Commenting on the news that the Abbott government has appointed Mr Reg Nelson, former Managing Director of Beach Energy, as chair of the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
“The appointment of Mr Nelson further strengthens the case for far reaching political donation reform.
“Beach Energy has been a major donor to the Liberal Party, giving a donation of over $230,000 in the lead up to the last two federal elections.
“I note that Mr Nelson’s role as Chair of the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre will include ‘identifying opportunities to reduce regulatory burden’.
“Reduced safeguards for the resource industry means a profit boost for the industry.
“The public are not informed if agreements are made when political donations are handed over. Whatever happened with these donations it is not a good look when a company hands over money and then the laws under which it operates are weakened.
“Just this morning, the major parties refused to back a Greens motion calling for a ban on political donations from mining and coal seam gas companies. Now, the extent of their ties with the mining industry have become even more apparent,” Senator Rhiannon said.