BGM Projects Pty Ltd is the company who owns the land at Mango Hill which has the Development Application, which threatens 11 Anzac Memorial Mango Trees. But who actually are they?
Well you wouldn’t recognise BGM Projects as having being involved in to much other development under this particular company name. But we can inform you the larger well known building developer behind BGM Projects is actually Oxmar Projects and owner Phillip Murphy, who do a lot of development in the Moreton Bay Region area, under Oxmar and other names.
Some other developments they have been involved with around MBR include:
- Griffin Crest – Southern side of Dohles Rocks Rd at Griffin. Which also happens to be the estate where Oxmar sued a resident because she had solar panels on her roof.
- Champion Crescent – North side of Dohles Rocks Rd at Griffin
- Murrumba Castle – That new estate being built in Castle Hill off Pembridge Rd.
- Narangba Heights – Leading to Sovereign Drive
- Dayboro Country Living – Dayboro
- Samford Royal Estates – Samford Valley
- Sovereign Rise, Kallangur – Cnr of Ann St Marsden Rd
- Butterfly Ridge expansion
Oxmar is itself a trading name, owned by 2 companies Bettson Properties Pty Ltd and Tobsta Pty Ltd. With Bettson Properties originally owned by his former business partner, Peter Bettson, and Tobsta we believe is Mr Murphy’s original company. With the partnership originally formed in 1992, and Mr Bettson leaving in 2005 to focus on his wife’s health.
Other interesting facts include that Mr Murphy was a former car salesman before he got into development, and at the time of founding Oxmar, lived in Murrumba Downs. With Tobsta Pty Ltd still registered to an address in the same suburb today.
So considering his familiarity with the area, one has to wonder why Mr Murphy doesn’t have the same sentimental feelings for the Anzac Memorial trees along Anzac Avenue as we do.
One would also think he would also be quite familiar with traffic issues we already have in the area. We wonder if it is something he has raised with council with all his development plans for the area.
One of the areas we researched as part of this article, was to try an find connections between Mr Murphy and local politicians. First off we looked if he or his companies were involved in the Moreton Futures Trust, which has been embroiled with multiple MBRC councillors, including Division 4 Cr Julie Greer.
We were unable to find any evidence of a connection between Mr Murphy and the Moreton Futures Trust, or any current Councillors. But we did find that during the 2012 MBRC Election, Mr Murphy donated $1,000 to Mr Chris Whiting’s Mayoral campaign.
For those not familiar with his political history, Mr Whiting was originally elected as MBRC Division 2 Councillor at the 2008 local election, for the newly amalgamated MBRC. The next council election, in 2012, he ran for mayor against Allan Sutherland, and in 2015 Mr Whiting ran for, and won the State seat of Murrumba. In early 2017, there was a state electoral boundary re-shuffle which changed Mr Whiting’s boundaries, with his new seat being named “Bancroft”, which he retained in the November 2017 State election.
We couldn’t find any evidence that Mr Murphy donated any money directly to any of Mr Whiting’s state election campaigns, but did find a donation of $2K to the ALP under one of Mr Murphy’s other businesses Kirkwood Rd, during the 2017 election.
Was that donation meant for Mr Whiting’s campaign? Mr Whiting’s seat includes the northern half of Anzac Ave, in front of the BGM Project’s land.
We asked for a comment from Mr Whiting, which he replied saying that to his knowledge he has not had any contact with Mr Murphy since 2012, and for the 2017 election he was not aware of any donation from Mr Murphy, and that it was not donated to him for any campaign. Mr Whiting gave no other comment relating to his current or former relationship with Mr Murphy.
Another Minister linked to Mr Murphy
In our investigation we also discovered a connection between Mr Steven Miles MP, and Mr Murphy. When asked, Mr Miles confirmed he knows Mr Murphy from the Brisbane Broncos, which he represented when he was Member for Mt Coot-tha.
Before we continue with more information that we found, we would like to point out 2 things:
- Prior to the November 2017 election, Mr Miles MP was the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, and his electoral seat was Mt Coot-tha.
- Post the November 2017 election, Mr Miles MP was the member for the Murrumba seat (which is the seat of which this land owned by My Murphy (via BGM Projects) resides in). After this election Mr Miles’ portfolio changed when he became the Minister for Health & Ambulance Services.
What we found that is coincidentally very interesting:
- On 23rd December 2016 – Mr Murphy and Oxmar associate Mark Moffatt met with then Heritage Minister MP Steven Miles. This was only 3 days after BGM Projects Pty Ltd submitted their DA. Hmmm were they discussing the threatened Heritage Protected Mango Trees? And was Mr Murphy trying to sway Mr Miles, with their previous relationship, to get his way?
- On 15th September 2017 – Mr Murphy again met Mr Miles MP, who at the time of the meeting was then running for Murrumba electorate, and still the Heritage Minister.
- On the 6th October 2017 – MP Steven Miles attended the 2017 Brisbane Broncos Presentation Ball. Mr Murphy is part owner of the Broncos, and 6/10/17 also happens to coincidently be the date that the $2K donation was made to the ALP, from Mr Murphy’s business.
- On the 10th October 2017 – Mr Murphy meets the still Heritage Minister Mr Miles again. This is just 4 days after the $2K donation. Was Mr Murphy still trying to sway Mr Miles?
- At the November 2017 election – Mr Steven Miles was elected as the state representative for Murrumba.
- On 20th March 2018 – Mr Miles MP in his opening speech to parliament as the new minister for Murrumba, made a mention to Mr Murphy while thanking supporters of his campaign.
How interesting is that!
A spokesperson for the Member for Murrumba Steven Miles said:
As an MP and Minister he meets with many constituents and stakeholders, these meetings are published publicly.
He has been vocal as a local MP and in his previous role as Environment Minister in support of preserving the historic Anzac trees.
Further on the endangered Anzac Memorial Mango Trees the spokesperson also said:
As the member for Murrumba, he is pleased the state government has ensured some of the historic trees could be saved.
He’s hopeful the others will be able to be relocated.
These trees are important to our community.
As the member for Murrumba, he recently met with Main Roads and reiterated his view that there should be a plan for the entirety of Anzac Avenue, identifying how as many historic trees as possible can be preserved in the long term.
There was no reply regarding the donation to the ALP on the 6/10/2017, nor further about the support Mr Miles received in his 2017 election campaign.
Out of the Norm
We need to point out that it is actually not normal that Mr Murphy donate money to the ALP or ALP affiliated candidates. Because despite Mr Murphy donating $2K to the ALP (through one of his businesses), at the last election, through his other businesses he actually donated at least $39K to the Liberal party (between 8/2/2016 – 6/10/2017).
The other business names that Mr Murphy or Oxmar purchase land and donate to political parties include:
- Kirkwood Road Pty Ltd
- Goodrich Road Projects Pty Ltd
- Bridgeman Downs Pty Ltd
- BGM Projects Pty Ltd
- Bettson Properties Pty Ltd
- Bettson Properties Pty Ltd and Tobsta Pty Ltd