A little more serious than a forgotten bottle of Grange, it’s alleged that Gallacher, in co-operation with property developer Darren Williams, who at the time served as a development manager with “boganaire” Nathan Tinkler’s company Buildev, devised a scheme that whereby payments were made to a fake political consulting agency, and subsequently forwarded on to the New South Wales Liberal party.
The problem with this is that donations from property developers to political parties have been banned since 2009, making this scheme a direct violation of electoral fundraising laws.
This current phase of the anti-corruption investigation has turned particularly caustic in a very big hurry. Geoffrey Watson, SC, who forms part of the legal team aiding the inquiry, hauled Darren Williams over the coals during initial questioning on the matter: “It was between the two of you [Williams and Gallacher] that you hatched a corrupt scheme to make political donations to the Liberal party using the [illegal] business, didn’t you?”
After Williams replied “No,” Watson delivered a dire warning of the investigation to come, “Well I can tell you by the end of this you’ll regret having given that answer.” BOOM.
The inquiry has so far also named three other Liberal MPs in connection with the illegal slush fund, in former energy minister Chris Hartcher, along with MPs Chris Spence and Darren Webber, all of whom stand accused of having “corruptly solicited, received and concealed payments from various sources.”
The question now remains: if the Liberal party was really that hard up for cash, why didn’t they take a page out of Empire Records’ book and bet the party payroll on a game of craps at Star City?
Damn the man. Save the
Liberal party Empire.
Photo: Scott Barbour via Getty Images.