Some feared when David Walsh was being asked by the ATO to pay tax on his billion-dollar gambling syndicate’s wins that his privately-owned mega-successful art museum tourist attraction might be imperilled.
The dispute was settled, with the help of high-profile, loud backers like ex-Greensparty leader Bob Brown.
Mr Walsh’s much-younger entrepreneurial hippy-love girlfriend Kirsha Kaechele, reputed to have skipped out on a failed New Orleans arts project after an attempt at generating vast profits from marijuana harvesting could perhaps have offered an alternate source of financing.
Those assuming – as the Greensparty have – that Mr Walsh is a starry-eyed idealist with a commendable taste in young Californian women should think again:
Other philanthropists developing their own art ventures, such as the TarraWarra Museum at Healesville, chose to operate as not-for-profit institutions. But Mr Walsh said he rejected this option in setting up MONA.
“When it was under construction and I got into difficulty I could always sell an art work,” he said. “But it’s for that precise reason I didn’t go down that [not-for-profit] path. You can’t sell stuff from the collection, or if you can, it’s very difficult.”
Running the art museum as not-for-profit venture, of course, would not preclude buying or selling artworks as the museum required but it would preclude Mr Walsh personally profiting from the very strongly performing asset-class that is contemporary art.
The Greensparty’s sneaky enviro-cloaked extreme leftism is possibly the most cunning political scam in Australian political history but even more impressive is the multi-millionaire gambler who by growing his hair long, cultivating a marijuana-growing hot blonde girlfriend and inviting Bob Brown and Christine Milne over for cocktails at his museum every now and then has managed to use that supposedly anti-gambling, big-tax advocating party as his primary weapon for publicly justifying not paying any at all.