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Peta Credlin who is Australian PM Tony Abbott's chief of staff embroiled in ICAC scandal

Updated: 08 Sep 2014
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Peta Credlin
Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott's chief of staff.
 
EMAILS suppressed last week at ICAC which feature the Prime Minister’s chief of staff show a major developer donor to the Liberal party provided question time fodder for then-opposition leader Tony Abbott in March 2011.
 
Emails released from a suppression order by ICAC commissioner Megan Latham show Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge wrote to former chief party fundraiser Paul Nicolaou on March 2 2011 saying “tell Tony to stick to his guns on no carbon tax.” 
 
'I am running an internal fight with the BCA who seem to be driven by a few companies who will make bundles out of the tax.”
  
Lindsay Partridge
Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge told Paul Nicolau; “tell Tony to stick to his guns on no carbon tax”.
  
Mr Nicolaou forwarded the email to Mr Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin, noting “Please note below from Lindsay Partridge the MD of Brickworks the largest producers of bricks in Australia and a very good supporter of the party.”
 
Ms Credlin replied saying Mr Partridge “provides a great line for Question Time.”
 
'Do you have a number that i might be able to contact him on and see if he was happy for us to use it and perhaps, use his sector as an example (if not his actual business)? We wouldn’t do this without his explicit approval but it would be ideal for tomorrow.”
 
The emails were suppressed from public release last week, after the barrister for NSW Senator Arthur Sinodinos, Robert Newlinds SC, raised concerns that they would fall under parliamentary privilege.
 
Ms Credlin is married to the Liberal Party’s federal director Brian Loughnane.
 
Paul Nicolau
Paul Nicolau continues to come under scrutiny at the ICAC for his role in the Liberal Party securing illegal developer donations in NSW. Picture: Stephen Cooper
 
ICAC has heard Brickworks provided illegal donations to the NSW Liberal Party after developer donations were banned from state election campaigns in 2009 and that they funded a researcher in then Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell’s office.
 
Counsel Assisting the inquiry Geoffrey Watson SC said the ICAC had received information from the federal parliament that the emails were not privileged.
 
In July 2010, the company donated $250,000 to the party, with an instruction that $50,000 would go to the NSW party “via the diversionary organisation” — the alleged slush fund the Free Enterprise Foundation.
 
Developers are legally allowed to donate to the federal party.
 
Former Premier Barry O’Farrell and Senator Arthur Sinodinos are set to appear before the ICAC inquiry into alleged illegal donations tomorrow.
   
   
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