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Political Party Donations - ASIO Advice

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Tags: ASIO, Foreign Influence


Your answer to the Greens' first question was typically evasive.  Why did the Tasmanian Liberal Party, which you lead, accept $30 000 from foreign donors after ASIO's warning to your federal counterparts?  Do you support the state Liberals' decision to accept this money despite ASIO's warning and security concerns?  What do you believe the Yuhu Group billionaire founder Mr Huang Xiangmo expects from your party in return for his investment?



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for Denison for her question.  I answered the initial question very directly and said donations are administered by the administrative arm of the Liberal Party.  It is my expectation, and members of the party, that the organisation abides by the law.  That is what has happened.  There has been no law broken.  To draw the connection -

Ms O'Connor - ASIO advice has been disregarded.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.  Ms O'Connor, it is the second time you have asked a similar question.  I expect you will not interject through the answer.  It is the same for other members of the Opposition.  When a question has been put, out of respect, we need to listen to the answer from the Premier.

Mr HODGMAN - There is no law against foreign donations.  The Liberal Party abides by the law with respect to not only the receipt of donations but also their disclosure, as all parties should.

There is no connection, as the member for Denison says, but there is an obvious connection between what was donated to the Greens in the past and their policy outcomes.  The best example of that is what happened at Triabunna where a Greens-Labor government, as part of that unholy alliance, wanted -

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 45 going to relevance.  I did not ask the Premier about Gunns' private decision to sell the Triabunna mill.  I asked about the Tasmanian Liberals' decision to ignore ASIO warnings and accept foreign donations.

Mr SPEAKER - On the point of order, as you well know, there is a certain amount of leniency given when the question is put and also when answered.  It was about political donations so I will allow the Premier to continue his answer.

Mr HODGMAN - The point is that the member who asks the questions, trying to draw connections between donations and policy outcomes, is ignoring the fact that when she was in government with Labor, they had a clear policy objective to shut down the Triabunna chip mill with the support of a multi millionaire who donated significant sums to the Greens party.  That is exactly what happened, while Labor sat back and let it happen.  It is complete and utter hypocrisy. 

No connection is drawn here; no law has been broken.  The Liberal Party will always disclose its donations received in accordance with the law and no-one should draw any conclusion from the latest conspiracy theory of the Greens.

Dr WOODRUFF – Point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 45.  The member for Denison did not ask about law; she asked about the advice of ASIO.

Mr SPEAKER - I have already answered that point of order and I allowed the Premier to continue his answer.  When I make a decision along those lines, I appreciate members take that on board and do not take the same points of order within a few minutes of each other.