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Federal Group - Election Campaign Donations

Parliamentary Activity - Wednesday, 1 November 2017, Andrea Dawkins


Ms DAWKINS question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

Greg Farrell has stated recently, he will be donating to both the Liberals and Labor to help articulate your gambling policies during the next state election campaign and also, no doubt, to help you articulate on behalf of the Federal Group.

In May this year, the Greens wrote to you, the Opposition Leader and to your parties' executives, calling on both parties not to accept donations from the Federal Group in the lead-up to this critical election that will determine who can distinguish or extend the monopoly deed. When questioned, you deflected to the party executive and laughed off suggestions that political donations buy influence. You also said your state director, Mr McQuestin, would provide a response to our letter in due course. That response never came from the state Liberals or any Labor representative.

As Leader of the Liberal Party and as a member of your party's executive, will you now rule out taking further donations from the Federal Group?

 

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I thank the member for the question. I note the apparent quote of Mr Farrell, which I assume is entirely accurate. I will check that in due course because Greens members have a habit of misquoting members of the community. It is obvious that whilst donations are, and will remain, as I have explained repeatedly in this place, a matter for the organisation, and appropriately so, to separate from the political division and to ensure greater confidence that policy decisions will not be so influenced, the fact that we have announced a stated position with respect to gaming policy that clearly is at odds with what Mr Farrell has argued for, demonstrates that we are not influenced by donations, as the member might suggest.

The obvious connection between the Greens' policy position at Triabunna and the significant donation they received from Mr Wood - yes, I know they are embarrassed by it -

Greens members interjecting.

Mr HODGMAN - I think they do protesteth just a little too much.

Ms O'CONNOR - I could see you moving away without answering the question. Point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 45, relevance. Ms Dawkins asked whether the Liberal Party would be accepting donations from the Federal Group and called on the Premier to rule it out.

Mr SPEAKER - That is not a point of order. Points of order are not there to re-ask the question. The Premier is capable of understanding the question and answering it. He was still at the lectern so -

Ms O'Connor - No, he was fleeing.

Mr HODGMAN - I am happy to stay here for as long as it takes to point out the hypocrisy from the member's party with respect to political donations and the very real and devastating impact it had in its execution at the Triabunna chip mill. That is something that is now being repeated with the salmon industry, which is also a particular political target for multimillionaires who happily donate to the Greens, just sign up to whatever they wish and deliver it in a way that disadvantages Tasmanian communities.

Donations are appropriately, at least in our party, a matter for the administrative wing so that there is a separation and there can be no connection to policy outcomes, as we have demonstrated with respect to gaming policy, which conflicts with a lot of what Mr Farrell would have us do. It makes the point that there is no connection, but donations will always be a matter for the organisation. It would be my expectation that they would comply with all laws and indeed, all disclosure laws.