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Dirty money is buying politics and party rooms

GetUp Media Release

The cycle of climate denial and inaction will not be broken while fossil fuel money is bankrolling elections and dictating party room politics.

The Coalition are the last party left standing against political donation reform, with Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie introducing a bill today that joins the reform pushes by the Greens, Labor, and Centre Alliance calling for greater transparency and disclosure of political donations.

GetUp Campaigns Director Ed Miller said:

“When a mining magnate like Clive Palmer can shout down the voices of everyday Australians with a $90 million election spend – it’s clear we need root and branch reform.

“And it’s a problem that runs deeper than Palmer. Senior government MPs are acting as public mouthpieces for the fossil fuel lobby.

“With $1.1 million of donations, it’s clear the fossil fuel industry has their hooks sunk deep into the Coalition party room.

“Climate change is causing unprecedented bushfires, droughts and floods. How can we trust a government to keep us safe on climate when their campaign coffers have been lined by the fossil fuel lobby?

“Politicians from across the political spectrum have now all spoken up for sensible donations reforms, such as caps on political donations and caps on how much parties can spend on elections. It’s time to get money out of politics.

“The Coalition are now standing alone to block reforms that amplify the voices of everyday people and end the tide of corporate cash. What are they so afraid of?”

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  1. New England Cocky

    Perhaps what is required is 24/7/365 reporting of donations on a dedicated public website showing the person making the donation, their business links to corporations and businesses, the amount of the donation and the purpose of the donation. AS a political donation is payment for expectations for future work done, the amount should be limited to $1,000.00 per donation per rolling calendar year tax free, with all amounts above the proscribed quantum taxed at 33% and paid by the donor without any allowance as a business taxable expense.

    The technology already exists, but the political will is definitely lacking own both major parties.

  2. ajogrady

    It will be interesting to see what happens when competing donors government representatives come head to head wanting exclusivity on a project or legislation that will impact one and not the other. Will the free market decide the winner? To the victor goes the spoils. Would this give our corrupt political representatives incentive to seek more influential positions to hike their sponsorship deals.

  3. Josephus

    When much of the world was communist fear of revolution kept the bastards half honest, as there were other corrupt bastards with armies and bombs also, and progaganda did the rest. Now the capitalists’ greed is limitless plus as we know who controls the media controls minds . As Solzhenitsyn said (spelling?) when he was in the gulag he could not speak; now he was free to visit the USA he spoke all right, but no one was listening. Bread and circuses, soma, wrap round TV as Bradbury foresaw it in Fahrenheit 451… the footie, anything rather than evaluate. The AIMN network is our saviour in a small way, but no one bloody well listens. Or we rage impotently, as I have just done.

    Why don’t we storm the Parliament, crowds of us , multitudes of us? Cos the media will turn the couch potatoes against us. Never enough of us to seize power … Hong Kong ‘had a go’ at least.

  4. Terence Mills

    Palmer could beat any donations limitations or restrictions by what he did at the last election.

    His pitch was anti-Labor first and then the vague possibility of having some of his array of odd candidates elected, including himself.

    I don’t think he was at all interested in going back to parliament himself but he was very keen to see the coalition remain in power.

    It worked !


    Donations to political parties cannot be banned under current constitutional arrangements according to the High Crt eg. see Unions NSW v State of NSW. According to the High Crt donations are a manisfestation of the free speech on political and gov matters (The Lange immunity).

    The only way to limit donations to political parties is to prohibit donors getting gov contracts or grants or even tax deductions for donations for at least 6 years or 2 terms of office before and after the donation.

    The purpose of donations is to get gov contracts and advantageous laws passed. If making a donation can’t achieve this then they will be pointless and few will make them.

  6. Terence Mills

    This one is worth keeping your eye on but you will have to be alert as everybody in the Liberal party is ducking for cover :

    From the Guardian :

    The Liberal party is refusing to say why it scrubbed records of a $165,000 donation from a company run by Scott Briggs, a key Scott Morrison ally who is currently vying to win the government’s $1bn visa privatisation contract.

    On Monday, the Liberal party declared it had received $165,000 from a company named Southern Strategy, a largely inactive political consultancy business Briggs started four years ago.

    Briggs is a close friend and confidant of Morrison, a former New South Wales Liberal party deputy state director, a former colleague of immigration minister David Coleman, and a director of the Cronulla Sharks, where the prime minister is the number one ticket holder.

    He is also leading a bid to win a highly lucrative but controversial contract to privatise Australia’s visa processing system on behalf of a consortium named Australian Visa Processing Pty Ltd.

    Maybe they referred to Arfur-see-no-donors manual on how to hide political donations !

  7. Harry Lime

    I remember Solzhenitsyn saying in an American TV interview on politics “Is all Bullshit”.Pity Lex isn’t around to tear the Liar a new arse.

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