Sean Nicholls

Sean Nicholls

Sean Nicholls is the State Political Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.

Council amalgamations fuelling Liberal backlash in North Sydney byelection

Sean Nicholls The Liberal party's primary vote has crashed in North Sydney ahead of Saturday's byelection, new polling shows, amid claims the Baird government's council amalgamation plans are driving the backlash.

Terror-related evidence could be kept from 'control order' subjects

Attorney-General George Brandis said the new legislation would provide greater protection for sensitive information.

David Wroe and Sean Nicholls Australians subjected to "control orders" on terrorism grounds – which can restrict their movements and communications – could be denied access to some of the evidence against them for...

Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten swap barbs over clubs donations influence

Federal MP Andrew Wilkie

Sean Nicholls Prime Minister Tony Abbott and opposition leader Bill Shorten have traded blows over the influence of political donations from registered clubs on their parties' poker machine policies while in...

Follow the money: Clubs NSW donated to Kevin Andrews' Victorian-based Menzies 200 club


Sean Nicholls, Royce Millar Australia's most powerful gambling lobby donated $20,000 to a fundraising body supporting Abbott government frontbencher Kevin Andrews as he led formulation of the Coalition's industry-backed poker...

Comments 160

Take politics out of tax reform, urge business and community groups

Mike Baird:

Sean Nicholls Business and community groups have come together to implore Australia's state and federal leaders to take the politics out of the discussion on tax reform as they prepare to gather for...

Mike Baird uses six words to shame Tony Abbott and Co in the leadership stakes

Sean Nicholls dinkus Dinkus

Sean Nicholls NSW politics and its participants are routinely derided as "second grade" compared with the national discourse.

Comments 274

Key Liberal fundraising body took Mafia money for access

Victorian Liberal MP Russell Broadbent.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard, Sean Nicholls Mafia figures donated tens of thousands of dollars to the discredited NSW Liberal Party fundraising vehicle, the Millennium Forum, as part of an ultimately successful campaign to allow a known...

Bill Shorten lashes $80 billion in cuts as states vow to fight Abbott government

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

James Massola, Richard Willingham, Sean Nicholls Opposition leader Bill Shorten has lashed the "disastrous" $80 billion in cuts to schools and hospitals over a decade that were locked in by the Abbott government's second federal budget.

Reg Grundy revealed as man behind $200,000 Liberal-National donation

Former Australian television mogul Reg Grundy.

Sean Nicholls and Kate McClymont Australian television producer Reg Grundy has been confirmed as the person who made a $200,000 donation to the controversial Free Enterprise Foundation, an entity closely linked to the Liberal and...

Monaco donor gives to Liberal fund-raising body

Port Hercules

Sean Nicholls and Kate McClymont A short limousine ride from the famous Monte Carlo casino, the Les Caravelles building enjoys a dress circle position overlooking Port Hercules - a popular place for the world's mega-rich to park...

Mike Baird's commitment to election funding reform questioned

Fairfax Media writer

Sean Nicholls Mike Baird's decision to appoint an expert panel to advise him how to clean up the election funding system in NSW is welcome but the timing and terms raise worrying questions about the depth of his...

GST hike a wedge too far for states


Mark Kenny, James Massola, Sean Nicholls An $80 billion cut to federal grants for schools and hospitals over the next decade has sparked a near rebellion from the states, which suspect Canberra is trying to "starve them out" in a bid to...

Comments 148

Patients already stopping GP visits, while experts warn of serious impact on NSW hospitals


Amy Corderoy and Sean Nicholls NSW will refuse to charge patients for seeking medical help in hospital emergency departments and will not cut hospital services despite facing a $1.2 billion hole in the state’s health budget.

Bowen calls for more transparency over Hockey's fund-raising forum

Sean Nicholls Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has called for more transparency from the Liberal Party over who is donating to the North Sydney Forum, a secretive fundraising body linked to Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Labor slams Hockey's use of independent reviewer as fundraising bait

Treasurer Joe Hockey

Sean Nicholls, State Political Editor Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has been accused of using a senior economist who is conducting an independent review of government policy as a "drawcard" for a budget day fundraising event for the NSW...

Joe Hockey's budget day party for private donors

Sean Nicholls Members of a secretive fund-raising body associated with Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey are being invited to pay $3000 each to be part of an exclusive budget day event attended by his most senior staff...

Comments 144

Missing Liberal donations declared four years later


Anne Davies and Sean Nicholls The Liberal Party of NSW last month declared a four-year-old donation of $25,000 from the Warringah Club, a fundraising entity associated with Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as well as amending its most...

Treasurer for sale: Joe Hockey offers privileged access

Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Sean Nicholls Treasurer Joe Hockey is granting privileged access to a select group of business leaders in return for political donations totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

The questions Joe Hockey and the NSW Liberals didn't answer

Treasurer Joe Hockey

Sean Nicholls Here are a series of questions Fairfax Media asked Joe Hockey and the NSW Liberal Party about the North Sydney Forum - and their responses.

Factional menace has potential to rear its head again

Fairfax Media writer

Sean Nicholls One of the keys to Barry O'Farrell's success as a leader of the Liberal Party lay in an extraordinary meeting he organised not long after Peter Debnam's disastrous attempt to tip Labor and Morris...