Staffer was used for electioneering

ACCUSATIONS have surfaced that Steve Cansdell's former staffer Kath Palmer was directed by the former MP to work on the election campaign for Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan in last year's federal election.

A Sydney Morning Herald article stated yesterday that Mrs Palmer was being paid by Cansdell's office for duties in the federal election campaign and other local sources backed the claim yesterday.

Mr Cansdell was unavailable for comment and could not be contacted by The Examiner.

Mr Hogan confirmed yesterday that Mrs Palmer had worked on his campaign in the 2010 federal election but he said he thought she was a National Party volunteer and had no idea she was on the State's payroll.

"We had 35-40 volunteers working over in our campaign offices in Page, in Lismore, Grafton, Ballina and Casino, with the rosters organised by local branches, and I understood they were all volunteer workers," Mr Hogan said. "I met her (Mrs Palmer) in the Grafton office and thanked her for helping out."

A spokesman from NSW Parliament's Member Services section said electorate staff were not allowed to be used for "electioneering" under the Parliamentary Remuneration Act 1989. He said such breaches were normally investigated by the ICAC and referred to the Department of Public Prosecutions.



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