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Thursday, 15 November 2018
Page: 8417


Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (17:24): I'm not sure if it's customary to have questions of the opposition.

The TEMPORARY CHAIR ( Senator McCarthy ): No, but you got to your feet.

Senator FARRELL: But I am happy to answer Senator Hanson's very sensible question. I might add that it is a very sensible question. I certainly don't know every foreign donation—

Senator Hanson: Just give me one.

Senator FARRELL: Well, I can give you one.

Senator Hanson: Sam Dastyari.

Senator FARRELL: No—Mrs Zou, for instance. If we take the last state election in South Australia, there was Sally Zou's contribution to the Liberal Party. She originally wrote a cheque for $1 million which she then took a selfie of, and we understood she was going to donate that to the Liberal Party in South Australia. A $1 million donation by a foreign citizen to a state campaign is a very large amount of money. We had every reason to believe that it was correct that she was going to do that, because she had already set up a foundation. I might have the name of this incorrect, but it was something like the Julie Bishop Glorious Foundation. I see Senator Cormann is laughing there. He would know much more about this particular donation. You wanted me to name one. I think there is a number there that you can refer to. I would be happy, Senator Hanson, to go back and try to provide you with as much information as I can get on all of the political donations.

Just so I'm not seen to be partisan, the reality is that the Labor Party has also been receiving donations from these foreign groups, and we will lose those funds from these foreign groups. But I have to point out that our leader six months ago took the very principled stand of saying, 'We will stop accepting those foreign donations.' So, yes, we have in the past, as a political organisation, accepted foreign donations. It has been legal, up until this legislation, for Australian political parties to do that. Bill Shorten took the principled stand that we would no longer receive or accept political donations. You might recall that, in my initial speech on this matter, I called on the government to take that same principled stand today when this legislation passes and not to wait until it passes the lower house.