”
Statements, Mr. Rudd interests filed in the federal parliament show that in October last year, he was given a return international tickets and accommodation for two days in Berlin Koerber Foundation, a German non-profit organization, is the sole owner of the world’s leading supplier of machines for the production of filter cigarettes.
The adoption of the Prime Minister of this benefit, it would seem to be at odds with long-standing policy of the Federal Labor Party does not make political contributions or any other benefits from the tobacco industry.
In October last year, Mr Rudd attended the 2nd Berlin Foreign Policy organized by the Koerber Foundation, otherwise known as the Korber-Stiftung.
Kevin Rudd, the ordinary MP, use the Berlin conference to highlight its international status as a former prime minister and urged Europe to closer cooperation with the countries of Asia, especially in China, saying that “if goes wrong Asia and Asia is becoming a nightmare Rolling security impact on the German economy will be massive. ”
Fund Korber, which promotes international political, scientific and cultural exchanges, for the past twenty years has been the sole owner of the Korber AG, Germany’s engineering and manufacturing conglomerate that includes Hauni Maschinenbau, the world’s leading supplier of cigarette machines.
Hauni Maschinenbau describes itself as “the world’s leading provider of technology and engineering and consulting services for the international tobacco industry.” The company manufactures high-tech machines for all stages of the production of cigarettes “from the tobacco industry for the production of filter rods, cigarette and specialty products to the final measure of quality.”
Koerber Foundation website and advertising information does not hide his connection with and reliance on income from the group Korber AG including its prominent position in the international tobacco industry.
The dependence of the Fund on the profits from their activities of the tobacco industry has been the subject of considerable debate in Germany and Europe as a whole. German and other European policy makers involved in the events Korber Foundation have been criticized for being in violation of World Health Organization guidelines for the prevention against politicians and government officials of involvement in the tobacco industry.
The Australian Government has moved to tighten restrictions on tobacco advertising industry, including the adoption of the first open-world laws tobacco packaging and intensified anti-smoking health advertising.
Announcing a sharp increase in tobacco taxes in April 2010, Prime Minister Rudd said that “cigarettes are not cool. Cigarettes kill people. Therefore, the Government has no excuse at all for what he does.”
In February this year, the Fund announced its future intention to exclude the primary producers of tobacco from its investment portfolio. Labour government was also sharply criticized the decision and continues the Liberal National Party’s political donations from tobacco companies.
The representative of the Australian Medical Association yesterday confirmed that the AMA believes that a ban on donations to political parties by tobacco companies and related entities “should be applied to individual members.”
A spokesman for Mr Rudd said attendance British Foreign Secretary William Hague and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle at the Berlin conference.
She said that the trip Mr Rudd has been declared in the register of interests of the deputy at the time.
When told about the decision, Mr Rudd flights and accommodation from Koerber Foundation, a spokesman for Health Minister Tanya Plibersek not confirm the labor policy of political donations and benefits from the tobacco industry and hastily assumed that the other ministers such as Finance Minister Penny Wong may ask to comment instead.
Acceptance of Mr Rudd international flights and accommodation from the Körber Foundation is just one of the many gifts and benefits listed in his 71-page parliamentary declarations of interest, as in the 2010 federal election.
He accepted overseas travel and accommodation expenses of the companies and institutions that include Hony Capital, China’s leading private equity investment firm, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Asia Inc Forum, the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Ministry of Education and Beijing Municipal Government Beijing Forum, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (associated with the German Social Democratic Party), Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen Society, EBG Group, London School of Economics, UK International Institute for Strategic Studies (which also provided a $ 10,000 fee, the Business Council of British Columbia and the Government of Canada, the United Arab Emirates and Dubai.
Mr. Rudd returns to show that he and his wife, Theresa Rhine received a dozen international and more than twenty domestic flight upgrades, and about forty update number in the last three years. Mr. Rudd has also received numerous invitations to rugby and Australian rules matches and other events, including two Cirque de Soleil tickets provided by the consulting firm KPMG in August last year.