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Tasmanian Liberals Rake in Donations, Declare Less than a Quarter

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 1 February 2018

Tags: Political Donations, Democracy, Transparency, Federal Group, ASIO

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader

The latest Australian Electoral Commission disclosure returns reveal the State Liberals pocketed $2.39 million in political donations in 2016-17, but only declared the sources for $498 000.*

Tasmanians have no idea which vested interests the remaining $1.89 million came from, and that is a taint on our democracy.

The Liberals are the singularly most secretive of all parties when it comes to the corporate sources of their funding.  That is why they continually resist donations' disclosure reform at a State level.

We can safely assume the Federal Group and pokies barons are bankrolling the Liberals campaign for this election, although neither the Premier nor the Party Secretary, Sam McQuestin, have had the decency to confirm that to voters.

We know the Liberals took $30 000 from the Yuhu Group of companies, with their close ties to the Chinese Communist government, in defiance of ASIO's warning.

Tasmanian voters still don't know whether the Liberals have taken more foreign money.  If they haven't they should make a statement to voters saying so.  Their silence will otherwise be taken as confirmation.

Political donations' reform in Tasmania is essential for the health of our democracy.  We have the weakest framework in the country, yet the Treasurer says the current system is 'working well'.

What he means is that it's working well for the Liberals who can pocket vast sums of money from the likes of Federal Group and Yuhu, safe in the knowledge that voters won't find out for another 18 months.