FEDERAL and state MPs have benefited from tens of thousands of dollars collected by a fund-raising body linked to Liberals in south-west Sydney which has been referred to election funding authorities for investigation.
Frank Oliveri, a Fairfield councillor close to the organisation, the South West Business Forum, has broken his silence over the whereabouts of some of about $35,000 raised at a 2007 event attended by Tony Abbott and Helen Coonan.
Cr Oliveri has revealed that at least $22,000 went to the political campaign of the then federal Liberal MP for Macarthur, Pat Farmer.
About $7000 is believed to have been given in cash and cash cheques to NSW Liberal MPs and used for funding party memberships and election campaigns, but Cr Oliveri would not confirm this.
In NSW, donations above $1000 must be declared. The federal threshold in 2007-08 was $10,500. Election funding records show only a donation of $2250 was ever declared by the South West Business Forum to the NSW Liberals.
An upper house Liberal MP, Charlie Lynn, has written to the Election Funding Authority asking it to investigate the forum.
The $450 cheque was for photographs of the state MP for Smithfield, Andrew Rohan, his electorate officer, Zaya Toma, and Cr Molluso and Cr Oliveri, who were candidates for Fairfield council in 2008.
The Liberal Party will refer the cheque to the funding authority. Mr Rohan declined to comment.
When members of the state executive quizzed Cr Oliveri about the signature on the cheque last week, he claimed to have no idea as to whose signature it was.
In June Mr Lynn wrote to the party threatening to quit unless it agreed not to endorse Cr Molluso and reopen nominations to allow his colleague Dai Le to become the candidate in his place. On Friday the party decided to not endorse any Fairfield candidates but declined to reopen nominations.