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Wednesday, 16 October 1985
Page: 1324

Senator BOSWELL —While the Minister for Finance is pursuing a rumour and unidentified reports that Mr Maher has made a donation to the National Party of Australia, would he also make the same inquiries into whether Mr Maher has made any donations to the John Curtin Foundation or any other body that collects money for the Australian Labor Party and inform the Senate of the results of those inquiries?

Senator WALSH —Certainly. I will write to all the State secretaries and ask them whether they have received any donations from Brian Maher, Esquire. Of course they are not obliged to tell me, but if they do I will make that information available. However, I would be as amazed if any branch of the Labor Party had received donations from Brian Maher as I would be if the Bjelke-Petersen Foundation had not. I do not see any particular reason why people like Mr Maher should be supporting the Australian Labor Party since we have argued, I think for five years, that this Parliament should pass a law to ensure that people like Mr Maher, who have effectively stolen money from the Commonwealth, from taxpayers, should have that stolen money recovered from them.

I will not pass judgment on Mr Maher's morality; I think that that has already been done, but I am willing to put forward a guess about whether or not he has any common sense. I would say that he is not a fool and only a fool, if he were in Mr Maher's position, would donate money to the Australian Labor Party.