Digital art for the tele
Digital art for the tele

Chinese billionaire organised jet for ex-Labor boss: ICAC

FORMER Jamie Clements used a private jet organised on behalf of controversial Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo on possibly multiple occasions when he was general secretary, an inquiry was told.

Mr Huang's former right-hand man, Tim Xu, told the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday that Mr Clements flew on the jet "possibly on a number of occasions", using it to travel to "probably meetings and sometimes entertainment - sometimes a tennis match".

Mr Xu returned to the witness box as the ICAC investigates claims Mr Huang handed $100,000 in cash in an Aldi shopping bag to Mr Clements after a Chinese Friends of Labor dinner in March, 2015 - a claim which Mr Clements denies.

Jamie Clements arriving at the NSW ICAC inquiry. Picture: Joel Carrett
Jamie Clements arriving at the NSW ICAC inquiry. Picture: Joel Carrett


As a property developer, Mr Huang was banned from making donations to NSW political parties.

Mr Xu told the inquiry that Mr Huang used a jet operated by Crown Casino "most of the time" because he was a high roller gambler at the venue.

Mr Xu said use of the plane was partly organised by a fellow employee of Mr Huang's called Gary Wong, who he said used to work for the Crown Group in Macau.

The inquiry previously heard that Mr Clements, Mr Huang and Mr Xu met at Labor's Sydney headquarters on April 7, 2015.

Huang Xiangmo.
Huang Xiangmo.

Mr Clements had told the inquiry Mr Huang and Mr Xu visited the Sydney HQ because Mr Huang, who he believed wanted "proximity to power", wished to arrange a meeting with then-federal opposition leader Bill Shorten.

Two days after the meeting, Labor banked $100,000 in cash raised at the Chinese Friends of Labor dinner.

Mr Clements worked for Mr Huang as a consultant after he resigned from the Labor Party after sexual assault allegations were levelled against him in January, 2016.

The inquiry was also told on Monday that Mr Huang wanted the premier of Victoria to sign a partnership agreement with a visiting Chinese delegation in 2015.

Mr Xu told the inquiry that one of the reasons he eventually quit working for Mr Huang was because he was wary about the way Mr Huang approached politics in Australia.

"His own approach is part of the reason … making requests to officials, it is a bit uncomfortable for me to act on his requests sometimes … I feel like he makes requests without knowing (or) without understanding … how things operate," he said.

"For example, asking a leader of one state to make things happen … I found a bit odd to make requests like that."

 

Tim Xu in Sydney today. Picture: Jane Dempster
Tim Xu in Sydney today. Picture: Jane Dempster