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Old Parties Donation Stich-up Betrays Labor-Greens Agreement

Media Release
Christine Milne 29 May 2013

The Australian Greens said the weak compromise deal on donations reform flies in the face of the Greens-Labor agreement signed after the 2010 election.

The Greens will consider amendments to the bill when it comes to the Senate. 

"This weak deal stitched up by the old parties will not clean up the toxic culture of political donations and is a betrayal of the Labor-Greens agreement in 2010," Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

"The Labor-Greens agreement called for immediate reform of political donations, including lowering the donation disclosure threshold to $1000, banning anonymous donations over $50 and creating a 'truth in advertising' offence in the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

"Labor have walked away from these promises. Far from a ban on anonymous donations over $50, that is now reported to be $1,000, the donations disclosure threshold remains too high at $5000.

"There is a deafening silence on truth in political advertising. It is easier for the old parties to walk away from this promise than to give some teeth that would stop parties and special interest groups running scare campaigns in the midst of an election to confuse voters. 

"Increases in public funding for political parties should go hand in hand with tightening the tap on corporate donations and limiting election spending."

Greens democracy spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said: "The ICAC hearings in NSW show why there is a cloud over corporate donations from the mining and property sectors.

"Rather than cosying up with Tony Abbott, Labor could have worked with the Greens to clean up electoral funding and limit corporate money to restore public confidence in our political system. 

"Senator Faulkner is rightly disappointed because he charted a course for reform in his 2008 Green Paper which Labor, after five years, has now failed to act on."

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