The Tasman Institute, was run in Melbourne as a economic consultancy under the Libertarian think-tank Institute of Public Affairs and its staff executive Alan Moran. It was gradually transformed into a private consultancy and survey (polling) company known as ACIL-Tasman, and later into ACIL Associates which claims to be a commercial operation which runs and distributes economic survey information to Australian newspapers.
"John Elliott was born in Melbourne in 1941. He was educated at Carey Grammar School and Melbourne University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) and a Master of Business Administration. Mr. Elliott joined BHP for two years. He then joined McKinsey and Company Inc., and worked on projects in Australia and the United States for six years.
"In November 1981 Elder Smith Goldsbrough Mort Limited merged with Henry Jones to form Elders IXL Limited, and John Elliott was appointed Managing Director. In December 1983 the company acquired Carlton and United Breweries Limited for just under $1 billion. The acquisition of Courage Breweries in the U.K. in September 1985, followed by Carling O'Keefe Breweries in Canada in 1987, and U.K. based Grand Metropolitan brewing interests in 1990, made the Group the fourth largest brewer in the world.
"Mr. Elliott presided over the reconstruction of Elders IXL in 1990 as a single purpose brewing company and then stepped down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer to pursue his own private business interests.
"Until 2004 John Elliott had business activities in Eastern Europe - particularly Romania - and was exporting Australian agricultural products around the world. In addition he owned and managed three large rural properties in South Eastern Australia covering some 100,000 acres. The principal activities included:
- Rice growing
- Winter crops - wheat, barley, oats, canola, safflower, etc.
- Sheep and Cattle breeding including Hereford Cattle and Merino Sheep stud.
"He became Federal President of the Party late in 1987, having previously occupied the position of Federal Treasurer and State Treasurer and Vice President in Victoria. He is past Chairman of the 500 Club, which he formed in the 1980’s, and has been the biggest donor to the Liberal Party in Victoria.
"John Elliott was inaugural Chairman of the Committee for Melbourne, and is a past director of the Foundation of the University of Melbourne Business School. He has been a director of a number of public companies including BHP, National Mutual Life Association, Bridge Oil Limited, and North Limited.
"In highly public proceedings John Elliott has had a number of court cases through the 1990’s and 2000’s, culminating in his bankruptcy in late 2004."