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Greens MP takes steps to end political corruption

Corporate political donations in the firing line.

Media release: 16 May 2018

Queensland Greens MP for Maiwar, Michael Berkman, will today introduce the Electoral Legislation (Political Donations) Amendment Bill 2018 that will ban all political donations from for-profit companies.

“The Palaszczuk Government was dragged kicking and screaming to ban property developer donations by the Greens’ strong campaign to clean up politics. But the Government’s reform deals with just a sliver of the dirty money and they’re trying to pretend they’ve fixed the problem.

“While big corporations and super wealthy CEOs make billions of dollars in profit, Queenslanders are struggling with low wages, insecure work and high cost of living, and until we kick big corporate money out of politics Queenslanders will keep being screwed.”

"If you want one reason why Labor and the LNP won't ask big corporations to pay their fair share to pay for the public infrastructure and services we need, it's the $7.8 million they received in corporate donations in the last 5 years"

“If the Premier was really listening to Queenslanders, she’d get big money out of politics, particularly from the corporate vested interests like miners, casinos and the alcohol lobby who have bought both sides of politics.

“It’s less than 100 days since I was sworn in as the inaugural MP for Maiwar, and today I’m delivering on the Queensland Greens’ commitment to introduce legislation banning corporate donations.

“How Labor votes on my Bill will be a test of their commitment to fixing the rigged system."

Mr Berkman’s Bill seeks to expand upon the framework established by the Government’s Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) Amendment Bill 2018 but addresses the limitations of the Government’s Bill by applying the donations ban to all corporations and industries, not just property developers.

“Queenslanders have lost faith in our political system. They feel like politicians are out of touch and represent the interests of big donors rather than the interests of everyday Queenslanders. The way our system currently operates, they are kind of right. Our democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests and there’s an extreme risk of corruption from corporate donations.

“My Bill is only the first step in restoring Queenslanders’ faith in our democracy. There is still much work to be done in looking at capping donations from all parties, in stopping cash-for-access meetings, in capping electoral expenditure, in changing the way parties campaign, in stopping the polling booth waste, in looking at how the people can be better represented in the Parliament.

“The Crime and Corruption Commission have identified the risk political donations pose; the Palaszczuk Government seem to accept that principle yet have not taken adequate steps to address it, and the LNP have brought in the Prime Minister to even squash that action. If you needed an indication of where the major parties’ loyalties lie, here it is. But Queenslanders, and the Queensland Greens, are standing up and saying enough is enough."

Media contact: Alice Lethborg (0409040211)

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