Monday, September 8, 2014

ICAC: Questions Arising

What exactly is going on here?

"The Lowy family's Westfield Corporation made a $150,000 donation to the Liberal Party which ended up with the party's NSW branch, despite donations from property developers such as the shopping centre giant being banned. However, Westfield corporate affairs director Mark Ryan insisted to the Independent Commission Against Corruption yesterday that the donation, in December 2010, had not been made for the NSW election campaign 3 months later. The money went to the Free Enterprise Foundation, a Liberal-aligned trust. The commission has heard that the foundation was used to funnel illegal donations from property developers to the state election campaign. Mr Ryan said: 'To me it was a fairly straightforward exercise in making a donation to the federal Liberal Party. It was in accordance with what I would typically do in any given year, which is try to donate to both federal political parties in a fairly even-handed way'." (Westfield $150k 'for feds only', Mark Coultan, The Australian, 5/9/14)

My questions arising:

Why does Westfield, in the words of its corporate affairs director, "typically... in any given year... donate to both federal political parties"?

Does poor old Frank really need to throw money at LibLab to smooth the way for his shopping centres? I mean, would there be no more Westfield shopping centres - quelle horreur! - unless such donations were forthcoming?

Could there possibly be some other reason for such donations? Such as keeping LibLab sweet on Israel, for example?

Did the above donation, "which ended up with the [Liberal] party's NSW branch," have anything to do with the NSW Liberal government, under Barry O'Farrell (2011-14), making Israel core government business? (Concerning which, please read my 3/5/14 post NZW Inc.)

And - question of questions - why aren't mainstream journalists asking these questions?

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