'Premium' donors offered special access to Berejiklian cabinet

Political donors are being promised special access to members of state cabinet if they purchase "premium" $950 tickets to a gala Liberal Party fundraising lunch next month featuring NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The ticket price is set just below the $1000 threshold that would require individual donors' names to be publicly disclosed under NSW electoral laws.

According to an invitation from NSW Liberal state director Chris Stone, a premium ticket secures a donor "pre-lunch drinks with the ministerial team".

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is the major drawcard for the Liberal Party fundraising lunch. Photo: Jessica Hromas

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is the major drawcard for the Liberal Party fundraising lunch. Photo: Jessica Hromas

Potential attendees are also invited to email the NSW Liberals for more information about "premium pricing options".

Among the 11 ministers being touted as attending are Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, Planning Minister Anthony Roberts, Energy Minister Don Harwin, Attorney-General Mark Speakman and Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton.

Also billed as attending are Education Minister Rob Stokes, Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward, Multiculturalism and Disabilities Minister Ray Williams, WestConnex and Sports Minister Stuart Ayres, Finance Minister Victor Dominello and Corrections Minister David Elliott.

In an email to supporters, Mr Stone says the "Premier in conversation" fundraiser at Doltone House Hyde Park will help bankroll local campaigns at the 2019 state election.

Regular tickets are $375 a head and corporate tables of 10 are $3600.

"This lunch is one of the few events this year that not only includes the Premier and Treasurer but also most of the ministerial team," Mr Stone's email says.

"It will be a good opportunity for you and your colleagues to network and hear firsthand from the cabinet about their plan to make NSW an even better place to live and work."

A Liberal Party spokesman said: "Like any political party, the Liberal Party has to fundraise to fight elections.

"While Labor can rely heavily on their union mates and other left-wing third party campaigners, we depend on the support of members of the community who believe in the Liberal Party's ideals," he said.

"Only with that support can we continue providing strong and effective government here in NSW."

The November 9 fundraiser comes more than two years after an expert panel chaired by businesswoman Kerry Schott recommended an overhaul of election funding laws.

Among the changes recommended and accepted in principle by the government is a move to online, real time disclosure of political donations of $1000 or more in the six months before an election.

Last year the NSW Liberal Party was forced to forgo almost $600,000 in public funding after political donations equal to that amount were deemed to have been unlawful after an investigation by the NSW Electoral Commission into its fundraising before the 2011 election.

The story 'Premium' donors offered special access to Berejiklian cabinet first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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