The decision of the National Bank of Australia to ban political donations and reports that ANZ may follow further highlights the failure of the major parties to give leadership on the urgent issue of electoral reform, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
“Now that the Coalition and Labor have been shown up by NAB they should at least announce they will no longer take donations from the big banks,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“When big banks can sniff the wind and smell the stench of political donations it’s a clear reminder that the time for electoral funding reform has well and truly arrived.
“The big banks donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the major parties each year, and they don’t do it for the hell of it.
“Last week I asked how many scandals will it take for Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten to move to ban corporate donations. Now we have to ask how many incidents of big donors bringing in their own bans will it take for the major parties to wake up to the urgent need for reform.
“When confronted with the news about the NAB ban, all Mr Shorten could come up with is that it was a matter for party administrators.
“If the major parties try and sidestep the need for reform by hiding behind their party administrators, or by saying they will wait for the parliamentary inquiry on this issue they will just cause more community anger.
“They need to publicly back reform now so we can make sure it is in place before the next election.
“The Greens’ long held policy is for a ban on donations from for profit corporations.”