October 14, 2014. MEDIA RELEASE
The Interim Report – Political Donations by the Panel of Experts (released late last week) echoed the NSW Greens call for significant changes to the election funding regime before the next state election.
The expert panel agreed with the NSW Greens key recommendations to address the corrupting influence of political donations on NSW politics.
Greens MP Jamie Parker says, “It is critical the Government does not shy away from introducing key changes which will make a real difference to how politics is conducted in NSW.”
“The heart of any election funding reform must be to remove the incentive to solicit donations.
“This can be done by introducing much tighter caps on political donations, reducing the spend on election campaigns, and increasing public funding.
“ICAC has shown us that politicians break the rules because the incentive to raise funding is so strong and penalties are weak.
“Unless we remove the incentive for political donations, any other changes made to the system will be ineffective and reforms will fall short of what the people of NSW expect.
“On May 7 this year I gave notice of a bill to address these issues and I will be seeking to debate it in parliament this week.
“If the Liberals say there is not enough time for these changes to be made before the next election, then they do not really believe money should not influence politics.
“The measures I am suggesting are sensible and effective. Some have already received the backing of the government’s panel of experts.”
Mr Parker’s bill also calls for real-time disclosure of political donations, as well as increased penalties for breaching election funding laws, more time (up to 10 years) to commence prosecutions and new anti-circumvention provisions.