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Corporate donors not lobbyists real threat to democracy.

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Senator Kerry Nettle

Senator for New South Wales

Corporate donors not

lobbyists real threat to democracy 19th Mar 04

Mark Latham’s push for accountability in politics needs to extend to the anti-democratic influence of corporate donations, Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said today.

Responding to Mr Latham’s speech at La Trobe University today Senator Nettle called on the Labor leader to “join The Greens in advocating a ban on corporate donations and a limit on election spending to really clean up the political process.”

“Corporate Australia’s influence comes overwhelmingly through the donation and fundraiser route not through lobbying in parliament,” Senator Nettle said.

“Registration of lobbyists in parliament house is welcome but it pales into insignificance compared to the need to expose the corrupting influence of corporate cash.

“The Greens moved to have an inquiry into the removal of corporate donations from the Australian political process but were not supported by Labor.

“At the very least Mr Latham should move to have the disclosure laws regarding donations overhauled to ensure that hiding the source of donation coming through shadowy ‘associated entities’ is outlawed.

“The Greens will be raising these issues in a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters meeting next month. We hope to have the ALP’s support.

“Mr Latham’s credibility on issues of political integrity hangs on his approach to the growing problem of corporate influence in Australia’s democratic process.” Contact Jon Edwards - 0428 213 146