ANU College of Law Alumnus, John Schmidt (BA' 77 LLB ’79), has been appointed to a key new role investigating political donations and breaches of electoral law in NSW.
In announcing Mr Schmidt’s appointment as the NSW Electoral Commissioner, Premier Mike Baird, said he was a person with the right skills and experience to lead the state’s Electoral Commission into the future.
“As part of our reforms to clean up politics in NSW, we established a new Electoral Commission with appropriate investigative functions and a clear mandate to institute criminal and civil proceedings for breaches of electoral laws,” Mr Baird said.
Mr Schmidt brings considerable experience to his new role, including five years spent as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Transaction Reports & Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the Federal Government body in charge of investigating money laundering and terrorism financing.
In addition, Mr Schmidt has also held senior roles in the NSW public service, including as Deputy Director-General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, acting Director-General of the Cabinet Office and Assistant Director-General of the Department of Fair Trading.
Mr Schmidt will take his place on a three-member Electoral Commission Panel that is currently withholding $4.4 million in public funding from the NSW Liberal Party until it reveals who donated $693,000 to the Party via the Free Enterprise Foundation at the 2011 state election.