A fundraising vehicle that took in nearly $128,000 for the Liberals appears to be running out of the taxpayer-funded office of a Morrison government frontbencher.
Labor indirectly targeted Customs Minister Jason Wood in parliament on Wednesday over the administration of the Pinnacle Club, which organised at least two fundraising events he has been associated with.
Mr Wood described it later as a "desperate stunt" by Labor, and insisted everything had been done within the rules.
The Pinnacle Club's disclosures to the Australian Electoral Commission list Janet Halsall as its financial controller, giving a Parliament House email address of the type used by political staffers, and Mr Wood's electorate post office box and phone number as contact details.
The AEC still had Ms Halsall listed as the financial controller on July 15.
"How is the Assistant Minister for Customs allowing the Pinnacle Club, an associated entity of the Victorian Liberal Party, to use his taxpayer-funded office, his taxpayer-funded phone number and his ministerial PO box possibly consistent with the prime minister's ministerial standards," opposition frontbencher Richard Marles asked during question time.
He also asked about a coming $750-a-head event the Pinnacle Club is holding at an exclusive Melbourne cigar and whiskey club that features Mr Wood, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and embattled Liberal MP Gladys Liu as drawcards.
"Prior to coming to Question Time today and indeed to now, I have no information in front of me that would suggest that any of the matters that they have alleged is falling foul of the standards," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told parliament, before going on the attack over NSW Labor's donation woes.
"But I can tell you one thing wasn't happening.
"No one walked into his office with a big plastic bag full of $100,000 and counted it out on the table like happens on Sussex Street on a regular basis, it would seem."
Mr Wood thanked Ms Halsall as one of his branch members and supporters in a December 2013 speech.
The Pinnacle Club reported to the AEC it raised $127,994 in 2017/18 and $71,157 the previous year.
In its 2016/17 return, it listed Garry Runge as its financial controller and used a different contact address.
Mr Wood said in a statement he managed his office and expenses within the guidelines.
Resources provided for contacting an MP or their staff, such as email addresses and post office boxes, can be listed as contact details where parliamentarians or their staff are reporting to regulators such as the Australian Electoral Commission, he said.
It was not unusual for employees to provide their work contact details so that they can be reached during business hours for activities outside of their usual hours of work.
"This is a desperate stunt from Labor," he said, adding a number of Labor MPs had done exactly the same thing.
Australian Associated Press