Greens call to keep developer donations out of NSW politics

The Greens have written to all political parties registered for next year’s State election, seeking their commitment to reject donations from donors that are currently banned by State law, regardless of the High Court’s findings in the McCloy challenge.

In late July Newcastle Mayor Jeff McCloy issued a writ to overturn the ban on donations from property developers as well as the tobacco, gambling and alcohol industries. He is also seeking to prevent ICAC investigating a $10,000 donation made by one of his companies to the campaign of Newcastle Liberal MP Tim Owens.

Unless the High Court is convinced that the imposition on freedom of political communication is justified by a reduction in corruption risk, it is likely that the bans will disappear before next year’s State election.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: “It is time for John Robertson and Mike Baird to put their money where their mouth is.  Unless the parties can agree to a self-imposed ban, the State faces an inevitable slide back into the bad old days of policies for sale to the highest bidders.

“There were good reasons why these bans were imposed in 2009 and 2010. Regardless of what the High Court says, they must stay in place at least until there is a chance for the parliament to legislate alternative anti-corruption measures.

“This is a once-off opportunity for every party contesting the next election to put the good of the State ahead of their own capacity to raise funds.

“By agreeing to these current laws, the parties would restore a little faith in the political process and help hold back the floodgates of another source of corruption and influence peddling,” Dr Kaye said.

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(6/8/2014 Dr John Kaye, MLC)

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