News

Most of Thomson's spendings ok: AEC

MOST of the money spent by the Health Services Union on Craig Thomson's 2007 election campaign in the seat of Dobell did not breach electoral guidelines, the Australian Electoral Commission has found.

Acting on a request from Special Minister of State Gary Gray, the AEC analysed Fair Work Australia's report into alleged financial mismanagement within the national office of the HSU against reporting obligations under the Electoral Act.

The resulting 22-page report dealt with a number of matters arising from the FWA's long-running investigation, including allegations Mr Thomson, as national secretary of the HSU, misused members' funds in his bid to win Dobell for the Labor Party.

Mr Thomson, who has been suspended from the Labor Party, denies the allegations and will make a statement to the House of Representatives next week.

While most of the $71,000 the union spent on Mr Thomson's campaign was found to have complied with the act, the AEC said in a statement on Wednesday is was seeking "further information about four items of expenditure which total $17,014.88".

"... some items of expenditure that have been identified would have been required to be incorporated into the total of all amounts received or paid in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 annual returns of the HSU National Office and of the ALP NSW Branch. Inquiries have been made to establish whether that has occurred," the AEC's statement read.

The items in question, all of which were below the reporting threshold set out by the act, relate to the establishment of Mr Thomson's campaign office ($4,826.99), payments to the Dobell Federal Electoral Council ($3500), campaign bus costs ($1,277.96) and payments to LBH Promotions ($7,409.93). The disclosure thresholds that were in place during the period covered by the FWA report were $10,300 for the 2006-2007 financial year and $10,500 for the 2007-2008 financial year

In a statement released late on Wednesday Mr Gray noted "the AEC has not identified any breaches of the Electoral Act by Craig Thomson".

He also revealed he had "sought advice on whether the FWA report raised any issues concerning the operation of the Electoral Act that should be considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) for possible remedy".

"The commission's letter to me contains some valuable recommendations on amendments to the disclosure provisions of the Electoral Act, which I have referred along with all of the others to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters," he said.

The AEC made a total of 17 recommendations, including amending the disclosure threshold to am "appropriate level".

Topics:  australian electoral commission, craig thomson


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Seven teens charged over break-in and police car crash

polair police helicopter flying over Coffs. Photo Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate

Late-night spree ended with a crash in Brisbane CBD

Stealing, Forestdale

Do you recognise this person?

Shots fired at three cars in south-east Queensland

Police believe the gunfire came from "another moving vehicle".

Latest deals and offers

Garden helps welcome arrivals

LOGAN Hospital's Women's and Children's Services has officially opened its new Yarning Circle with a traditional smoking ceremony.

Stealing, Forestdale

Do you recognise this person?

Daffodils a symbol of hope

CARE BEARS: Judy Hancock is volunteering today for Daffodil Day.

LOCAL volunteers time to help raise vital funds.

Coaching pays off

RISING STAR: Kerry Galhos with State MP Shannon Fentiman and tennis coach James Rapkins.

Sporting potential realised during volunteer trip.

Tapas: It's a Friday thing

TAPAS ANYONE? Tianna Dencher, Salima Muzima and Nedra Andersen at Harmony on Carmody.

$5 tapas night showcases diversity.

Browns Plains theft

Call Crimestoppers if you can help.

Die-hard fan's 34 magic Gympie Muster years

STICK AROUND FOR A BEER: Mal Williams has been at every Gympie Muster for 34 years.

Mal Williams has only missed one Muster in 35 years - the first one

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa