In conclusion ….
‘Opposition deputy leader Richard Marles on Wednesday asked in Parliament what steps Prime Minister Scott Morrison had taken to investigate the reports that Ms Liu had helped the Chinese-owned company secure access to federal politicians, but the question was ruled out of order.‘
AT CAAN we recommend if you have an opportunity … watch QUESTION TIME … to learn just how many questions that seem to be legitimate, well constructed and well founded yet are ‘Ruled Out of Order’! …. It happens …. one after the other … It’s that crook! … But this is what the Australian Parliament has become!
Gladys Liu demanded Liberal Party pay back her $100k donation
By Anthony Galloway and Rob Harris
December 5, 2019
Embattled Liberal MP Gladys Liu has requested her party pay back at least $100,000 she donated to her campaign to win the marginal Melbourne seat of Chisholm.
Ms Liu contributed the money to her own election campaign in the lead-up to the May 18 poll after she was told by the Liberal Party more money was needed to hold on to the seat.
Several sources within the party’s Victorian branch have confirmed the Hong Kong-born MP in recent months has asked for the six-figure sum to be paid back, claiming the payment was a loan.
Senior party officials have pushed back against the request, saying they were not told the donation was a loan when it was made at the start of the election campaign.
The issue is still being handled between party officials and Ms Liu.
The first-term Liberal MP is still facing lingering questions over her prior associations with groups linked to the Chinese government’s United Front Work Department, the agency responsible for spreading Beijing’s influence overseas.
The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday revealed that Ms Liu secured access to the federal government for a company and Liberal Party donor that was endorsed by the Chinese Communist Party and later implicated in a major organised crime probe.
The Chinese born Liberal MP has a disability and escaped an abusive marriage, but all talk has been about her memberships to Chinese government linked groups.
Ms Liu, who has claimed she has raised more than $1 million for the Liberal Party, would not say on Wednesday whether she had requested the party pay back at least $100,000.
In a statement, her office said any financial support provided to the Chisholm campaign would be declared “in the usual way”.
“Ms Liu and the Chisholm campaign are compliant with all donations laws,” the statement said.
“Any support provided by Ms Liu to the Chisholm campaign was done so in her own personal capacity.”
Under Australian law, interest-free loans need to be disclosed to the Australian Electoral Commission as “gifts in kind”.
The donation will not be made public by the AEC until February next year.
The money, which was used for extra mailouts and social media campaigns, came a few months after former Chisholm MP Julia Banks quit the Liberal Party.
Ms Liu on Wednesday faced questions over her previous association with Brighsun New Energy, the Australian subsidiary of the Chinese-controlled green energy group Brighsun.
Court documents reveal the company’s former Australian chief executive collected $1 million in cash from a heroin trafficker, including $500,000 handed to him in a backpack, which was later seized by Australian police.
Ms Liu started acting for the company in late 2015 to secure political backing for its plans to introduce electric buses in Australia. She says she acted “pro bono” for the company because she was passionate about renewable energy.
In the months before the police operation was launched, Brighsun donated $105,000 to the Liberal Party, according to donation records.
Opposition deputy leader Richard Marles on Wednesday asked in Parliament what steps Prime Minister Scott Morrison had taken to investigate the reports that Ms Liu had helped the Chinese-owned company secure access to federal politicians, but the question was ruled out of order.
Anthony is foreign affairs and national security correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Rob Harris is the National Affairs Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based at Parliament House in Canberra