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Corrupt Labor lose "donations"

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by byso, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. byso

    byso Well-Known Member

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    Corrupt Labor lose "donations"

    Iemma forced to act on donationsBy Simon Benson and Joe Hildebrand
    February 29, 2008 01:40am

    NSW MPs will be banned from receiving donations of any kind and will have their personal campaign accounts scrapped under the most fundamental reform of party political funding in the country's history.

    Compelled to act in the wake of The Daily Telegraph's continued exposure of the links between allegedly corrupt developers and the ALP, Premier Morris Iemma will also force developers to declare political party donations when submitting building applications.

    And Planning Minister Frank Sartor has announced he would remove himself from future major planning decisions in an effort to avoid perceptions of conflict.

    The changes would rewrite decades of political culture in NSW in which corporations have sought to exert influence and exhort favour from politicians by making donations to individual campaigns.

    The move follows The Daily Telegraph's revelations this week that both Mr Iemma and Mr Sartor were linked to a questionable developer who donated more than $100,000 to the ALP.

    It is an admission by the Premier that the entire electoral funding process is rotten and open to potential corruption.

    It will apply not just to developers but all corporate and individual donors.

    It has taken the Wollongong ICAC sex scandal and revelations by The Daily Telegraph about the largesse bestowed on the State Government by big business with the expectation of favourable treatment, to prompt the Government to act to clean up the system.

    The move will put pressure on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to take his proposed plans to change election funding laws much further than flagged.

    It will also compel other states, all Labor, to follow and introduce national changes to the way political parties not only raise money, but the transparency of their disclosure.

    The new laws would require:

    * TWICE yearly disclosures of all political donations - giving NSW the strictest such regime in Australia;

    * BAN on MPs, councillors and candidates having personal campaign accounts;

    * BAN on MPs receiving any donations, with all donations to now be submitted to a central fund held by the party;

    * MANDATORY reporting of donations by developers when applying for building approvals;

    * MANDATORY reporting by all councils on the voting history of individual councillors on development applications; and

    * CONSULTATION on further reforms with the Commonwealth with a view to introducing a national system.

    The planning approval changes have been flagged in a government submission to a parliamentary inquiry on political donations.

    Mr Iemma's office last night confirmed the changes would be enshrined in legislation in the second half of the year.

    Mr Sartor said the Government would enact draft recommendations to establish a separate arm's-length process for big developments.

    The move would prevent councillors from determining developments deemed of state significance or worth more than $10 million - avoiding the temptation for corruption or bias over party donations.

    However instead of Mr Sartor taking control, he would be able to delegate the approval process to an independent panel.

    "I said last week the system would change and I meant it," Mr Iemma said.

    "Under my proposals, MPs will not be permitted to organise or collect donations themselves, enhancing the public's confidence in the system.

    "These changes may need time but are essential in restoring the public's confidence."

    But the NSW Opposition said the changes would not make any difference because developers would still be able to donate to a party.

    The development lobby also criticised the reforms claiming they did not go far enough. The Urban Taskforce is calling for a ban on all corporate donations.

    "Businesses that make development applications will have to declare their donations, but those making objections to applications will face no such requirement," Urban Taskforce CEO Aaron Gadiel said.
     
  2. byso

    byso Well-Known Member

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    Re: Corrupt Labor lose "donations"

    What! No CW or Mata showing support for the mighty ALP? ;)
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    Re: Corrupt Labor lose "donations"

    This will get a reaction form them

    Rudd's velvet steamroller By Piers Akerman
    March 02, 2008 12:00am

    AFTER just 99 days of the Rudd government, Australia is in the worst political position it has endured since the crisis days of the Whitlam government 33 years ago.

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd went to the November 24 election claiming to have a plan to deal with all that ailed the nation.

    Ninety per cent of the policies he revealed entailed agreeing with the Howard government's conservative fiscal agenda; the other 10 per cent were to be taken on trust, except for a sprinkling of gestures designed to appease the Labor Party faithful - the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq and the apology to the so-called Stolen Generations.

    But for all the talk, it is clear now that Rudd had no plan other than to bluff his way into office and then take the bureaucrat's favoured option and appoint committees to investigate and report on the problems.

    By one accounting, the Rudd government has established a committee or review every four days, on average, since taking office. This is not leadership - it is an abject abrogation of leadership.

    So, too, is the April gabfest of the best-and-brightest. Using his former Queensland government colleague Glyn Davis as the fall guy, Rudd has used his 2020 summit to duchess a number of influential Australians, who might otherwise be expected to offer reasonable criticism of his government.

    In accepting invitations to the 2020 "ideas'' bazaar, they will inevitably become part of the Government's approach, whether they agree or disagree with its course.

    It will be a brave individual who calls a press conference to outline his or her differences with Rudd's velvet steamroller.

    In its short term in office, the Rudd government has already done more to debauch the process of parliamentary democracy than any government in Australian history, through its introduction of the non-parliamentary Friday sittings of Members in the House of Representatives.

    They are not only a nonsense, they are in all probability unconstitutional and illegal, though Rudd claims to have secret legal advice - which he refuses to release - assuring otherwise.

    It would appear the Clerk of the House advised Deputy Speaker Anna Burke that her position was untenable, shortly before she closed the farcical faux sitting just after 2pm on February 22.

    But what other conclusion could be drawn, when she was presiding over a gathering which did not apparently require a customary Question Time - nor, indeed, even a minister to be present? A sitting at which the Government prevented votes from being taken or quorums being called?

    What exactly is the point of expensively assembling the trappings of parliament when the parliament does not have the capability of voting on anything?

    Any vote called for during Rudd's silly sessions will not be held until parliament sits again in a week or so, when members who were not present will be entitled to add their numbers, form a quorum and decide issues which arose last month.

    The Monty Python crew could not have devised a more ridiculous situation nor one more likely to diminish the integrity of the parliamentary system.

    The Opposition has correctly questioned whether the sittings are constitutional and whether they can attract the privilege accorded properly constituted parliamentary sittings.

    If the Rudd government is willing to spend $1 million to stage each of these ridiculous opportunities for backbenchers to make speeches, it would be cheaper to have Hansard incorporate the papers into coverage of the regular sitting days and let the MPs return to their electorates and, hopefully, help their constituents with their problems.

    Debasing the parliamentary process in this manner is not, in the short term, going to affect the lives of ordinary Australians, but it will, in the longer term, erode our nation's proud tradition of parliamentary democracy and make it easier for successive governments to whittle away the parliamentary structure until it becomes an appendix of government, not an adornment of governance.

    What should not be lost upon the Australian electorate is the reality that Rudd's leadership of the ALP was entirely due to the machinations of the ALP's Victorian Left and the NSW Right.

    Given the current bout of examination of links between a group of corrupt Wollongong developers and members of the NSW Right's hierarchy, that pedigree is worth keeping in mind because it is inextricably linked to a number of people who now hold senior and influential positions within the Rudd government.

    The people of NSW will be unable to do anything about their government until March, 2011 and it is a safe bet that many of those close to the Wollongong disaster now will have migrated to safe havens in Canberra before then.

    (In truth, what is most amazing is that NSW's Independent Commission Against Corruption has actually taken on board a reference of this nature, given the whitewash it has applied to numerous other cases of alleged corruption.)

    But with parliament itself at risk, who will be able to rein in the Rudd government, born of the Victorian Left, by the NSW Right, when it takes the bit between its teeth and starts galloping?
     
  4. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Re: Corrupt Labor lose "donations"

    No reaction from me Tookey. Piers Ackerman!! :) :) :) :)
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    Re: Corrupt Labor lose "donations"

    I knew that you were too smart to be fooled CW.
     

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