The ABC is reporting today that a rising Labor star running for leadership of the NSW party received a $5,000 “moving expenses” payment as part of a six-figure donation to Labor by an association linked to a Sydney businessman with deep links to the Chinese Communist Party.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has repeatedly called for a royal commission into Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia, but his appeals have been rejected by the Morrison government.
The $5,000 payment to Labor MP Chris Minns also raised questions for Labor’s federal health spokesman Chris Bowen, who was the beneficiary of the $100,000 donation from which Mr Minns’s payment was drawn.
The donation and payment were the latest in a series of disturbing allegations regarding Chinese Communist Party influence exerted over Australian politicians via large donations from Beijing-backed businessmen, including the occasional payment of politicians’ personal expenses.
Two party insiders described the payment as unusual, while others said the airing of old incidents was an example of how toxic the NSW branch of the Labor Party has become as it chooses a new parliamentary leader.
Mr Minns is running against fellow Labor MP Jodi McKay for leadership of the NSW parliamentary party, promising a “fresh approach”.
The results of a leadership ballot will be known later this month.