Leader of the Opposition Delia Lawrie today condemned the CLP for its culture of corruption following leaked emails which suggest criminality known at the highest levels of the CLP.
Ms Lawrie said the leaked emails between Foundation 51 Director Graeme Lewis and then Chief Minister Terry Mills in late 2012 show that at least $200,000 was funnelled into the CLP election campaign via the party’s slush fund and never declared as required under law.
“The latest media reports on Foundation 51 donations to the CLP show a breach of the provisions of the Northern Territory Electoral Act which requires the declaration of a gift of $1500 or more to, or for the benefit of, a registered party,” Ms Lawrie said.
NT Electoral Act Section 194 sub-section (7) If a person makes a gift to any person or entity with the intention of benefiting a registered party, the person is taken for this section to have made the gift to the party.
NT Electoral Act Section 215 makes it an offence punishable by imprisonment of up to 12 months for a person not to properly declare donations in returns to the Electoral Commission.
Last night the ABC reported that it had obtained an email written by Foundation 51 director Graeme Lewis and sent to the then Chief Minister Terry Mills and five other members of the CLP executive team eight weeks after the CLP took Government in 2012.
“Once again, the contributors were clearly aware, and did generally stipulate that the funds raised would be devoted to NT elections in 2012 or thereafter,” Mr Lewis wrote on 26 November 2012.
“I will be mortified if this information becomes widely known. It must be closely held for obvious reasons.” (Graeme Lewis)
Earlier leaked emails (ABC 10 October) from Mr Lewis about the purpose of Foundation 51 and who controls it to then CLP President Braedon Earley show:
“I am the sole director and shareholder, with Terry Mills for obvious reasons, not appearing on registers, but adopting a directorial role throughout,” Mr Lewis wrote.
“As you very well know, it was set up for, and supported by numbers of business people and has necessarily had to operate absolutely separately from the Party in order to keep its activities away from public scrutiny.”
Ms Lawrie said these emails show a direct link between Foundation 51 and the CLP and that it had supported CLP election campaigns.
“These latest leaked emails expose a culture of corruption and a culture of criminality which appears to have been known and tolerated at the highest levels of the CLP. If that is how they run their party, is it also how they run Government?” Ms Lawrie asked.
“It is disgraceful that Chief Minister Adam Giles has been consistently denying a direct link between Foundation 51 and the CLP when it is inconceivable that he did not know of the link. It is already public knowledge that Foundation 51 Director Graeme Lewis sent a draft Foundation 51 press release to Mr Giles on (11 May 2014) for his comment.
“Is Adam Giles trying to distance himself from something which he knows is illegal?
“Adam Giles has ignored calls to immediately stand down Terry Mills from his $750,000 taxpayer-funded ‘ambassador’ post in Jakarta. He has already torn up the new standards of behaviour announced when accepting the resignation of the disgraced David Tollner.”
Ms Lawrie said Adam Giles has to date failed in his duty to act on a motion of Parliament passed in the August Sittings, when the Government was missing in action, to hold an inquiry into the Foundation 51 donations scandal.
“Is Adam Giles dragging his heels on the political donations inquiry until after tomorrow’s Casuarina by-election so he can use the upcoming fortnight of Sittings and the Government’s numbers in the Parliament to amend the Terms of Reference to dodge the Foundation 51 inquiry?” Ms Lawrie asked.
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today called on Adam Giles to explain why he didn’t take serious allegations about Peter Maley to the Police.
Ms Lawrie said days after the allegations surrounding the Cash for Access scandal broke the Chief Minister, who is also the Police Minister, has failed to explain why he didn’t refer Norm McCleary’s email to the Police back in May.
“We have an extraordinary situation where the Chief Minister receives an email saying $10,000 was paid to the CLP for access to sensitive government documents and fails to refer it to Police. Why?” Ms Lawrie asked.
“Adam Giles needs to explain to Territorians why after sitting on serious allegations of corruption for months he went on to vehemently defend his appointment of Peter Maley as a magistrate.
“There is a stench surrounding the CLP that warrants a full inquiry by a formal judicial officer without ties to the CLP
“We have seen the Eight by Five methods in NSW and we see an eerily similarity with the CLP’s Foundation 51.
“Territorians are demanding answers and Labor will keep holding this circus of a Government to account.
“The Dave Tollner threats to walk out on the CLP and his attacks on his colleagues show that they have descended into farce.
“The very real danger of Adam Giles being dumped is a result of his failure in leadership.
Media Contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Ken Vowles has called on Chief Minister Adam Giles end the culture of cover up.
Mr Vowles said we were still waiting to see a draft terms of reference for an inquiry into political donations.
He called on Mr Giles to immediately refer the allegations made last night in Parliament to the Police Commissioner.
“Adam Giles as Chief Minister and Police Minister needs to hand over to the Police all emails in his possession so that the allegations made in Parliament last night can be investigated," Mr Vowles said.
“The allegations are of a very serious nature and it is extraordinary that Adam Giles has been sitting on them for three months.
“Only a full inquiry headed by a retired judge or someone of equivalent standing can get to the bottom of the CLP’s political donation irregularities,” Mr Vowles said.
“The Inquiry must have the powers to investigate the allegations by Norm McCleary about Peter Maley and Dave Tollner as well as any donations which may have been given to the CLP by its Foundation 51.
“Adam Giles needs to initiate an inquiry and the terms of reference must have teeth. If the Government tries to water down this inquiry people will justifiably ask what they have to hide."
Media Contact: Michael Gleeson 0400 096 924