Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten was present with other senior party leaders at a Chinese Friends of Labor fundraising dinner in Sydney that is believed to be the focus of a raid on the NSW ALP’s headquarters by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has been calling for a royal commission into Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia for months.
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The Australian reports, officials from the NSW corruption body swooped on the ALP Sussex Street offices early yesterday in search of financial records related to an investigation into allegedly undisclosed or illegal party donations in 2015.
The raid took place while Labor officials were out of Sydney, attending the party’s national conference in Adelaide. Its timing, three months before the NSW election, also caused internal consternation about possible damage as the state party seeks to make itself electable after two terms in opposition.
The organiser of the Chinese Friends of Labor dinner, attended by 650 people, was NSW Labor MP Ernest Wong. Another prominent attendee was Chinese property developer Huang Xiangmo, a NSW Labor donor who later came to public attention over his financial and personal links to disgraced former Labor senator Sam Dastyari.
A group photo from the fundraising dinner, held shortly before the NSW election in March 2015, shows Mr Shorten standing close to Mr Wong and Mr Huang, along with federal colleague Chris Bowen, then state party leader Luke Foley and state front bencher Adam Searle.
Senator Bernardi made the case in the Senate for a Royal Commission into Chinese communist government influence in Australia.
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