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Questions over MP’s print spend

Wednesday, 26 September 2018
By Wayne Robinson

Questions: Alex Hawke MP.

Questions are being raised over the print spend of Special Minister of State Alex Hawke, who it is estimated has spent more than half a million dollars with print management company Zion Graphics, which is owned by a local Liberal branch president, who has donated almost $30,000 to the local Liberal party, and which is run out of his home.

Zion Graphics has also used by several other high flying liberal MPs to print their work, including current NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres and Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies who ordered print with Zion in 2016 and 2017.

According to an investigation by Buzzfeed News website the owner of Zion Graphics Rudy Limantono is making a tidy profit for receiving Hawke’s print jobs then passing the jobs onto print manufacturers, who are printing the leaflets, flyers and other jobs. Limantono is the branch president of the Bella Vista Liberal party, and is a donor to the Liberal Party.

Zion Graphics has no website, no Facebook, and the phone number is based in Limantono’s McMansion in Bella Vista. BuzzFeed News says it asked Zion Graphics how much it would cost to print 30,000 newsletters and received a quote for $7,150 + GST while nearby Hills Banners said it would charge $4,000 + GST for the same job.

Buzzfeed News also says that Hawke – MP for Mitchell in Sydney’s Hills district – is depending on the backing of the Bella Vista branch – with Limantono as president – to keep his job, which is under threat from moderate Liberals.

While print management companies are ten a’penny these days, as increasing numbers of printers eschew buying their own press and turn their businesses into sales operations, serious questions over the cosy arrangement between MPs and a donor to the party are bound to be raised, with taxpayers’ money involved, the excellent margins Zion is able to achieve, and the donations to the party.

The print work coming from Hawke is plentiful, according to disclosures published by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority the MP  spent $298,808.32 on printing and communication from April 2017 to June 2018, outspending neighbouring MPs on print by a significant margin, despite being in a safe seat.

By way of comparison Scott Morrison spent $179,063.10 in Cook during the same period, while Tony Abbott spent $184,905.91 in Warringah, both of them having smaller majorities.

Both Limantono and Hawke’s office deny any wrongdoing to Buzzfeed News, with Hawke’s office saying he had used many local printers to produce work, and Limantono saying all donations were in the public domain, although Buzzfeed could find no record of them.

One Response to “Questions over MP’s print spend”

  1. September 27, 2018 at 12:03 am,

    Inky McFee

    Sounds legit!

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