Greens: Fix donations this election year
Today's release of last years' political donations data shows disclosure is too slow and corporate donations too influential, say the Australian Greens.
"Integrity is shaping up to be a huge issue this election year. The Liberals are singling out one group in society, but refusing to look at their mates in the corporate sector and the bigger question of donations distorting our democracy," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.
"We need a national ICAC and donations reform to restore confidence in our political system, and the Greens have bills before Parliament to secure both before the next election. All we need is support from the other parties, which so far they've refused.
"A number of companies pulled before the Greens' Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance have been revealed as having donated huge sums to the Labor and Liberal parties," Senator Di Natale said.
"We have to reclaim our democracy from vested interests. We have to ensure everyone is represented by our political system, not just the wealthiest who can make the largest donations."
Greens NSW Senator and democracy spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said:
"Political parties should be beholden only to the citizens they are supposed to represent. Instead, what we have in Australia is a toxic culture of patronage and profit.
"Millions of dollars from the alcohol, clubs, hotels, developers, tobacco and gaming industry, as well as the mineral resources sector, are poured into the coffers of the major parties.
"Too often MPs decisions coincide with the interests of their big donors.
"The Greens' Donations Reform Bill before the Senate would ban political donations from mining companies, property developers, big tobacco, alcohol and gambling industries. This would help to reduce the corrupting influence of corporate donations that has clearly eroded public confidence and trust.
"The pressure is on Prime Minister Turnbull to clean up politics before the election. A federal ICAC would help to cork the flow of any dodgy dealings across the board," Senator Rhiannon said.
The political donations in the 2014-2015 financial year to the major parties totalled $30,272,382.
This figures is based upon the amounts received classed as ‘donations,' as disclosed by party branches.
The majority of the money received in political donations went to the Coalition, the Labor Party and the Palmer United Party.
The Greens have completed preliminary analysis of the new data.
Total received - by party type
Coalition - $12,386,313
Palmer United - $9,776,953
Labor - $7,378,482
Greens - $526, 484
NXT - $100,000