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8 million reasons why Rudd should get serious about campaign finance reform.



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Sat, 3rd May 2008 8 MILLION REASONS WHY RUDD SHOULD GET SERIOUS ABOUT CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson Shadow Special Minister of State

''Today's revelations on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald that the NSW election watchdog has authorised the Crown Solicitor to prosecute 800 donors who made almost $8 million in political donations to candidates and parties for last year's state election but failed to declare them, demonstrates that now, more than ever, Australia needs a comprehensive review of campaign finance and disclosure laws,'' says Shadow Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson.

''Whilst there are clearly some cultural problems in the Labor Party as revealed in the Wollongong Council sex and bribes scandal, the fact remains that notwithstanding those cultural problems, there is clearly some confusion about the interpretation of the current laws regarding campaign finance.

''The Federal Opposition has already taken steps to ensure a comprehensive review of campaign finance laws is undertaken by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, a reference that Kevin Rudd opposed, and we obviously know why.

''Campaign finance reform is a complex issue with various aspects interdependent on one another. The review needs to be holistic and not piecemeal in approach as we have seen in recent months with cherry-picked, self-serving, so called reforms from the Rudd Government,'' says Shadow Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson.