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Greens advance Senate clean up agenda on political donations

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 3 Mar 2016

Two Greens Bills before the Senate this week would clean up the corrupting influence of political donations through a combination of greater transparency measures and bans on donations from industries that have an unsavoury track record in influencing decision makers, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

“Industries seeking to buy political favours through making enormous political donations are corrupting our democracy,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

“The Greens Donations Reform Bill would ban political donations from developers, tobacco, alcohol, gambling and mining industries.

"We have targeted these industries as they have a worrying track record in exercising inappropriate influence on decision makers.

"The Greens NSW Democracy4Sale  project for more than a decade has put the spotlight on the influence peddling associated with corporate bankrolling of parties and candidates.

"In the past five years the resource sector has donated more than $37 million, the gaming and hotels industry more than $5 million and the property industry more than $10 million to political parties.

“The Greens Political Donations Enhancing Transparency Bill would expose all political donations to greater scrutiny.

“This Bill resets the disclosure threshold at $1000; prevents ‘donation splitting’ by requiring all donations from a single donor in one financial year to be accumulative; bans donations from foreign interests; bans all anonymous gifts above $50; and tightens up penalties.

“These two Bills should be passed before the next election. 

“It is time we reclaimed our democracy from vested interests. Political parties should be beholden to the public, not patrons.

“Corporate donations so clearly erode public confidence in the parliamentary system. These Bills are about restoring some of that confidence.

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