Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Action Unlikely on Rort; No Fallout from Corruption Allegations against Cansdell Staffer

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Action Unlikely on Rort; No Fallout from Corruption Allegations against Cansdell Staffer

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Howard

THE NATIONAL Party does not anticipate its candidate for the seat of Page will cop any fallout from further investigation into allegations of an electorate office rort from a staffer of disgraced State MP Steve Cansdell.

A Sydney newspaper report yesterday said the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Shelley Hancock, will review its investigation into allegations that the former NSW Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell rorted a staff allowance to benefit a Nationals colleague, its candidate for the Federal seat of Page, Kevin Hogan.

The allegations were referred by corruption authorities to Ms Hancock a year ago but not investigated.

Mr Cansdell's former staff member Kath Palmer made the allegations to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Last month former Labor MP Karyn Paluzzano was convicted following similar allegations to ICAC.

In yesterday's report Ms Hancock, the Liberal MP for South Coast, said she had considered the material from ICAC, but did not take action.

She said ICAC had not acted on it because the material, including Ms Palmer's work diaries and claim forms, would be difficult to verify.

Ms Hancock has now asked parliamentary officers to review the material.

Ms Palmer alleged Mr Cansdell, who was parliamentary secretary for police, abused a staff allowance by requiring her to work on the 2010 federal election campaign of Mr Hogan.

Members can claim the allowance when forced to hire an extra staff member when an electorate officer comes to Parliament with them.

The report said Mr Cansdell submitted claims forms for Ms Palmer's allowance that differed from the days she worked.

Mr Hogan said he had around 200 people doing volunteer work for him during the 2010 campaign and believed Ms Palmer to be one of them.

aI assumed she was volunteering,a Mr Hogan said. …

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