Liberals again caught in Bad Romance

The State Government is demanding David Speirs and the South Australian Liberals repay an almost half million dollar cash injection from a mysterious foreign donor with a track record of failing to pay her bills to Australian companies.

The latest disclosure returns from the Australian Electoral Commission show the SA branch of the Liberal Party pocketed $445,783 last financial year from Australian Romance Ltd, owned by secretive businesswoman Sally Zou.

Another of Ms Zou’s companies, Transcendent Australia, has donated a further $422,866 to the federal branch of the Liberal Party, $190,322 of which was mysteriously returned to the donor.

Ms Zou has donated more than $2.4 million to the Liberal Party since 2015, and during the 2018 election, infamously tweeted an image of a $1.2 million cheque made out to the SA Liberals.

In 2019, she placed her insolvent company AusGold Mining into voluntary administration, at a time when it owned creditors more than $41 million.

The latest donation to the South Australian branch of the Liberal Party was not disclosed under the Electoral Commission of South Australia’s reporting scheme, which requires contemporaneous disclosure of large donations, and requires foreign donations to be disclosed.

The Malinauskas Labor Government made an election commitment to ban political donations, and is currently working through the complex legal and constitutional issues implementing this nation-leading reform.


Attributable to Stephen Mullighan

David Speirs and the SA Liberals have once again accepted huge amounts of money from a foreign millionaire who has left businesses in the lurch.

The Liberals must explain how Sally Zou can afford to pay them millions, but can’t pay creditors.

Does anyone really know what business companies like Transcendent Australia or Australian Romance actually conduct, or what they are hoping to achieve by handing their money to the SA Liberals?

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