Parties exploit funding loopholes - voters left in dark on donation sources
NSW Greens Media Release, 4 September 2008
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said the latest data from the NSW Election Funding Authority reveals that while Labor has received millions of dollars in donations, voters at the coming local government election will not know who is bankrolling the candidates until 2009. (Sydney Morning Herald 4 September 2008 page 7)
"The figures show Premier Iemma's talk of donations reform is cheap and that he has failed to close the door on corporate donations," Ms Rhiannon said.
"The bulk of the donations for the local government election will be contributed in the weeks leading up to September 13. This money will not be publicly disclosed until February next year.
"While NSW Labor collected over $4.3 million from donations and fundraisers in the 14 month period from April 2007 to 30 June 2008 very little of this money is linked to local candidates.
"Labor has adopted the Liberal tactic of funnelling the bulk of donations through their head office. This avoids scrutiny by destroying any paper trail that links individual candidates with corporate donors.
"The Noreen Hay and Jodi McKay scandals would not come to light under Labor's new style of reporting
"Developers continue to invest in Labor with Walker Corporation donating $200,000 and Hong Kong property developer Kingson Investments donating $250,000.
"Greens analysis shows that NSW Liberals collected 15 per cent of the donations pocketed by NSW Labor.
"Donors see little distinction in policy between the major parties and put their money into the hands of the government of the day because it wields real power.
"The National Party failed to lodge a party return and have been granted a one month extension. This robs the public of the opportunity to scrutinise their returns before the upcoming council elections.
"The Iemma government in on the ropes. If the Premier honoured his promise to reform political funding he would take a significant step to restore his own credibility and most importantly the public's faith in the democratic process," Ms Rhiannon said.
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