In 2018 it was reported that exhibitors at a purportedly non-political expo for senior citizens, run by then-Assistant Treasurer, Stuart Robert, were instructed to pay $300,000 in fees to the Liberal National Party's campaign account.
Exhibitors at the event included private companies such as funeral homes and eye and hearing clinics which, according to electoral commission records, had declared thousands of dollars as "donations" to the LNP campaign account in the weeks leading up to the event.
Despite the expo not being declared a political fundraiser, Mr. Robert confirmed that he had instructed exhibitors to pay their fees into the LNP account which were then declared as donations. Mr. Robert defended the move, stating that none of the money was used in campaigns due to the cost of the event and that any leftover was given to charity:
"Under electoral guidelines, we couldn’t set up a different account for the event so the money had to be paid into the LNP campaign account, and yes, they were declared as donations...We didn’t make any money, and none of the funds were ever used in campaigns because we had to meet the cost of the event, with anything left over…to be given to charity.’’
The Australian reported that when Mr. Robert was asked how much money was donated to charity, his response was that each of the senior events "ran at a loss."