“NSW Police have confirmed to the minister’s solicitors that they have concluded their investigation. The minister welcomes that fact,” a spokeswoman for Mr Taylor said.
“This supports his repeated previous statements that neither he, nor any member of his office, altered the document in question.
“Of course Minister Taylor will cooperate with the AFP and any enquiries they wish to make, although he fully expects they will conclude that this matter is baseless.”
The AFP said it got the referral from NSW before Christmas.
“The AFP can confirm it received a referral from New South Wales Police on December 20, 2019, in relation to the alleged doctoring of a document,” the force said in a statement.
“While this matter is being evaluated, it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”
A spokesman for Cr Moore said the lord mayor’s office had not yet been contacted by the AFP.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the forgery was a “serious issue” but he didn’t want to get too much into politics while fires raged around Australia.
Mr Taylor previously insisted in Parliament he relied on a document downloaded from the City of Sydney website when he claimed the council spent $15.9 million on travel for its councillors. The real costs were less than $6000.
The City of Sydney cited its own computer metadata to insist the document used by Mr Taylor could not have been downloaded from its site, raising questions about who authored the false information and how it came to be in Mr Taylor’s office.
Saturday is predicted to be a day of catastrophic fire danger for Australia’s south east, including in Mr Taylor’s Goulburn electorate.
An invitation to the event obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reads in part, “On behalf of the Liberal Party of Australia I am delighted to invite you to join us for A Day at the Cricket.
“Please note that there is a 25% discount for our valued Australian Business Network members.”
According to one attendee a similar event last year cost $3000 for some tickets.
The invitation included a prominent photo of Mr Taylor, but his office on Thursday afternoon said he was not attending the event this year and was never going to host it.
The Liberal fundraiser comes as other charities mobilise to raise funds for volunteer firefighters and people who have lost their homes during the fires.
Federal Bureau Chief Canberra
Nick O’Malley is a senior writer and a former US correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.