Friday, 4 October 2013

Abbott's candidate may turn out to have questions to answer in NSW ICAC corruption investigation

The Sydney Morning Herald 21 September 2013:

Mr Hartcher's preferred candidate, Karen McNamara, was installed after intervention by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, then the opposition leader.
Ms McNamara was elected to parliament at the September 7 federal election....

The Sydney Morning Herald 23 September 2013:

The new federal Liberal MP for Dobell, Karen McNamara, has been drawn into controversy about political donations on the NSW central coast due to her role as campaign manager for a state MP whose office has been raided by corruption authorities.
The electorate offices of NSW MPs Darren Webber and Chris Spence were raided by the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Friday. Mr Webber is the member for Wyong and Mr Spence for The Entrance.
The raids are believed to be linked to revelations by Fairfax Media last year that two staff members of state Energy Minister Chris Hartcher, who holds the central coast seat of Terrigal, had been referred to election funding authorities by the Liberal Party.
The Liberals alleged the pair -policy adviser Tim Koelma and Mr Hartcher's electorate officer Ray Carter - had breached election funding laws shortly before the 2011 election. Ms McNamara was Mr Webber's campaign manager for the 2011 campaign.
Fairfax Media can reveal that during her preselection interview for Dobell, Ms McNamara said that as campaign manager she had raised up to $100,000 for Mr Webber's campaign.
But the claim was questioned by a member of the NSW Liberal state executive, Hollie Hughes, who said she had been advised party records indicated official receipts were far less than that - as little as $50,000.
It is understood the Liberal Party finance director, Simon McInnes, confirmed to Mrs Hughes that the official fund-raising figure was far less than that claimed by Ms McNamara.
Ms McNamara said in a statement she had complied with her obligations as Mr Webber’s campaign manager ‘‘to the best of my knowledge’’.....

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