Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A new low for Australian corruption

How corrupt is Australia? This corrupt:

Mafia figures donated tens of thousands of dollars to the discredited NSW Liberal Party fundraising vehicle, the Millennium Forum, as part of an ultimately successful campaign to allow a known criminal to stay in Australia.

A senior Millennium Forum figure, who is already under investigation by ICAC for allegedly funnelling illegal developer donations to the NSW Liberal Party, also helped criminal Frank Madafferi's lawyer meet then immigration minister Philip Ruddock on the visa issue.

A year-long Fairfax Media and Four Corners investigation has obtained confidential documents that outline the Millennium Forum's role as the receiver of the Mafia money, raising more questions about the integrity of the nation's political donations regime.

Documents also reveal that Victorian Liberal MP Russell Broadbent hosted alleged Mafia boss Tony Madafferi, Frank's brother, for lunch in the parliamentary dining room and in his Parliament House office. Mr Broadbent also introduced Tony Madafferi and his associates to senior Liberal MPs including Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

Mr Broadbent, who has repeatedly refused to answer questions, helped organise, or attended, several fundraisers involving the alleged Mafia figure.

The Australian political system is rotten to the core, with multiple MPs jailed and perennial investigations of cash-for-access, cash-for-contracts, and cronyism. But taking money from organised crime seems to be a new low even for them.