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Time to clean up politics

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 20 Apr 2016

The Australian Greens are today calling on the Labor, Liberal and National parties to work with them to clean up politics. 

“Today I’m calling on Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten to commit to not accepting donations from fossil fuel companies during this election campaign,” said Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale.

“The Greens have never accepted donations from the fossil fuel industry and the time has come for the old parties to follow our lead. They saw the light on how toxic donations from tobacco companies were to public policy. It’s time polluting fossil fuels were treated the same way.   

“For too long the flow of money from fossil fuel companies has been an obstacle to strong action on global warming. We have not come far enough since the days of the Greenhouse Mafia when fossil fuel companies effectively wrote the government’s energy policy. 

“I hope that both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten will work with us to put an end to the influence of fossil fuel companies in this campaign and then work with us after the election to clean up our democracy for good.

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “The Greens have two donation reform bills before parliament that would help restore confidence in our democratic system.

"In the past five years the resource sector has donated more than $37 million to political parties.

“Two months ago when the AEC released annual donation data, we saw again how the fossil fuels industry are toxic political patrons of the major parties.

“Labor tells us that they are serious about tackling climate change while accepting hefty donations from fossil fuel companies and approving enormous coal mines. 

 “It is easy to see why so many people are deeply cynical and why public confidence in the parliamentary system is being eroded.”

The Greens Donations Reform Bill [Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Donations Reform) Bill 2014] would ban political donations from developers and the tobacco, alcohol and gambling industry, as well as from the fossil fuels industry.

The Greens Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2016 would also help to expose all political donations to greater scrutiny. The Bill resets the disclosure threshold at $1000, prevents ‘donation splitting’ by requiring all donations from a single donor in one financial year to be accumulative, bans donations from foreign interests, bans all anonymous gifts above $50 and tightens up penalties.

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