ICAC told Hartcher aid advised against declaring donation

A BUSINESSMAN has told a corruption inquiry into claims much of the NSW Liberal's 2011 election campaign was funded by dodgy developer dollars, he had a "gut feeling" something was wrong when a minister's adviser told him not to declare a $5000 donation.

Giving evidence before ICAC on Tuesday, Matthew Lusted told the commission "something stank" when Ray Carter, a former adviser to sidelined Energy Minister Chris Hartcher, told him not to "worry" about a donation, which the corruption watchdog alleges was eventually channelled into a secret fund.

It came after the state's Parliamentary Secretary Marie Ficarra was asked to step aside amid claims she solicited a $5,000 donation from a property developer and serving Energy Minister Anthony Roberts was accused of enjoying an undeclared tropical holiday to Hamilton Island.

The hearing continues.