Published August 26, 2015 - Peter Hannam, SMH Environment Editor
Energy giant AGL has ended all political donations in a bid to ease community concerns that "big business" was using such funds to secure "undue influence".
Jamie Parker, the Greens anti-corruption spokesman, said AGL's move was significant.
"Corporate donations have a corrosive influence on democracy and undermine confidence in the political system," Mr Parker said. "It is particularly the case in the mining and resource sector where decisions of government determine the success or failure of major resource projects.
"AGL's announcement puts additional pressure on the government to reform political donations to ensure that decisions are made on merit not money."
In a statement issued on Wednesday, AGL recognise “that the community perception is [political donations] may constitute undue influence from ‘big business’ on government.”
Greens anti-corruption spokesperson, Jamie Parker MP, said it was a significant announcement by AGL that the company will no longer make political donations.
“Corporate donations have a corrosive influence on democracy and undermine confidence in the political system. It is particularly the case in the mining and resource sector where decisions of government determine the success of failure of major resource projects,” said Mr Parker.
Jamie Parker MP, Greens spokesperson on anti-corruption, welcomed the report and recommendations. However concern remains that Recommendation 1: Section 8(b) fails to include specific reference to the Planning and Assessment Act.
“Whilst the panel’s recommendations are positive and reflect the importance of a broad mandate for the Independent Commission Against Corruption [ICAC], it is concerning there is no provision within the definition of corrupt conduct for fraud in relation to planning and development matters,” said Mr Parker.
Speaking in Parliament on August 6, 2015 Greens MP Jamie Parker defended the right of non-profit organisations to advocate on behalf of people who are often the most vulnerable in our society.
"Today this Parliament has an opportunity to say, "You have a right to speak up freely. It should not be an implied right that is subject to the authority, pressure and sometimes intimidation from the media or the Minister's office. We give you the right to speak freely." If this is not about classic liberalism, I do not know what is. If this is not about protecting the rights of organisations to speak out in favour of other people—the right to freedom of speech—I do not know what is. Today we heard the Minister saying, "Do not worry. Everything is all right; things will continue as usual." But we know that there is a sense of fear and concern and that many organisations feel they are unable to speak up in the face of the authority of the Minister in particular."
Published August 4, 2015 - Sean Nicholls, SMH Political editor
Appointment of ICAC committee chair Damien Tudehope 'like putting fox in charge of the hen house'
Greens MP Jamie Parker, the party's anti-corruption spokesman, also criticised Mr Tudehope's appointment.
"The Premier [Mike Baird] has allowed this committee to be chaired by a member of the hard right faction with an axe to grind against the ICAC when he should be ensuring a genuine cross-party committee with an unambiguous commitment to fighting corruption," he said.
“The committee acknowledges the significant impact these fumes… noise and vibrations have had on the quality of life of the surrounding community.” Parliamentary inquiry report, February 2015
Earlier this year a parliamentary inquiry found the decision to build the cruise ship terminal at White Bay in Balmain was a “serious error”.
Local residents have been subject to noise, vibrations and pollution, which has been damaging to their health and Jamie Parker has received hundreds of reports from people living near White Bay about unacceptable health impacts whenever a cruise ship is at berth.
MEDIA RELEASE: July 17, 2015 Speaking after his well-attended meeting with two ministers on Friday, Jamie Parker said he was encouraged by the Government’s commitment to advancing the Callan Park Trust.
“I was pleased to convene today’s meeting between Leichhardt Council, Friends of Callan Park, the Minister for Planning, the Minister for the Environment, and the Office of Environment and Heritage,” said Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain.
If you are involved in an incorporated non-profit organisation with an infrastructure project (to build or improve facilities) that needs some funding, then quickly check out www.communitybuildingpartnership.nsw.gov.au or call Jamie's office on 9660 7586.
Applications close on 7 August, and late applications are not accepted.
Jamie is hosting an information evening at 6pm Tuesday 14 July at the Annandale Neighbourhood Centre. Everyone is welcome - come along and find out what's involved in submitting an application.