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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1687 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

How can they stand by those sorts of approaches when they agree to amendments like those proposed? I have only touched on the concepts. One is to shaft anybody from other than the major parties as best they can. Another is about political donations, disclosure and hiding where money has come from. The most fundamental thing about openness in democracy is saying who is supporting you. If we had a proposal for the development of a gondola on Black Mountain or something like that and the proponent was a Mr Blue, to pick a name out of the blue, the community would be interested to know that the same Mr Blue had made a series-30, 40 or 50-of $1,499 donations in order to have some kind of influence. The community would like to know where the donations are coming from and know that Mr Blue did not make a sizeable donation to either party; therefore, the decision is more likely to be made on the basis of merit than on the basis of financial influence. Fundamentally, it is about the influence of money on our electoral system.

If we look across the Pacific, we can see the influence of money on the electoral systems in the United States. I have to say that I think that is one of the saddest things for democracy. We do not want to go down the same path, but with the proposed amendments we would be going down the same path. Openness requires that both the Labor Party and the government withdraw their amendments and not proceed down this ludicrous path of associating themselves with what the Sydney Morning Herald describes as dirty politics and a grab for cash. Do not associate yourself with that.

I will make one final comment on the legislation that I am supporting, that is, the bill as proposed. Some people have said that it is purely from self-interest that I will be supporting the legislation and opposing these things. I have to say that the thing that is most interesting about the legislation is that the only people disadvantaged by the legislation are the MLAs who are sitting in here at the moment as members of a minor party or Independents-that is, Mr Rugendyke, Mr Osborne, Mr Kaine and me-because what will happen under the current legislation, as worded, is the ability for us to have party status will be removed. That group is the only group that would lose out through that system.

Mr Stanhope: Rose-tinted glasses.

MR MOORE: I hear Mr Stanhope's reference to rose-tinted glasses. The reality is that I am not involved with the dirty politics and the grab for cash. He ought not to be as well and he ought to take responsibility for not trying to use this political power to shaft the smaller entities and the Fred Lowes.


(6.09): I support the intent of the original bill in principle, but the amendments that have surfaced today are reminiscent of what we saw in a previous debate when the two major parties linked to protect their cash cows, the top end of town. Mr Speaker, we can see that that is what is happening here with regard to donations. We are not raising the bar; we are lowering it. It suits them to have $1,499 donations as often as they like from the top end of town. Let's raise it to $5,000! Let's not make it harder to conceal donations! Mr Moore and Mr Kaine are dead right: the proposals are a blatant attempt to penalise Independents and minor parties. That is good, in a sense, because it means that they can see that we are a threat. Thirty per cent of the people of Western Australia and 30 per cent of the people of Queensland are voting for Independents, and aren't they wise in doing so? They cannot pick the difference between the two major

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