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Electoral Bill fails to fix Greenfields loophole.

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Media Release


Senator John Faulkner

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Shadow Minister for Public Administration, Government Services & Territories




The Shadow Minister for Public Administration and Government Services, Senator John Faulkner today said the Opposition had serious concerns about the Government’s Electoral and Referendum Bill (No 2), introduced into the Senate today.


We have always taken the view that changes to the electoral laws should be made on a bipartisan basis, but Senator Minchin has once again failed to approach reform in this way.


While we are supportive of constructive proposals to enhance the integrity and accuracy of the electoral rolls, the bill raises several other serious concerns.


“How can the Government claim it is “ensuring the integrity of the electoral system” when it is actively exploiting the $4.65 million Greenfields loophole, and at the same time proposes to raise the threshold on donation disclosure. The most glaring omission from this Bill is any mechanism to close the Greenfields loophole.


“The Liberal Party’s use of the Greenfields Foundation to launder funds, is one of the most serious breaches of the funding and disclosure regulations since their Free Enterprise Foundation, but of course Senator Minchin’ s bill does nothing to address this,” Senator Faulkner said.


The Howard Government is complicit in allowing this rort to exist, and we will pursue amendments to close this multi-million dollar loophole.


“Senator Minchin is being dangerously disingenuous, and actually puts the transparency of our system at risk with several other measures,” Senator Faulkner said.


Labor utterly rejects the proposal to raise the disclosure amount from $1500 to $5000 for donations from persons or organisations.


Labor also rejects the increase from $1500 to $10,000 of the amount above which a donor to a registered political party must furnish a return for a financial year.


FOR COMMENT: Colin Campbell  0419 634 910

MAY 14 1998