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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

An exchange with NSW Greens Dr John Kaye, MLC, about disclosure of political donations in NSW.

Email 13 March 2011.
Dr Kaye,
Last November when changes were passed to the NSW laws regarding political donations I emailed you asking why the disclosure requirements, previously every six months had now become a 12 month obligation, and why we weren’t within a bull’s roar of real time disclosure. I never received a reply. Can you tell me how this fits with  a commitment in The Greens platform to “prompt and transparent disclosure of all donations on a public website maintained by the electoral office.”  To jog your memory here is what I wrote at the time:

Peter Timmins.

Reply 22 March 2011
Hi Peter,
I located your email from November and I am sorry that I did not reply. It was a hectic end to the year.

You are right about the reduction of  donations disclosures from twice yearly to once a year. The Greens still support continuous disclosure by political parties and candidates on the internet and our party will be disclosing its reportable donations on the web prior to the election.

There were extensive negotiations with Labor over the bill and we were keen to achieve some donations and electoral funding reform rather than lose the whole bill by failing to reach agreement. I acknowledge that the reversion to yearly disclosure was a step backwards and in supporting the bill we did compromise to the Labor party's position on that point. Our view was that it was more important to implement the bans on tobacco and for profit gambling and alcohol industry political donations and limit the size of other donations. The caps on election expenditure were also a step forward.

Its our understanding that donations disclosure for the period in the lead up to the fixed March state election date, when the bulk of state election donations are made, will remain the same. There will however be a delay in public access from Election Funding Authority records for federal and state election related donations made in the July to December period of each year.

We are hopeful that there will be further electoral funding reform under an expected Coaliton Government. We will endeavour to hold Barry O'Farrell to his promise of a complete ban on corporate political donations and end their corrupting influence.

The Greens are willing to move amendments to the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosure Act for real time disclosure of reportable donations and as a fall back position revert to six monthly disclosure.

Thanks for raising the issue.




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