Sunday, 3 April 2016

Another Liberal Party official tacitly admits wrongdoing

After almost eight years of putting his hand on his heart and signing all those Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division) financial disclosure documents, Simon McInnes (left) is bowing to the inevitable….

The Australian, 29 March 2016:

NSW Liberal Party finance director Simon McInnes will today stand down from his role as the party executive with responsibility for campaign finances.
His resignation as party agent comes ahead of the NSW Liberals amending their disclosures to admit receipt of illegal donations from property developers, which will see them face a fine up to the nearly $700,000 — or equivalent to the dollar value of the donations unlawfully received.
The Australian can also reveal the Liberal Party has not ruled out legal action in the Supreme Court against the NSW Electoral Commission if it withholds up to $4.4 million in funding ahead of the federal election.
Mr McInnes is expected to resign as the Liberal Party’s agent to state director Chris Stone today, but will not resign from his role as finance director. The party’s agent is the person legally responsible for management and disclosure of election campaign finances to the NSW Electoral Commission.
Mr Stone is preparing to meet the NSW Electoral Commission to identify which of the Free Enterprise Foundation donations were earmarked for the federal campaign and which for NSW…….
With the Liberal Party preparing to amend its disclosures, it would be inconsistent for Mr McInnes to authorise the new ­returns, given he signed off on the last disclosures that did not ­include details of the $700,000 ­donated via the Canberra-based trust, the FEF……
The FEF publicly disclosed to the AEC $1.15m of donations from major companies, including property developers, in 2010-11.

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