Michael Berkman Greens MP calls for stronger action on political donations

Michael Berkman Greens MP calls for stronger action on political donations

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Member for Maiwar, Queensland Greens MP, Michael Berkman today reiterated the need for broad electoral funding reform and banning political donations from all corporations.

“The Government has said explicitly today that donations from property developers are a “threat to democracy”. I agree, but emphasise that so too are donations from financial institutions, mining companies, and gambling organisations.

“Limiting the ban on corporate donations to property developers is shallow and disingenuous. When you look at the decisions made at the State Government level, decisions about planning and development are only a small piece of the picture; they’re taking money from Aurizon, they’re taking money from Star Entertainment, who are building their casino in the middle of our city.

"The Palaszczuk Government today reintroduced the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018, despite recently indicating they would not do so until later in the year.

"The Crime and Corruption Commission last year found that there were widespread issues across the local government sector, and recommended political donations from property developers to local government councillors be banned. In responding to the Commission’s recommendations, the Palaszczuk Government committed to extending that recommendation to the State government level.

“Neither the CCC nor any analogous inquiry in Queensland has broadly investigated the corrupting influence of political donations, and an inquiry on this issue is long overdue.

“This Parliament is not working for Queenslanders but for corporations. Queenslanders have genuine and well-founded distrust in our political system; we need to restore political integrity.

“Across Maiwar and the state in the 2017 election period, people of all political persuasions felt really strongly about political corruption and about undue influences on political decisions. The Queensland Greens ran a really strong campaign based on banning corporate donations and returning integrity to politics – we remain fiercely committed to that."

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