The Politician’s Staffer Who Leaked AFP Raids To Media Has Resurfaced As Hotel Industry PR

    David De Garis resigned from Michaelia Cash's office in October after admitting he tipped off media outlets about police raids on union offices.


    The former media adviser to employment minister Michaelia Cash has taken a job with the Australian Hotels Association (AHA).

    David De Garis resigned from Cash's office in October after admitting he tipped off media outlets about police raids on union offices.

    De Garis has now resurfaced as the media and communications officer for the AHA in Perth.

    In August, while De Garis was working as the employment minister's chief media strategist, Cash announced a deal to create up to 10,000 internships with the AHA.

    AHA (WA) CEO Bradley Woods, who gave De Garis his new job at the AHA, said at the time: “By providing incentives and support to both the job seeker and employer, this program can help Australia overcome some of the skills shortages we are experiencing, including chef and waiter occupations.”

    Under the $750 million youth employment scheme Youth Jobs PaTH, businesses receive an upfront $1,000 payment from the government for taking on an intern, who works for a minimum of 30 hours and maximum of 50 hours per fortnight.

    Young people earn $200 a fortnight, or $4 an hour, on top of their current welfare payments for the length of their 4-12 week internship. Businesses do not pay the interns.

    The Department of Employment refused to provide BuzzFeed News with the breakdown of the number of interns each business in the program had taken on or the total dollar amount each had been paid.

    But the Department did confirm the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) is one of 17 businesses to so far host 10 or more interns, with each of these businesses earning more than $10,000 as part of the program.

    Young people account for 45% of workers in the accommodation and food industry, the lowest paying industry in Australia. The average earnings for workers in this industry is $524 a week, compared to national average of $1,163.

    In November, BuzzFeed News revealed the Australian Workers Union was struggling to find De Garis to serve him a subpoena as part of its Federal Court challenge into the validity of the AFP raids on its Sydney and Melbourne offices.

    The raids were part of an investigation by the Turnbull government-established watchdog, the ROC, into donations made by the union over a decade ago when it was led by current Labor leader Bill Shorten.

    For the past two months, Cash has refused to answer questions about the raids. Despite saying she believes she is not under investigation by the AFP, she says answering questions would be sub judice.

    Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

    Contact Alice Workman at

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