Monday, 8 September 2008

Greens release local election funding sources

Newcastle Greens
8 September 2008

Newcastle Greens Lord Mayoral and Ward 1 candidate Cr Michael Osborne today publicly released a breakdown of the Greens’ sources of funding for their council election campaigns in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.

The figures are available from Cr Osborne’s blog.

“I’ve now fulfilled the commitment I made earlier in the campaign to do this, and I’m now reiterating my challenge to other local candidates to follow suit, and tell voters where their money is coming from before election day,” Cr Osborne said.

“We don’t accept donations from developers, corporations or any other organisations. Voters can see that no one is buying us, and we have nothing to hide about where our money comes from,” Cr Osborne said.

“As my blog shows, our budget for our Newcastle and Lake Macquarie council campaigns comes to $35,000 ($20,000 for Newcastle and $15,000 for Lake Macquarie), comprising money from federal election funding returns, and from local grassroots fundraising events (such as quiz nights, raffles, barbecues, a whale-watch cruise, etc), and donations by local individuals (mostly members).

“Previous council election funding returns show that the campaigns of some so-called local Independents were actually funded by vested interests, including donations from corporations such as Hardie Holdings, and by local developer Hilton Grugeon to Newcastle Lord Mayor John Tate’s 2004 campaign. [Information about this funding can be obtained from The Greens democracy4sale website]

“Worryingly, Cr Aaron Buman, who was on Cr Tate’s 2004 team but who is running his own ticket in this election, has already been caught out denying that he had received any money from Mr Grugeon for this campaign, despite Mr Grugeon himself later confirming that he has made a donation.

“What else is Cr Buman not telling voters about who is bankrolling his campaign?

“Labor’s Newcastle council team – who are swapping preferences with Cr Buman – claim that they are not receiving any developer donations, but have not yet specified where their money is coming from.

“And Cr Tate has not denied that he will again be receiving donations from corporations and developers.

“None of these groups or candidates have yet answered my challenge (issued 27 August – see media release titled ‘Who is funding the campaigns?’ on my blog) to make this information publicly available to voters before election day.

“If they don’t, voters won’t get this information until too late, and are entitled to ask what these candidates have to hide,” Cr Osborne said.

For further information or comment, contact Michael Osborne on 0439 442 984.

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