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Show us the money?

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Senator Andrew Murray Australian Democrats Electoral Matters Spokesperson

4 February 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/052


Full disclosure of political donations are on the table again today.

The Australian Democrats repeat their long standing call that political parties that receive donations from clubs, trusts and foundations should be obliged to return the funds unless full disclosure of the donors’ identities are made.

Australian Democrats’ Electoral Matters spokesperson Senator Andrew Murray said this applies as much or more to money from foreign owned entities as Australian entities.

“The Australian Democrats’ position is that if public funding to political parties were available from all 9 Australian governments, there would be no justification for continued donations from the private sector,” said Senator Murray.

“In the interim, the Democrats have called for a capping of donations at $100,000 and for the continuous disclosure of donations above $10,000, not just annually.

“There must be greater transparency for politicians to declare the sources and full identity of political donations, whether they be local or overseas entities.

“To partially declare party funding while not providing full details as to who has made the donation is a corrupt practice.

“There is a perception that donations result in not just better access to politicians but improper influence. The law needs to ensure that this perception can never be reality.

“The Democrats have said that the Act should specifically prohibit donations that have strings attached,” concluded Senator Murray.

For more information, please contact Grace Tan at 02 6277 5747 or 0417 174 302

*See also Australian Quarterly, June/July 2002, pp 29-33, “The Dangerous Art of Giving” by Senator Andrew Murray (with Marilyn Rock).