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Greenfields Foundation must disclose.

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Media Release


Senator John Faulkner

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Shadow Minister for Public Administration and Government Services

Shadow Minister for Olympic Coordination and the Centenary of Federation




The $4.5 million Greenfields Foundation debt, sitting in the middle of the Liberal Party financial returns, and the small interest repayments on that loan, should now force the Liberals into disclosing the source of the funds, Shadow Public Administration and Government Services spokesman, Senator John Faulkner, said today.


“The purpose of disclosure is to let the public know from where political parties are receiving their funding. So far, the Liberals have failed to disclose the source or sources of the Greenfields loan.


“The below commercial interest payment of $100,000 revealed in the returns emphasises that the Greenfields payment to neutralise a National Australia Bank debt is clearly a “gift in kind” to the Liberal Party,” Senator Faulkner said.


Director of the Australian Electoral Commission’s Funding and Disclosure Section, Mr Brad Edgman, stated clearly in Senate Estimates on February 25 1998: “ If the loan were to be reported in the next annual return and payments of only $100,000 were disclosed there, then yes, we would have reasonable grounds to believe that (the loan) was not on a commercial basis .”


Mr Edgman went on to say: “The Liberal Party would have to disclose the gift in kind as a donation in its return, and that may well then be grounds to establish that the Greenfields Foundation is operating wholly, or mainly, for the benefit of the Liberal Party.”


“The Liberal Party has still not disclosed the gift in kind. It is now time for the Electoral Commission to move in and close off this shonky arrangement,” Senator Faulkner said.


Section 316 of the Electoral Act states that if there are reasonable grounds to suspect a contravention of Section 315 of the Electoral Act, the AEC can investigate. As the Greenfields Foundation is not registered as an Associated Entity under the Act, these below commercial rates of interest repayment (less than 2.5%) should be grounds enough for a full audit.


The Opposition will continue to pursue the Greenfields Foundation through all Parliamentary avenues.


FOR COMMENT: Colin Campbell 0419 634 919