A manager for a Newcastle developer made out a cheque to the ALP "on behalf of the Maitland Catholic Diocese", a Sydney newspaper reports.
The Sydney Morning Herald says Matthew Somers, an employee of Hardie Holdings, which is developing an untouched zone south of Newcastle known as Sweetwater, made out the cheque to the ALP apparently on May 29 in 2006, the same day as other seven other companies in the region also donated to the Labory Party.
No explanation is offered for the alleged involvement of the Catholic Church in the incident.
However, the Herald reports the affair in the context of an exposé of lobbying by the Hardie Holdings company's lobbying for approval for the development of a site that came last on a NSW Department of Planning survey of 91 sites where best to put new homes for the 125,000 people expected to settle in the region by 2031.The Herald also discloses that one of its reporters was previously involved in a local community progress association in the area.
Paving paradise to save (Sydney Morning Herald, 13/4/08)