Greens put community first with developer donation ban

Hear more from the Greens in the ABC News, Canberra Times, City News, 2CC, 2CA and Riot Act coverage of this story.

ACT Greens democracy spokesperson Indra Esguerra has today launched a package to clean up political donations. The centrepiece of the package is a ban on developer donations.

“Today, the Greens are putting the community first and announcing that we will clean up political donations - and ban developer donations in Canberra,” said Ms Esguerra.

“Property developers do not give hundreds of thousands of dollars to political parties for fun, they do it because it's worth their while.

“Ever since the Labor and Liberal parties teamed up to overturn the Greens' nation-leading donation laws, we've seen a huge surge in developer donations.

“This shows that our political donations laws have been watered down so badly that they have become woefully inadequate,” Ms Esguerra said.

Ms Esguerra noted that since the laws were changed, the Canberra Liberals have taken donations from local developers including Amalgamated Property Group, the Molonglo Group, Village Building, the Englobo Group, Geocon, Civium Property, and Chase Building.

The Liberals have also taken donations from interstate developers including J and M Nassif Property, Merc Shoppingtown, M Projects, Statewide Planning, and Toplace.

At least six property developers have purchased special memberships of ACT Labor, including Quay Building Group, Hindmarsh Corporate, Dexar Group, Dowse Projects, SHL Developments, and the Molonglo Group.

“The major parties are doing a disservice to us all - not only by accepting these donations, but pursuing them through fundraising and special membership categories.

“Other parts of the country, like NSW, waited until it was too late to clean up their laws. We need to learn from their mistakes – and assure Canberrans that they can have total confidence in our planning system and government decisions.

“I'm calling on the other parties to follow the lead of the Greens and refuse to accept developer donations.

"Putting the community first means holding ourselves to the highest standards – and so far, only the Greens have shown a commitment to making that happen.”

The Greens package will also ban donations from corporations, cap individual donations at $5000, and require continuous disclosure of political donations on a public website. Click here to download the initiative.​

Media Contact: Maiy Azize – 0434 200 794 or maiy.azize@act.greens.org.au