Government plan on donations does not go far enough

28 February 2008

The State Governments plan on political donations does not go far enough, according to Aaron Gadiel, chief executive of the Urban Taskforce.

The governments plan is full of gaping holes. It will do nothing to restore community faith in the process, Mr Gadiel said.


Businesses that make development applications will have to declare their donations, but those making objections to applications will face no such requirement.


This means businesses and wealthy individuals opposed to a development will be able to make undisclosed donations and lobby against a development application.


Under the States planning laws, existing businesses regularly object to development applications from potential new competitors. They may make donations and lobby against development approvals being granted.


Wealthy individuals also often make objections to development applications and can make political donations in a bid to protect their property values.


Any system of disclosure for development applicants also needs to apply to objectors to developments.


Furthermore, any system of disclosure should also be extended to government tender processes, grant applications, board appointments, liquor and gaming approvals and other licensing.


Weve consistently argued for a national blanket ban on political donations that does not single out any section of society for special treatment.


A ban of this kind will, once and for all, remove any perception of favouritism in all areas of government decision-making, including tender processes, licensing, approvals and board appointments.


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


The NSW development industrys annual turnover is $35 billion and employs 180,000 people, accounting for six percent of the States total employment. It is the fifth largest contributor to the State economy.

Media Enquires:
Aaron Gadiel,
Chief Executive Officer,
Phone: 0417 477 904  or (02) 9238 3955

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