September 27, 2021

Nationals catch Labor’s ‘whatever it takes’ disease

The NSW Nationals Party have voted to scrap bans on donations from property developers and alcohol and gaming companies.

The Nationals must be really desperate.

WoolworthsAustralia’s largest pokies owner, big on property development and makes big donations to LibLabs too. Nationals must want a cut of the action.

 

A ban on developer donations was introduced by former Labor Premier Nathan Rees in 2009 in response to the Wollongong Council sex for developments scandal.

His successor Kristina Keneally then capped donations from alcohol and gaming companies at $2000 per candidate and $5000 per party in 2010.

Backing a motion to overturn the bans at the Nationals’ state conference in Bowral on Saturday, MP Trevor Kahn said they were now unnecessary, especially after the O’Farrell government had this year also limited donations to individuals.

“We are now in an entirely different regime than we were 12 months ago,” Mr Khan told reporters afterwards.

“In years past where you could get a developer who could contribute $100,000 to a political campaign on behalf of a candidate or a million dollars to a political party that would be an entirely different situation.

“Then, you might be able to buy favors in those circumstances, but $5000 will be a cup of tea – it won’t buy you any more.”

Woolworths Liquor

While supported by delegates at the conference, the vote is not as yet binding on the party.

Even so, an angry Mr Rees hit out at the push to overturn the developer donations ban, saying the National Party had “opened the way for a new generation of the white shoe brigade in NSW”.

“I (banned donations) because the community had a view that there was undue influence by property developers in decision making,” he said.

“When donations come from big companies particularly those involved in controversial issues such as urban planning, the community is deeply skeptical.”

‘In years past where you could get a developer who could contribute $100,000 to a political campaign on behalf of a candidate or a million dollars to a political party that would be an entirely different situation.

‘Then, you might be able to buy favors in those circumstances, but $5000 will be a cup of tea – it won’t buy you any more.’

While supported by delegates at the conference, the vote is not as yet binding on the party.

Even so, an angry Mr Rees hit out at the push to overturn the developer donations ban, saying the National Party had ‘opened the way for a new generation of the white shoe brigade in NSW’.

‘I (banned donations) because the community had a view that there was undue influence by property developers in decision making,’ he said.

‘When donations come from big companies particularly those involved in controversial issues such as urban planning, the community is deeply skeptical.’

Nationals must be in here somewhere
The NSW Nationals must be in here somewhere

 

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