Executive assistant gives critical evidence at corruption inquiry

An EA has given evidence that links former NSW Labour boss Jamie Clements to controversial Chinese billionaire and political donor, Huang Xingmo. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is currently investigating allegations that in March 2015 Mr Huang handed Mr Clements $100,000 in an Aldi bag after Mr Huang was banned from making political donations to political parties.

The ICAC is also investigating claims that NSW Labour attempted to hide the source of the donation using fake donation declaration forms.

Mr Huang’s former EA, Tian “Tim” Xu told the ICAC that Mr Clements and Mr Huang got to know one another while Mr Clements was in office.

Mr Xu was the main point of contact between the two after Mr Clements resigned from office after a sexual harassment scandal in early 2016.

Mr Xu told the Commission that Mr Clements began working for Mr Huang “a few months” after the NSW Labour boss resigned as a consultant on how to “build relationships with government officials.”

The Commission heard that Mr Clements was put on a $200,000 retainer for his services, and was allowed to work out of Mr Huang’s offices in Sydney’s Pitt Street, which Mr Xu suspected to be rent free.

The Pitt Street building also contains the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China (ACPPRC), which Mr Huang was chairman. Mr Xu—agreeing with Counsel Assisting the Inquiry, Robert Scott—told the Commission that the ACPPRC was a front for the Chinese government.