Developers call for a new system of funding political parties

03 September 2008

Developers have repeated their call for a new system of funding political parties, which would involve a complete ban on political donations from anyone, from any industry.

The call follows todays release of NSW political donations details for the period April 2007 to June 2008. The chief executive of the Urban Taskforce, Aaron Gadiel, said that the current system relied on the public spirit of business, but was no longer supported by the community.


Many businesses currently contribute to political parties, alongside other non-profit organisations, such as charities, sporting and cultural groups, Mr Gadiel said.


They do this because they have a long history of backing community causes that have no other way of being funded. However, the wider public are saying they want political parties to be independently financed.


The development industry would support that change.


In March this year the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, called for a complete ban on political donations. In June a NSW committee of Labor, Liberal, National and minor party MPs have agreed that donations be banned from corporations. The MPs also said that donations of more than $1,000 a year from individuals should also be banned.


Taxpayers should fund the activities of political parties, Mr Gadiel said.


This would allow for a total national ban on all donations, from anyone, to all political parties in local, state and federal elections.


Were looking forward to the release of the green paper on the subject from the Federal Government and the release of a separate expert report commissioned by the NSW Government.


We hope that the NSW and Federal governments move on this issue quickly.


A total national ban would boost community confidence in the political system.


Any reforms should not just be limited to the planning system, but should also apply in all areas of government decision-making, including tenders, licensing and board and judicial appointments.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.



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