Today’s report that former PM Tony Abbott successfully solicited political donations from property developer Huang Xiangmo is further proof that the Turnbull Government’s electoral funding Bill currently before parliament will not end the corrupting influence of big money.
The Greens are stepping up their campaign to have the Bill withdrawn and new legislation agreed to that introduces strict caps on all political donations to political parties irrespective of their source.
“Mr Abbott’s success in soliciting political donations for the Liberals would not be illegal under the Government’s Bill as non-citizen residents are not banned from donating,” Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
“The way to end the corrupting influence of political donations, foreign and local, is to bring in strict caps on all private money that political parties and candidates can accept.
“The donor that Mr Abbott successfully helped to donate to the Liberal Party was the same donor that former senator Sam Dastyari was involved with.
“The Greens support a ban on foreign donations but the massive loopholes in the current Bill means the Government has not delivered on the Prime Minister’s promise to clean up our political system.
“Electoral funding reform is long overdue.
“The Greens are calling for the current Bill to be withdrawn and replaced with legislation that includes bans and caps on corporate donations, caps on election expenditure, caps on donations from individuals and improved disclosure of all donations of $1000 or more in real time,” Senator Rhiannon said.