As the antics between Borghetti and Joyce keep headline writers both amused and busy, another war of words has broken out between Sydney Airport Corporation chairman Max Moore-Wilton and former federal transport minister Anthony Albanese.
In a report carried in the Sydney Morning Herald, claims and counter-claim are being waged as Moore-Wilton, never one to hide in the shadows, said Albanese “would be sued to within an inch of his life” for comments about Moore-Wilton appearing to have conflict of interest in his role as SACL chairman. Adding to the attack in words reminiscent of Keating vernacular, Moore-Wilton described Albanese as a “grub” and a “fractional hack”.
The episode started in a parliamentary debate on a second airport when Albanese accused Moore-Wilton of a conflict of interest and questioned the method by which he was appointed SACL chairman in 2002.
Albanese said: “… as the head of a company that has a monopoly over the existing airport, any fair analysis would conclude that he has an enormous conflict of interest”. He then went on to question Moore-Wilton’s role in setting the conditions for SACL’s first right of refusal to develop a second Sydney Airport, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Speaking to Fairfax reporters this week, Moore-Wilton said he was not involved in the sale of Sydney Airport when he was working as a public servant, and that Albanese would have been aware of this.
“This is a complete and utter fabrication,” Moore-Wilton told Fairfax. “He knows that, and he knows that he can get away with it under parliamentary privilege. It is an absolute disgrace – the man is a grub, a factional hack and a misuser of his parliamentary office.”