ACT Greens democracy spokesperson and candidate for the ACT Legislative Assembly seat of Ginninderra Indra Esguerra says her party would ban political donations from property developers, bringing the ACT into line with NSW.
The Greens have previously announced a policy for an independent anti-corruption watch dog for the territory.
Ms Esguerra, who is an adviser to Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, said the territory’s political donations laws had been watered down so badly that they had become woefully inadequate.
“Property developers do not give hundreds of thousands of dollars to political parties for fun, they do it because it’s worth their while,” she said.
“Ever since the Labor and Liberal parties teamed up to overturn the Greens’ nation-leading donation laws, we’ve seen a huge surge in developer donations.”
Ms Esguerra noted that since the laws were changed, the Canberra Liberals had taken donations from local developers including Amalgamated Property Group, the Molonglo Group, Village Building Company, the Englobo Group, Geocon, Civium Property, and Chase Building and interstate developers including J and M Nassif Property, Merc Shoppingtown, M Projects, Statewide Planning and Toplace.
At least six property developers had purchased special memberships of ACT Labor, including Quay Building Group, Hindmarsh Corporate, Dexar Group, Dowse Projects, SHL Developments, and the Molonglo Group.
“The major parties are doing a disservice to us all – not only by accepting these donations, but pursuing them through fundraising and special membership categories,” Ms Esguerra said.
“Other parts of the country, like NSW, waited until it was too late to clean up their laws. We need to learn from their mistakes – and assure Canberrans that they can have total confidence in our planning system and government decisions.”
The Greens package will also ban donations from corporations, cap individual donations at $5000, and require continuous disclosure of political donations on a public website.