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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1905 ..

MR MOORE: (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (5.58): I want to explain something, Mr Speaker, and I will be very brief. There are two minutes to go. These are actually consequential amendments. The amendments that I will be moving later to close the loophole-that the original bill closed and Mr Stefaniak's amendments will reopen-will close it again. If that is the case and if we are successful-that is, if we actually do reach these people's consciences-we will need to come back to this in the way it was done in the previous bill. The reason I say we want to reach these people's consciences-I think there may be a misunderstanding here-is not about extending the limit of the donation from $500 to $1,500. I happen to disagree with that. I think it ought to be $500, but with $1,500 I can see that a party is not selling its soul. When you are talking about a series of $1,499 donations-

Mr Quinlan: Or $499 donations.

MR MOORE: Or $499-made over 350 days, you are talking about over half a million dollars and in no way declaring who made it. That is what is wrong here; that is the fundamental; that is the loophole we are talking about closing. Mr Stanhope said on the radio the other morning-I was sitting next to him-"The Labor Party doesn't do that. We don't have any of those." I have to ask Mr Stanhope why he supports the Liberal Party in allowing them to do it.

Let me appeal, through you, Mr Speaker, to Jon and to Ted and to other members of the Labor Party not to be part of this fundamental change that opens the loophole. You will have the opportunity later because this is the consequential. What we need to do is close that loophole-you will have dinnertime to think about it.

I appeal to members of the Liberal Party to remember that this is a deal done between your party machines. Now it is time for you to stand above that and say, "No, of course, we don't want a situation where an influence of half a million dollars can be had on a party in any given year without it needing to be declared." That is just in a year. Of course, you can multiply that by the three years of the electoral period if you want, so you are talking about $11/2 million. Mr Speaker, it would be very interesting to come back to this after dinner.

MR SPEAKER: Yes. Thank you.

Sitting suspended from 6.00 to 7.30 pm.

MR QUINLAN (7.31): I have to confess that I have not taken a detailed interest in this legislation and had not intended to participate in the debate. But immediately before the dinner recess we heard three speeches dripping with self-righteousness. Three members uttered words like "grubby", "low" and "the bar is at a minimum".

Mr Rugendyke: I praised your leader.

MR QUINLAN: We are talking about two guys in that corner who came into this place under the banner of a party and who immediately, for personal advantage, separated and declared themselves Independent.

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