NSW Minister cleared of donation scandal

Perry Duffin
NSW Minister cleared of donation scandal

A NSW government frontbencher accused of accepting political donations from Sydney property developers has been cleared after an investigation.

Multiculturalism and Disability Services Minister Ray Williams was accused of accepting dozens of $990 donations which sit just below the $1000 disclosure threshold.

News Corp Australia in February reported the payments were funnelled through an organisation Mr Williams founded called the Hawkesbury Club between June 2012 and July 2013.

But an investigation by the NSW Electoral Commission found no evidence Mr Williams had committed an offence under the Election Funding Act.

"Donations made to the Liberal Party by seven individuals were examined as part of this investigation," commission chairperson Keith Mason said in a statement on Thursday.

"Four of these individuals were found not to have been property developers, as defined by the Act, at the time of making their donations."

The commission found the remaining three donors were property developers.

However, the Liberal Party returned the first donation within a year and the commission had recovered the second donation.

The third was not detected within the then three-year window required for legal action to be taken against Mr Williams. The commission recommended no further action be taken.

The minister welcomed the decision clearing his name.

"I take my responsibilities in government very seriously and have always acted with the highest level of integrity," he said in a statement.

"I look forward to continuing to represent the electorate of Castle Hill and getting on with the job for the people of NSW."