Labor Failed to Declare Donation from Torbay’s $100K Donor

According to returns filed with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) never declared a $19,000 donation from the investment outfit at the centre of controversy over a $100,000 donation to the former NSW Independent MP and federal Nationals candidate, Richard Torbay.

In December 2008, GEGM Investments Pty Ltd reported to the AEC that it had made the donation to the ALP (NSW Branch) on 7 November 2007. The disclosure was signed by Georgiana (“Georgy”) McCullagh.

In its own disclosure for the 2007-08 reporting year, and the three subsequent amendments (here, here and here) it lodged at later dates, there is no record of the ALP disclosing the donation to the AEC as required by law.

At the time, Commonwealth electoral law required that donations over $10,500 be disclosed.

In December 2010, GEGM Investments donated $100,000 to Richard Torbay,  who is now reportedly the subject of inquiries by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, following the referral of material to it by the Nationals last week.

When the Torbay donation was the subject of disclosure in late 2011, Mrs McCullagh’s husband, Cameron, told the Armidale Express  that Torbay was “highly effective and the sort of person I want in politics”.

Cameron McCullagh told the Express that he had also donated to both the Labor and Liberal Parties.

According to the AEC disclsoure returns, the only record of a reportable donation made by GEGM Investments since 1998-99 is the one made to the Labor Party in 2007. A search of NSW Electoral Funding Authority’s electoral returns from 2007 onwards reveals only the Torbay donation.

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