Marcus Priest, Australian Financial Review, 18 August 2011
The renewed push to reform campaign finance is failing to gain traction within federal Labor's parliamentarian wing. Therefore, the Greens are set to embarrass the government over this failure by introducing a private member's bill on the issue.
Senator Lee Rhiannon said there are signs the Gillard government has put the issue on the "back burner", and she flagged a private member's bill if Labor did not act. "We are feeling the Labor Party and the Labor government are pulling in different directions", Senator Rhiannon said. "We have been disappointed by Gary Gary (Special Minister of State) and haven't felt that Labor is serious about the inquiry (the current inquiry into reform of electoral funding)."
Danielle Cronin Canberra Times 16 July 2011
Danielle Cronin explores the myriad of problems with our federal electoral funding system in this comprehensive article. The Labor Party promised reform of the system in order to gain the support of the Greens and independents Andrew Wilkie, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.
In order to fulfill this promise the Federal Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has launched an inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns. The committee's hearings begin on the 8th of August and the report is due by 30 September 2011.
Editorial Sydney Morning Herald 7 July 2011
If taking corporate donations is wrong enough for O'Farrell to commit so unequivocally to their banning, it follows that the party O'Farrell leads should honour the spirit of his commitment and voluntarily decline the cash. If that is not apparent to the party machine, the Premier can easily tell it so. And if that does not do the trick, he can instruct his ministers to avoid such fund-raisers - thereby denying these functions their appeal.
Greens Senator Elect Lee Rhiannon Media Release 31 May 2011
Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s reported attendance along with representatives of tobacco companies at a Liberal Party fund raiser held last Thursday has raised ethical questions about the relationship between the Coalition parties and these businesses, Greens NSW Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon said today.
“Mr Abbott and the Liberals should respect the spirit of the NSW law and not hold fundraisers that involve the tobacco industry in this state,” Ms Rhiannon said.
Tips and Rumours Crikey 30 May 2011
"Big tobacco backs Abbott. A friend of mine was at this $150-a-head Liberal Party fundraiser last Thursday with Tony Abbott, Philip Ruddock and Alan Jones. He noted there was a table comprised of folk from Phillip Morris and British American Tobacco. Now why would the tobacco companies wish to support Mr Abbott do you think ...?"
Katharine Murphy The Age 25 May 2011
Senator Bob Brown said that the Greens will move to ban political donations by tobacco companies as the Coalition continues debating the merits of plain-packaging reforms. Senator Brown argues that politics should end its relationship with the tobacco industry.
The Greens have never taken donations from tobacco companies, and the ALP stopped taking such donations in 2004. However, the Coalition continues to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from tobacco companies each year.