AFL resources were used to lobby the Victorian government on behalf of a mining company part-owned by league chairman Mike Fitzpatrick and former chief executive Andrew Demetriou.
In what both men admit was an inappropriate use of the AFL’s resources, Fairfax Media has confirmed that the league’s executive for government relations last year emailed the office of the then mining minister Nick Kotsiras about issues affecting a mining company that Mr Fitzpatrick has a financial stake in and whose board he chairs.
Creswick Quartz Pty Ltd, which uses a patented method to extract quartz from old gold mines near Ballarat, has Mr Demetriou among its shareholders.
The email from the AFL executive is understood to have led to a meeting between Mr Kotsiras, Mr Demetriou and two Creswick Quartz directors where the company’s proposed operations and permit requirements were discussed.
The revelation raises questions for the AFL, Mr Fitzpatrick and Mr Demetriou about why the resources of the league – one of Victoria’s most powerful organisations – were used to assist the private business affairs of Mr Fitzpatrick, who is in London for the Rio Tinto board meeting, and Mr Demetriou, who recently joined James Packer’s Crown Resorts.
The AFL bosses may have ruined the game we all used to love but they obviously looked after themselves pretty well.
Note for my American audience … The AFL administers Australian Rules Football, you know the game you all think doesn’t have any rules. Well actually the game does, it’s just the administrators that don’t.