Reports today that the Liberal Party are pursuing a multi-million dollar fundraising drive rings alarm bells about the level of corporate influence over a future Abbott government, said NSW Greens Senator and democracy spokesperson Lee Rhiannon ('Libs raising poll cash', Daily Telegraph, 10/10/11).
"The Liberal Party's frenzied fund-raising places a large question mark over the influence that corporate donors will have in a future Liberal government", said Senator Rhiannon.
"The Liberals are targeting the big end of town yet loopholes in the electoral funding laws mean that many donations will go under the radar.
"For donors that do go over the $11200 donation threshold, the public will not know the name of the company or the amount donated until February 2013.
"It is no wonder that the Liberals are dragging their feet on electoral funding reform. Mr Abbott clearly wants to make hay while the sun shines to create a massive war chest for the next election.
"The Federal Liberal party have not even lodged a submission to the current Inquiry into electoral funding.
"The Liberal Party raised over $2 million in corporate donations in 2009/2010, according to the Greens democracy4sale.org website.
"This figure is far from the true story.
"Many more corporate donations to the Liberal Party remain behind closed doors due to companies ignoring disclosure requirements and the Howard government reforms that set of threshold of $11200 before donations need to be disclosed.
"The growing movement of people protesting in financial districts around the world, such as Occupy Wall St, has stemmed from anger with corporate influence over government decision-making.
"The Greens are calling for a ban on all corporate donations to restore public confidence in democracy" said Senator Rhiannon.