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Liberals paperwork complaint lodged with ORS: Corbell

A complaint about the Canberra Liberals not giving access to their paperwork has been lodged with the ACT Office of Regulatory Services (ORS).

Attorney General Simon Corbell told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday that the ORS was investigating a possible breach of the Associations Incorporations Act by the Liberal Party's ACT division.

Mr Corbell said the complaint, by a Canberra Liberals member, related to a request to inspect ACT Liberal Party records.

“Of course, this complaint relates to the significant dissension we have seen in the Liberal Party over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“A complaint has been lodged by a member of the incorporated association.

“They have raised the matter with the Office of Regulatory Services because they are concerned that the complaint raises matters around access to the records of the association.

“This is a very serious matter.”

The complaint comes amid an internal row in the Canberra Liberals over its Senate preselection.

Incumbent ACT Senator Gary Humphries and ACT division members have criticised the process saying it was timed to minimise the amount of support the Senator could mobilise against challenger Zed Seselja before the February 23 preselection.

“The government is always concerned about any suggestion that there may have been some sort of skullduggery, Madam Speaker, in relation to these types of matters,” Mr Corbell told the Assembly.

Mr Corbell said the ORS was seeking for further information from the Liberal Party.

The Canberra Liberals said on Tuesday evening they had not received notice of a complaint.

The Attorney General said “potential breaches of process”, particularly by a political party, were of serious concern for the government.

“The registrar general takes these matters very seriously and the registrar general will, Madam Speaker, ask for further particulars from the incorporated association, which is the Liberal Party of Australia ACT division and will seek, Madam Speaker, to ensure that the association's constitution and rules are being adhered to,” he said.

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