21 Jun 2012

Why Is UTAS Leasing Jonathan West's Office From Jonathan West?

The West family own 5 titles in this building.
Professor Jonathan West is the director of the Australian Innovation Research Centre or AIRC. The AIRC is a department of UTAS and is located in a renovated warehouse at 33 Salamanca Place in Hobart. Our investigation of Jonathan's brother Rod West revealed he is Environment Tasmania's landlord at 100 Elizabeth Street and he also owns property at 33 Salamanca Place. Why are the West brothers associated with the same building we wondered? Our property searches revealed the West family own 5 titles in the Salamanca Place building that houses the AIRC. We received a tip-off that the University of Tasmania leases Professor Jonathan West's office space from Professor Jonathan West himself. How could we find out for sure? We emailed the vice chancellor of UTAS Professor Peter Rathjen and asked him. Eventually the university staff got back to us and said 'UTAS does not release details of its commercial arrangements, including leases'. Thats the end of it we thought. A week later we received another email, this time with a letter from the UTAS Chief Operating Officer. Sure enough they confirmed UTAS is leasing the AIRC premises from the West Family Trust of which Jonathan West is a trustee.
WHY THIS IS WRONG. A Harvard professor with board positions on multinational corporations, who is an advisor to Minister Simon Crean, and the director of a UTAS department does not need even more public money from Australia's poorest state to fund his lifestyle. West has more opportunities than almost anyone else on the island of Tasmania. We believe Jonathan West is being paid by UTAS and is also his own landlord using us to pay the rent. Is that what he learnt at the Harvard Business School? How to rip-off underprivileged Tasmanians? We think Jonathan West has had an integrity bypass, is unethical and appears to be engaged in 'cronyism'. Our message to Jonathan West is 'get out of Tasmania now'. We don't want you or your GMO crops or your million dollar lifestyle bludging off this state. It's time to leave Tasmania now Jonathan West.

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