Beck denies knowing who funded election



IGNORANCE is bliss for Tweed deputy mayor Lynne Beck. Months after the identities of donors to the Tweed Shire Council election campaign were revealed, Cr Beck said she still did not know who the contributors were.

Appearing on the second day of the royal commission-style inquiry into the council, she said she had avoided reading any media reports on who the donors were in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

A group called Tweed Directions funded her recent election campaign to the tune of $22,000, with no financial input from her, and she said they did not want her to know who the donors were.

"It was just a pot of gold?" asked inquiry officer Angus Broad of the donations.

"Or the goose that laid the golden egg," Cr Beck replied.

The deputy mayor, and former mayor, attracted intense questioning regarding her electoral funding, which moved from being fully selffunded in the early years to partially self-funded in 1999 and entirely a product of donations in 2004.

Commissioner Maurice Daly asked her if this suggested the donors wanted something, to which she replied she did not know.

"Why accept the money then if you didn't know their motives?" he asked.

Cr Beck said she thought the donors were afraid the council might return to the "dark days", shutting out opportunity and therefore supported those who were "getting things happening in the Tweed".

"I never found out who (the donors were). When it was in the paper I purposely didn't read it because I don't want to know so I don't feel obliged to them," she said.

Speaking on her term as mayor in 1999 and 2000, Cr Beck was unapologetic for meeting with developers.

"I made it very clear that when I went in council we put out the welcome mat. The investors came in and we talked to them.

"We started this (development boom) and I make no excuse for it."

Cr Beck was also grilled about pecuniary interests in regards to a property once owned by her mother, a line of questioning that quickly attracted anger.

"People try to get a rise out of me by mentioning my mum. She sold her property and I'm sure not to any developers involved in the electoral funding," she said. People making snide remarks should leave my poor old mum to rest."



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