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Action on expenses welcome but Malcolm must do more



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SENATOR THE HON DON FARRELL DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

ACTION ON EXPENSES WELCOME BUT MALCOLM MUST DO MORE

Labor welcomes the Government’s action to reform the Parliamentary work travel expenses system.

Reforms like the abolition of the Life Gold Pass are long overdue.

While Labor has consistently reaffirmed that it is and always will be committed to improving transparency and accountability, the Turnbull Government’s response has been a very long time coming and is too little, too late.

In recent weeks, the Australian people have been given too many reasons to lose faith in the political process.

Sussan Ley’s Gold Coast get-aways finally forced Malcolm Turnbull’s hand, but Bronwyn Bishop’s Chopper-gate scandal should have been enough for the Government to act.

It is also two and a half years since Tony Abbott announced the Government would take action on the Life Gold Pass.

The Coalition’s dithering on these important reforms has contributed to undermining Australians’ confidence in those they elect to serve them.

That is why we have consistently urged the Government to make changes to the parliamentary expenses system, in response to the recommendations in the Conde review.

We support the establishment of an independent authority to oversee the system and welcome Minister Ryan’s announcement today that he will introduce legislation to do that.

We’ve got to put an end to politics as usual - and that includes improving the political donations system.

On Monday Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will introduce legislation to make the donations system more transparent and accountable. We urge the Government to support this legislation.

The Liberals continue to put off lowering the disclosure threshold so they can hide their big money donations.

The Prime Minister says he supports greater transparency but still hid his own $1.75 million donation for months.

Malcolm Turnbull must get a move on, show some leadership and ensure that the Coalition backs Labor’s donation reforms and prioritised long-overdue changes to the work expenses system.

TUESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: TOM ZED 0419 227 286