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Robert, Dastyari, ????? - how many scandals will it take for major parties to back anti corruption reforms

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 29 Sep 2016

The case of Liberal MP Stuart Robert, a serial offender in how he engages with lobbyists and uses political donations, lends great weight to the need for a national corruption watchdog and far reaching electoral funding reforms, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"Mr Robert is the tip of the iceberg of questionable political donation and lobbyist practices," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The major parties actually have to publicly commit to reforms that will attack the root of the problem, which is vested interests influencing political decision making. 

"Right now the major parties view political donations scandals as reputational risks rather than a threat to our democracy and the broader public interest.

"When political donations scandals dog Coalition and Labor parties, it is not enough to just remove them from the frontbench, as has happened this year with Mr Robert and Senator Sam Dastyari, or even to sack them altogether. 

"The problem is not a few bad apples, it’s a system that encourages vested interests to influence political decision making.

"We cannot be confident that  the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission has the necessary powers to fully investigate a federal politician.

"Waiting for politicians to improve their integrity won't change anything. What we need is a National Anti-Corruption Commission, comprehensive electoral funding reform and tighter standards for lobbyist activities. 

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