24 March 2008
Newcastle Greens Councillor Michael Osborne today has called on the Premier Mr Iemma to institute his proposed ban on developer donations in time for this year’s Local Government elections due on 13 September.
“It is very good that the Premier has changed his position and is thinking about adopting Greens’ policy on banning donations to political parties, but his proposal needs to be implemented in time for this year’s Local Government elections in September and needs to include a cap on election expenditure,” Newcastle Greens Councillor Michael Osborne said.
“Local Government is the area where most development proposals are dealt with and, from what we’ve seen at Wollongong, is an area where developers make significant contributions to local election campaigns.
“In the last State Election, the Lord Mayor Councillor John Tate received many donations from developers for his $200,000 campaign. This type of electioneering must stop.
“Developer donations are not being given to ‘help’ democracy; they are about buying access and buying influence.
“And spending $200,000 on one election by one candidate is obscene. The Greens have called for individual candidates spending to be limited to $30,000.
“Twenty seven countries, including Canada, UK, Spain and New Zealand, have imposed a ceiling on overall election expenditure.
“It is achievable and it should happen without delay.
“We have Local Government elections in Newcastle in September, just over 5 months away. It is important that the Premier doesn’t dither putting this policy announcement into legislation and doesn’t leave the implementation of this important policy to after this year’s Local Government elections,” Councillor Osborne said.