Big Corporations And Developers The Only Winners From Guy’s Donations Reform Failure

19 June 2018

Liberal Leader Matthew Guy has once again put the interests of big corporations and developers first, with the Opposition to vote against the most open and transparent donations regime in the country.

The Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 is set to overhaul Victoria’s political donations regime by eliminating large donations and usher in Australia’s most transparent donation disclosure laws to give Victorians increased confidence in political decision-making.

After negotiating these reforms for months, former Planning Minister Matthew Guy has walked away, showing that big corporations and developers will be able to hand over cash for cabinet decisions under any Government he leads.

Matthew Guy has form – he’s been caught out meeting developers in penthouse apartments to discuss development applications, but only after $10,000 donations were made to the Liberal Party.

And when he was Planning Minister he rezoned Fishermans Bend overnight providing massive windfalls to Liberal Party donors, as well as rezoning land in Ventnor for Liberal Party mates, contrary to expert advice.

An independent panel tore his botched zones process apart saying that it was “unfair…driven by politics” and caused “widespread angst and confusion” in communities.

This is the kind of dodgy behaviour that the Labor Government’s donation reforms are trying to stop.

The proposed legislation to clean up dodgy donations will:

  • Cap donations at $4,000 over a four-year parliamentary term, completely eliminating large donations to political parties, associated entities, and third-party campaigners
  • Reduce the disclosure limit from $13,500 to $1,000 per financial year
  • Ban foreign donations
  • Introduce tough penalties for failing to comply including up to 10 years imprisonment for breaches
  • Real time donations to shine a light on who donates and when

Just like on other important pieces of legislation, the Labor Government will work with all parties to ensure the legislation is passed, and Victoria’s dodgy donation regime gets cleaned up once and for all.

Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“The Liberals are putting the interests of big corporations and developers ahead of open and transparent government.”

“Matthew Guy has shown he is prepared to lead a government where cash for decisions will prevail.”

“These tough new donation laws will be the strictest and most transparent in the country – why would Matthew Guy try to take Victoria back to the days of cash in brown paper bags?”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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