Another political donations scandal engulfs NSW ALP

By Leith van Onselen

Surely it’s time for a permanent ICAC and a permanent look at foreign political donations. From The ABC:

A corruption watchdog is asking questions about a Chinese billionaire property developer, a state Labor politician, a former head of the NSW arm of the party and $100,000 in mainly cash donations made at a 2015 Labor Party dinner, an ABC investigation can reveal…

It was formally organised by Chinese Friends of Labor — an ALP body designed to win votes and solicit donations from NSW’s electorally-important Chinese-Australian community…

The ABC can reveal the investigators are focusing on 20 donations linked to a Chinese Friends of Labor dinner totalling $100,000 that were lodged on April 9, 2015, by a dozen people and businesses.

Crucially, ICAC is examining whether the $100,000 was in fact given by so-called “straw donors” — front people who agree to put their names to donations from other people to political parties. That is a crime under NSW electoral law…

The donations were all in $5,000 amounts and most if not all were made in cash on the night of the dinner…

The ABC has confirmed via a number of sources that three of the people ICAC is asking questions about are: Chinese billionaire property developer and one of Australia’s biggest political donors, Huang Xiangmo; NSW Upper House member Ernest Wong; and former NSW ALP general secretary Jamie Clements…

In 2017, Fairfax Media and the ABC’s Four Corners detailed concerns held by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation about Chinese Communist Party-aligned donors exerting political influence, sparking debate about the need for donations reform.

History never repeats, but is sure does rhyme.

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  1. The whole thing is so dodgy there’s no need for an investigation — multiple ‘cash’ donations of thousands of dollars, cause, you know, what person doesn’t carry around a few grand in their back pocket these days.

    • Exactly,
      I don’t care what any court, judge or commission says.

      I have made up my mind.


      (If enough people do likewise – problem solved.)

      • We shouldn’t vote for the other mob either – both of our majors are no good for the country.

        Trouble is, because of the preferential system, in most electorates your vote goes for whoever you put second last. It would be great if there was a way to ensure your vote did not go to either Labor or Liberal – instead, the best we can do is think which one is most likely to win and vote for them dead last to try and at least bring about a hung parliament and send a message that way.

  2. FFS. Twenty donations of $5000 cash each.

    How do these stupid cnuts not understand how toxic this is, and how it looks to the punters. They might as well walk around carrying neon signs saying “NSW Labor Political apparatchik aka ‘Mongrel Lickspittle Dog’. Will betray country for money. Not much money, either”.

    Or maybe they do understand, but they don’t give a sh!t because they think nobody will ever find out, so that makes it OK. They’re usually right, but when it does come out the stench is horrendous.

    • So cheap too. You couldn’t buy a village party chief for that in China.
      Our politicians lack even the self respect to charge what they deserve.

      As for NSW Labor, they are just rotten to the core.

  3. Why NSW ALP doesn’t do what others do wait for term to end before they get paid by being appointed to some well paid job requiring no work or qualifications.
    Lookk at mike baird, millions per year for nothing – 5 million is thousand of $5000 donations

    • Your have to trust that the person you take the bribes from will live up to their end of the bargain come payday. Rather than…I dunno… wrapping a plastic bag over your head, suffocating you and dumping your body into the foundations of one of their new high rise apartment blocks when the concrete is poured.

      They have to be careful about disposing of a lot of bodies that way though. If you put too many into one set of foundations it would weaken the strength of the concrete which might cause structural weakness and cracking at a later time.

  4. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    I don’t care what any court, judge or commission says.

    I have made up my mind.


    (If enough people do likewise – problem solved.)”

    Not really,…if the politicians of the “other parties” that are not Lab, Lib, Nat or Green get to Govern why do you think they will be any less corrupt?
    left to their own devices and not held to account by “their” membership, what makes you think they won’t just become as equally corrupted?
    Equally open to subtle and/or overt bribery, offers of future employment and career advancement post politics or just as fearful of political attack or simple blackmail by moneyed interests?
    Individuals find such focused and well resourced pressure very hard to resist,…but try and bribe or pressure an entire membership is not so easy.
    This is why all party leaderships don’t really want or try very hard to recruit a large membership base.
    Just enought to help with campaigning and getting them elected is all they really want.
    They,the leadership andvelected representatives, actuall dont want you to join if your motives for joining are to hold them to account and demand input on policy making and party Governance decisions.
    The democratic structures within the main parties make it possible for radical change, oversight and real Democratic reform of Government possible.
    Less than 50,000 people joining the ALP could change everything,… thats less than 0.25% of the population!

    • Ermo – I’ve just started reading Silent Invasion by Clive Hamilton. Chapter 5 is “beijing bob” and details a lot of dirt on the guy in this article and the ALP (Note, the Libs / Nats don’t get off either – I’m with you that it is a bipartisan problem).

      You should have a read – maybe hand out copies at branch meetings!!

      In my mind, we need to move to fully publicly funded campaigns. Because both parties have virtually no members, and because they are perenially required to campaign with a 3 year election cycle the fund raising is a big thing. It is shocking how much influence $50k / $100k / $1m can buy. We need to first stop all donations from foreigners and then secondly by individuals up to a cap. Look at the US donation system, not perfect by far far better than ours.

      • In my mind, we need to move to fully publicly funded campaigns.

        Same question as always. Who decides who gets their campaign publicly funded ? How do you prevent every man and his dog nominating to get some of that public funding ?

  5. Everyone knows that developer guy is a CCP stooge. And our politicians are so fvcking corrupt they keep taking money from him? Can’t ASIO start treason cases off of this sort of thing?

  6. People on this forum seem to forget that Federal Labor has had its share of corruption as well in the last three-four years. Both parties I believe have their fair share of it. Bill Shorten accepting $300,000 as a kickback from an employer as part of the AWU as well as the rape allegations against him a few years back that to my mind were never totally disproven. Or Sam Dastyari’s china’s connections accepting Chinese donations and offering advice to Chinese interests which to me border on/are treason. Lucky for them none of this was exposed at election time and the electorates memories are short.