27 October 2005




● Call for Minister to disclose – as required by State law – how much charity received from   local dinner.

Call on Premier to urge Cherie Blair to give back her massive speaking fees to struggling charity.


Following news from Consumer Affairs Victoria that a 10 February 2005 children’s cancer fundraising dinner in Melbourne at which Cherie Blair was the guest speaker passed on only $16 000 of the $190 000 raised (or 8%), No Pokies MLC Nick Xenophon has demanded that the State Government provide details of the amount raised for charity at the 9 February 2005 Cherie Blair dinner at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Under Section 7 of the Collections for Charitable Purposes Act 1939 a licence is required for fundraising events where ‘it is held out that any part of the proceeds of the entertainment are to be devoted (either wholly or partly) for any charitable purpose’.

Section 12 provides for the Minister responsible for the legislation (in this case, the Minister for Gambling) to set conditions for such events.

Under Section 15(1) of the Act ‘Statements to be furnished by licensees’ there is a requirement for licence holders to “keep proper accounts of the receipts and payment of money collected or received by it for charitable purposes and of the receipt and disposal of goods collected or received by it for charitable purposes.”  

Section 15(2) requires the licence holders to submit a statement to the Minister “setting out the money and goods so collected or received, the manner in which they have been dealt with and such other information as is required by the Minister to be included in the statement”.

Mr Xenophon called on Gambling Minister Michael Wright, who has responsibility for the Act, to disclose how much was raised by the event for the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia .

“The February 2005 Cherie Blair tour has prompted changes to the law that I pushed for on charity fundraising events such as this – a Bill is currently before Parliament. So, if the Minister took the issue seriously enough to introduce new laws, surely he would have requested the figures by now for the 9 February event, and those figures should be publicly disclosed.”

Mr Xenophon also called on Premier Rann, who welcomed Cherie Blair to the 9 February event, to urge her to repay her ‘massive’ speaking fee back to the charity.

Cherie Blair, a highly paid UK barrister and judge (and her hubby isn’t doing too badly either) is in a better position than most to repay the significant fees she pocketed from this tour, and I expect she would be influenced by any calls from Premier Rann to do so.”

“If she doesn’t pay back the money then many would say that for Cherie Blair ‘charity begins at home’ – ‘home’ just happens to be No 10 Downing Street .”


Written and authorised by Nick Xenophon, 653 Lower North East Road, Paradise, SA 5075