Judge’s Rules Nationals won’t lose $ 250,000

The Nationals will maintain $ 250,000 after a successful court appeal to the Victorian Election Commission.Photo: Glen Campbell

The Liberal Party can continue to fund the Nationalist Party of Victoria, despite fears of corruption, after the judge has ruled in favor of the party.

Judge Melinda Richards of the Victorian Supreme Court said the deal was not a “gift” or “political contribution.”

Instead, she said the transfer of cash was a “sufficient consideration of monetary value” for the people who agreed not to run for candidates in competition with the coalition government.

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The Nationals lost about $ 250,000 in campaign finance after the Victorian Election Commission ruled the deal was not legal after the 2018 elections.

VEC attorney Chris Horan QC told a previous court that he could “open the door” to corruption.

“Candidates can say,’If you pay me a million dollars, I’ll join your group ticket’-and that’s okay,” he said.

However, Judge Richards objected.

Coalition attorney Peter Hanks QC successfully claimed that it was legal to carry out group tickets and that the agreement facilitated it.

With Judge Richards’ decision announced Wednesday, VEC must continue to respect the agreement between the parties.

In Victoria, candidates for state elections are given a fixed amount of taxpayer money to refund campaigns distributed after the election.

House candidates receive $ 6 for each first priority vote cast on them, and Senate candidates receive $ 3 for each first priority vote.

However, the Liberal Party and the Kuomintang have agreed that two-thirds will go to the Liberal Party and one-third will go to the Liberal Party for the House of Councilors candidates in Victoria, instead of receiving money for each vote like everyone else. I have. The people.

In exchange, the public agrees that the Liberal Party can run with a ticket first.

Without agreement, the Liberal Party would have been allocated $ 757,000 to the relevant seats and only $ 1,400 to the public after the 2018 elections.

But after Judge Richards’ decision, they will cost about $ 250,000.

Judge Richards said that without agreement, the public would be “satisfied” with about one-third of the coalition’s total votes, and therefore it would be fair to receive voluntarily abandoned money. Stated.

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Place of originJudge’s Rules Nationals won’t lose $ 250,000

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