Federal ICAC now

Stuart Robert’s Seniors Expo pays $300,000 in “fees” to the LNP

Case for Federal ICAC
Deceptive Conduct | Liberal Party | QED
Liberal Party

Stuart Robert’s Seniors Expo pays $300,000 in “fees” to the LNP

December 2018

Exhibitors at a purported non-political Seniors Expo run by the then Assistant Treasurer were instructed to pay $300,000 of fees into the Liberal National Party’s campaign account.

The annual event, held since 2009, is the biggest senior’s expo in Australia and at various times was attended by several Liberal MPs, including Tony Abbott, Bronwyn Bishop and Mr Robert’s long-time Canberra flatmate Scott Morrison.

Electoral Commission records show private companies that ­exhibited at the expo, including ­funeral homes and eye and hearing clinics, each declared thousands of dollars in “donations’’ to the LNP in the weeks before and after the Gold Coast event.

Promotional material for the expo also touted stalls for government agencies, including Centrelink and the Australian Electoral Commission, although there is no evidence they were charged.

The expo was not billed as a political fundraiser.

According to The Australian, Mr Robert conceded he had instructed exhibitors to pay their fees into the LNP campaign account, which were declared as donations.

“Under electoral guidelines, we couldn’t set up a different account for the event so the money had to be paid into the LNP campaign account, and yes, they were declared as donations,’’ he said.

“We didn’t make any money, and none of the funds were ever used in campaigns because we had to meet the cost of the event, with anything left over … to be given to charity.’’ When asked how much was donated to charity, Mr Robert said each of the events “ran at a loss’’.

What's a rort?

Conflicts of Interest

Redirecting funding to pet hobbies; offering jobs to the boys without a proper tender process; secretly bankrolling candidates in elections; taking up private sector jobs in apparent breach of parliament’s code of ethics, the list goes on.

Deceptive Conduct

Claiming that greenhouse gas emissions have gone down when the facts clearly show otherwise; breaking the law on responding to FoI requests; reneging on promised legislation; claiming credit for legislation that doesn’t exist; accepting donations that breach rules. You get the drift of what behaviour this category captures.

Election Rorts

In the months before the last election, the Government spent hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian taxpayers’ money on grants for sports, community safety, rural development programs and more. Many of these grants were disproportionally awarded to marginal seats, with limited oversight and even less accountability.

Dubious Travel Claims

Ministerial business that just happens to coincide with a grand final or a concert; electorate business that must be conducted in prime tourist locations, or at the same time as party fundraisers. All above board, maybe, but does it really pass the pub test? Or does it just reinforce the fact that politicians take the public for mugs?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This