Labor candidate for Hume Aoife Champion has challenged her Liberal counterpart in the forthcoming election to "answer the questions the public is asking".
The lawyer also claimed at Monday's Politics in the Pub at The Astor that she had been "silenced" following a previous similar event in which she made reference to Cayman Islands companies.
Ms Champion told The Sun Herald that in 2016 she received a call from Hume MP Angus Taylor's staffer warning of defamation action if she didn't remove video references to Mr Taylor's former links with the Cayman Islands registered parent company, Eastern Australia Irrigation.
Mr Taylor, who founded the company, was a director, but said he ended his association before he entered parliament in 2013. He has strongly denied any financial interest in or benefit flowing from the federal government's 2017 $80 million water purchase from one of Eastern Australia Agriculture's Queensland properties.
"I have never had a financial interest in EAA or any associated company, nor did any of my family members," Mr Taylor has said; and declined to answer further Post questions on the matter.
Mr Taylor was an apology for Politics in the Pub. A spokesman for his office said he attended a long-standing commitment in Sydney.
Ms Champion told Monday's forum that this campaign was different to the last, which she also contested. She likened it to Alice in Wonderland.
"...We are now in a seriously strange and deluded place in terms of the messaging that gets out to people, the permission we give our politicians not to be answerable to us and the way we have become comfortable with the silence," she said. "...I believe we have a civil right to not only ask the question, but to have it answered."
She told the crowd she was pleased the event was being live-streamed so that any reference to Cayman Islands companies "could not be erased from the record".
Independent candidate Huw Kingston said the most common question he had been asked over the past week was whether he had a Cayman Islands bank account. "I do not," he said.
The Post is not suggesting Mr Taylor does hold such an account.
On the broader issue of water buybacks, Ms Champion said people needed to question whether companies owning a scarce commodity such as water, then sold it for a higher value and which were registered in the Cayman Islands should "effectively be able to make their money out of climate change."
"Does it pass the pub test?" she asked.
Ms Champion said the upcoming election in Hume would be about integrity and trust.
Mr Taylor told the Post he had "repeatedly" answered questions on the matters raised.
"I was paid as a consultant for my role with EAA. It is common for professional service providers to set up companies without holding a financial stake," he said.
He repeated statements that he concluded any association with EAA and associated companies "many years before the 2017 buybacks" and that neither he, nor his family, received benefit from these transactions.
"I didn't play any part in setting up the company's structure. That was done by others. I was focused on (its) agricultural operations," he said.
"In my business career, as in politics, I have always acted with honesty and integrity. I have fought hard for my constituents and for this great region. I look forward to continuing to do so."
Mr Taylor said he looked forward to attending a candidates night here in coming weeks. The Goulburn Chamber of Commerce is hosting its forum at Harvest cafe on the evening Wednesday, May 8.
The Post will publish further details on this event.
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