Wednesday, 10 September 2008

How healthy is this?

Checking on The Greens Democracy4Sale website recently alerted me to a bombshell hidden amongst the items on John Tate's funding declaration for the previous (2004) council elections [see this blog]

The declaration lists a $3,000 donation from K. McGrath, at Locked Mailbag 1, New Lambton.

The Democracy4Sale website picked up what I'd previously missed: Locked mailbag 1, New Lambton, is the address of Hunter New England Health (then Hunter Health), the NSW government's area health service, that runs the Hunter's public hospital system.

In 2004, Katherine McGrath was the Chief Executive Officer of Hunter Health, before leaving to become the Deputy Director General of Health System Performance at New South Wales Health (NSW Health).

The fact that Ms McGrath has used the organisation's official postal address for the donation means that she was making the donation in her official capacity, representing Hunter Health.

If this is so, it raises some serious questions:
Why was a publicly funded government agency donating to an election campaign?

How many other government agencies do this?

What is the NSW Government's policy on government agencies using their funds for political donations?

We'll keep you posted.

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