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Another donations scandal a reminder of the need for reform

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 19 Sep 2016

Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens Councillor for the Gabba Ward Jonathan Sri have commented on reports that the Mayor of Logan received over $50,000 in donations from a company that did not legally exist. 

The Mayor of Logan Luke Smith lodged a return with the Queensland Electoral Commission in July 2016 declaring $377,833 in gifts from Logan Futures PTY.

The Australian Yues International Developments Group (AYIDG) made seven donations to Logan Futures before the Yues group was legally established in April, totalling $55,800.  

The founder of AYIDG, Liansheng Yue, also controls the Australian SN International Development Group, which lodged a development application for The Lakes on June 4. 

Senator Rhiannon said, “Reports that the Mayor of Logan Luke Smith received over $50,000 in political donations from a company that did not exist are extraordinary and require further investigation. 

“This is just the latest example in a series of rolling scandals around the country over political donations and business lobbyists.

“With each scandal public confidence is eroded, and each time the Coalition and Labor parties team up to frustrate progress on donation reform they offer vested interests a smoke screen. 

“In both federal and state jurisdictions, the lack of strict caps and lax disclosure regulations means the whole system is deficient, and money for influence trumps the one vote one value principle.”

Jonathan Sri said, “I call upon Deputy Premier Trad, in her capacity as minister for local government, to launch a state-wide investigation into whether property developers are using political donations to influence city councillors and mayors.

“The Deputy Premier can’t allow scandals like this to undermine what is meant to be a fair and transparent process.

“This project impacts negatively upon a number of state interests, and there is a strong case for the Deputy Premier to call it in.

“I often hear people say that politicians care more about lining their own pockets than representing the wishes and concerns of the average person, and while this sort of open and unapologetic legalised bribery continues it’s hard not to agree with them. If residents of Logan want help organising protests and blockades to stop this over the top project I’ll be happy to lend my support.”

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