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Big Tobacco Donations Conflict Liberals

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 24 March 2014

Tags: Tobacco, Privileges Committee

Liberal MLCs should abstain from the vote on the Tobacco-free Generation Bill before the Parliament and Lower House MPs should do the same if the Bill passes through the Upper House, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“The Tasmanian Liberal Party received $11, 000 in corporate donations from Philip Morris in 2013-14 which creates a clear conflict of interest when Liberal MLCs and MPs are voting on legislation aimed at preventing the take-up of smoking by young Tasmanians,” Ms O’Connor said.

“The $11, 000 in Big Tobacco blood money went towards the Liberal's state election campaign and it's not the first time the State Liberals have accepted big tobacco money.”

"This is a clear conflict of interest as the tobacco donations benefited every Liberal MP elected in March 2014 and MLCs are also supported by that party machine.”  

“Pretending this conflict of interest does not exist damages the reputation of the Parliament, and makes laughable any claims this government makes of being transparent and accountable.”

“The Greens are calling for the Premier to demonstrate leadership, and to instruct his Members to abstain from voting on the Tobacco-free Generation Bill in the interests of transparency and good governance,” Ms O’Connor said.


Legislative Council Standing Orders: 103. Pecuniary interest

(1) A Member having a pecuniary interest in any question (such interest being direct and personal and not merely of a general or remote character), shall declare, or another Member may draw attention to such interest prior to the vote on a question and the Council shall decide, on Motion, whether the Member may vote upon the question.

(2) A Member having a pecuniary interest in any question (such interest being direct and personal and not held in common with all other subjects of the Crown) and who fails to declare that interest shall have his or her vote disallowed, on Motion, and any record of such vote in the Journals of the Council shall be amended accordingly.

(3) The President shall determine whether such failure should be referred to the Privileges Committee.