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Thursday, 24 March 1994
Page: 2208

Senator SHORT —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Administrative Services. I remind the minister of the Australian Federal Police investigation last November into allegations that Parliamentary Secretary Dr Andrew Theophanous had sought substantial bribes from Chinese student leaders in Australia. I also remind the minister of the statement of the Minister for Justice on 10 December 1993 that the AFP had found no evidence to support the allegations, but that campaign donations of over $2,000 had been received by Dr Theophanous from the Chinese students human rights organisation in January 1993, which `have been transferred to the proper electoral account'. In the light of that statement, I ask the minister why is it that those donations, totalling $2,420, were not disclosed in any of the Labor Party's returns to the Commonwealth Electoral Commission, as required by law, prior to the allegations being raised or prior to the statement of the Minister for Justice. I ask whether the minister will make a full investigation into the reasons for the non-disclosure.

Senator BOLKUS —As Senator Short would know, the legislation he is dealing with is legislation which is, in many respects, complicated. Having said that, however, I do not accept that what Senator Short has alleged is accurate. I will pass on the question to the Minister for Administrative Services as well as to the Commonwealth Electoral Commission to provide a full answer for him. I do that without presuming guilt on the part of anybody.