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Clean up political donations – include ban on overseas donations

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 22 Aug 2016

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has commented on reports about donations from Chinese businesses and lobbyists to both major parties. 

“The latest reports about millions of dollars in overseas donations flooding into the Coalition and Labor parties highlights the urgent need for a ban on donations from overseas businesses and donors.

“Donations from overseas property developers, infrastructure companies, agriculture companies and other lobbyists are not made for the heck of it. The same applies to donations made by Australian businesses and donors. 

“Property developers do not give hundreds of thousands of dollars to political parties for fun, they do it to buy political favours. The ALP and LNP do a disservice to us all by not only accepting these donations, but by pursuing them via fundraising. 

“Donors under the spotlight include The CST Mining Group, a copper mining company which operates the Lady Annie Copper Mine in Queensland. They made a $50,000 donation to the Liberal Party in 2013-14. 

“Another is the property development, infrastructure and agriculture company Yuhu Group, which donated to Trade Minister Andrew Robb’s fundraising entity Bayside Forum the same day the China Australia Free Trade Agreement was settled. 

“Our political donations laws are woefully inadequate and we need to clean them up now. 

“The Greens’ long term policy on electoral funding includes a ban on overseas political donations, a position included in our 2016 election platform. 

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