The NSW branch of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) handed over a half a million dollar loan from a union member fund to the Labor party without keeping an official record, a national inquiry has been told.
Several union members, including Bernie Riordan, then the secretary of the union and state president of the ALP, have said they would give evidence the loan was raised and approved at an official union meeting on 20th December 2010.
However there was no record of the loan in the minutes of a meeting the the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption was told.
The official who took the minutes at the meeting where the loan was allegedly approved, ETU assistant secretary Paul Sinclair, told the hearing he had no memory of the loan being brought up.
“Could you have just forgotten, just missed the fact that there was discussion about a loan?” counsel assisting Jeremy Stoljar asked.
“No,” Sinclair responded. “I have no recollection of a loan being discussed at that meeting on that evening.”
Joanne Crowder, then a personal assistant to Riordan, told the hearing she broke with protocol when she put the $500,000 payment through.
She said she acted on the order from Riordan in the absence of a pink slip, which usually indicates approval.
“Were you concerned about that?” Stoljar asked.
“A little,” she said.
“But Mr Riordan was the boss, so I did it.”