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Latest 'cash for access' expose puts spotlight on donations reform

Published: July 01, 2015

Lock the Gate welcome the comments in support of political donations reform by the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten and Former Leader of the Federal Coalition, John Hewson.

The comments come on the back of disturbing 4 Corners allegations regarding lobbyist “cash for access” to the Liberal party Millennium Forum and follow explosive 2014 ICAC revelations into political donations in NSW.

“These allegations are the latest in a litany of 'cash for access' exposes that have severely undermined community confidence in the political process” said Phil Laird, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance.

“The approach adopted by political parties when accepting donations is weighing heavily on the community. How can anyone have confidence that Government decisions are being determined in the national interest?

“Lock the Gate was vocal in calling for donations reform in NSW in the wake of the ICAC recommendations and pushed to extend ICAC investigative powers into the Federal sphere.

“We have seen first-hand the undue influence wielded by mining companies on political decision-makers and are all too aware that it is the community who loses out when there are inadequate controls on political donations. 

“With talk of an early election we are entering the “Danger Zone” for donations from those who may seek to secure beneficial outcomes based on strategic deployments of donations. 

“Our members are increasingly disillusioned with the refusal of the Federal Government to deal with this issue by implementing stronger donations controls.

“Scandals pertaining to political donations, including donations from mining companies, are widely acknowledged as contributing to the demise of the Newman government and now is the time to implement wide reaching Federal reform" he said.