Greens MP Jamie Parker today gave notice of a Bill to stop parties disguising the source of donations after revelations the NSW Liberal Party may have received illegal and tainted money through associated entities.
The Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Amendment (Restrictions on Political Donations) Bill 2014 will make it illegal for entities such as the Millennium Forum or the Free Enterprise Foundation to channel or launder donations to political parties. The Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating illegal election donations to the NSW Liberal Party through these entities.
The Bill will ensure that donations are only made directly to political parties, rather than associated entities. It will also be illegal for a person or entity to funnel a donation to a political party. Parties will be made responsible for tracing donations to their sources, and certifying that they are legal donors.
Mr Parker said: “The Liberal party has been caught trying to cleanse their tainted donations through dodgy front organisations. If there are to be corporate donations, then at the very least, the people of NSW should know where they came from.
"The practice of attempting to sanitise illegal donations must come to an end and the only way to achieve it is to ban the shell companies and organisations that have been exposed by evidence before ICAC.
"Premier Baird is big on talk, but so far there's been no action. This bill will address one of the more obvious loopholes in the state’s electoral laws.
"While the Greens welcome a debate on the public funding of election campaigns and the future of political donations, the details will take a long time to sort out. In the meantime, something has to be done to force party fundraising out into the open.
“The crisis in public confidence in the political process demands urgent action. Political parties are already fundraising for the March 2015 state election. The state cannot afford to let slip this opportunity to slam the door on illegal money laundering.
"The Labor party has jumped on board the 100% public funding model largely to distract from its own abysmal track record.
"If they are serious about re-inventing themselves, Labor MPs will join with the Greens in cleaning up political donations, even if it hurts their own grab for corporate and union cash.”
More: Lesa de Leau on 9660 7586 or 0413 581 603