Major property developers have stopped making political donations in NSW

01 February 2010
Todays Australian Electoral Commission figures are out-of-date and large property developers no longer make political donations in NSW, according to the Urban Taskforce.

The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said the NSW government banned political donations from large, professional property developers six weeks ago. Todays Australian Electoral Commission donations figures only go up to 30 June last year.


The NSW law applies to state and local council elections and also bans property developers or their close associates from paying to attend political fund-raising dinners.


Professional property developers respect the law and, as a result, they no longer have any role in financially supporting political parties in NSW, Mr Gadiel said.


Generally speaking, the industry has been happy to increase its focus on supporting charities, sporting and cultural organisations, instead of political parties.


Our main criticism of the NSW ban is that it does not go far enough.


Other industries, such as hotels, casinos and mining companies, continue to make political donations.


Similarly property owners wanting to block development proposals and protect their land values are free to make political donations.


Small-scale opportunistic individuals who are not professional developers are exempt from the new rules.


The Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, has said if there was no action on bans on political donations at a national level by 1 July 2010, she would move unilaterally to ban or cap them in Queensland.


We think Anna Bligh is right, and there should be a complete national ban on political donations that applies equally to everyone, Mr Gadiel said.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers. For every $1 million in construction expenditure, 27 jobs are created throughout the broader economy.



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