Friday, 7 November 2008

Political funding reform still possible in NSW

Responding to Sydney University advice given to Premier Rees that banning political donations in one state may be unconstitutional, Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called on NSW Labor and the Coalition parties to adopt their own ban on donations.

"If Premier Rees throws in the towel on political donation reform he will be seen as a lame duck leader captured by big money," Ms Rhiannon said.

"I have today written to the Premier and Opposition Leader calling on them to commit to their own ban on political donations. This can still happen in NSW without a change to the law.

"The Greens do not accept donations from corporations and other organisations. We only accept donations from individuals.

"Multi-million dollar war chests are not needed to run elections. The Premier should not use this report as an excuse to do nothing in NSW. He needs to think outside the usual legislative approach and give a lead on donation reform.

"Mr O'Farrell is on the public record stating that the Coalition parties support a ban on political donations.

"The recommendations of the Upper House Inquiry into Electoral and Political Funding in NSW were supported by MPs of all political parties represented in the NSW parliament.

"These recommendations should become the voluntary recommendations for political parties fund raising activities in the lead up to the 2011 NSW election.

"It will be shameful if the Premier uses the Sydney University advice as an excuse to leave the donation reform process up to the federal government.

"After the Wollongong scandal and numerous other shadowy donation deals the people of NSW know that there needs to political funding reform.

"Mr Rees and Mr O'Farrell could restore the public's faith in the democratic process by agreeing to not accept political donations from corporations and other organisations," Ms Rhiannon said.

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