April 30, 2014
Contact: Deborah O'Neill

Liberals at ICAC


Senator for New South Wales, Deborah O’Neill called on residents of the Central Coast to watch todays ICAC investigations closely, and to make up their own minds about whether local Liberal Members of Parliament should continue to use their position of influence to help out their mates, or whether they should step down in the public interest.

“The Central Coast deserves a better deal than having four out of six Liberal Members of Parliament called into ICAC.” Senator O’Neill said.

Chris Hartcher, Darren Webber, and Chris Spence will face questions concerning whether they corruptly solicited, received, and concealed payments from various sources in return for back room support in deals for their mates.

With local Liberal Member for Dobell, Karen McNamara called as a witness about her role in allegedly covering up these donations.

“The Coast deserves to know the truth about what went on at these Liberal Party fundraisers.

“Former Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell brought in some of the nation’s toughest political donations laws to stamp out corruption in New South Wales, but already he has been taken down by these laws for allegedly favouring his mates in decisions after receiving expensive gifts.

“Now, Central Coast residents have to watch as four of their local Liberal MPs are questioned about their roles in allegedly dodging these new rules and accepting illegal donations.” Senator O‘Neill said.

It has been alleged that Dobell Liberal MP, Karen McNamara, lied to local organisations telling them they did not need to make declarations to the Electoral Funding Authority because they were a community group.

“Anyone found to have acted corruptly deserves to face the full force of the law.

“The Central Coast deserves better than to be taken for a ride by the likes of these Liberals.” Senator O’Neill said.

28 April 2014



Senator for New South Wales, Deborah O’Neill described evidence provided at today’s ICAC hearing as an unacceptable abuse of the public trust.

"It is only day one and the State Liberals have already lost another senior member of their government.

“After losing a Premier to corruption allegations only two weeks ago, and Chris Hartcher resigning in December last year under the same cloud, it’s about time that the alleged activities of this government were investigated.” Senator O’Neill said.

The hearing into Operation Spicer began today in Sydney with assertions already mounting against a number of senior Liberal Party figures.

“These allegations go right to the core of the Liberal Party and speak volumes about what they see as their role in government.  Not to help the community, but to pay back favours for their mates.” Senator O’Neill said.

Information provided to the hearing today contends that senior Liberal Party figures have used private connections to big business and lobbyists to funnel donations from developers and other entities into a slush fund worth up to $400,000. 

Under laws introduced by former Premier O’Farrell, these donations are illegal.

“If these allegations are correct, they are completely unacceptable, they are against the law, and they fall well below what the community deserves from their elected officials.

“This is looking like a root and branch issue of corruption in the Liberal Party, not just a matter of one or two incidents, but an established and organised activity to subvert the Liberal Party’s own donations laws.

“New South Wales deserves better, and the Central Coast deserves better.” Senator O’Neill said.

29 April 2014



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