Responding to news that Paul Nicolaou has resigned as the chief executive officer of the Australian Hotels Association, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
“Prominent Liberal fundraiser Paul Nicolaou should step aside from his senior role with Group Colleges Australia (GCA), while ICAC investigations continue.
“In May this year I wrote to ICAC requesting they investigate Mr Nicolaou’s involvement with GCA as a Non-Executive Director, because of donations linking senior managers of GCA to the Liberal Party.
“ICAC have referred my concerns to the NSW Election Funding Authority and I will now be taking this up with them.
“Our research reveals Group Colleges Australia has donated over $74,000 to the Liberal Party since 2009.
"Group Colleges Australia could benefit from the Abbott government’s radical reforms to higher education that will see millions of dollars of public money flow to private for profit higher education companies.
"If the Abbott government has its way, universities will be forced to compete with private for profit higher education companies for government funding.
"Considering the allegations surrounding Mr Nicolaou having used the Millennium Forum to help funnel illegal political donations, and the possibility that ICAC may still call him to testify, he should step aside until all investigations are completed.
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