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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1909 ..

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (7.50): This is a very simple procedural amendment, but I am delighted to hear the comments of so many people. A lot of hypocrisy has been flowing around tonight, and I have considerable sympathy for some of the views expressed by my colleagues in the ALP.

People have made a lot of the $1,500 donation. Australia is not like America and a lot of other countries. I am sure both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party would like a lot more political donations. I am sure the Greens and the Independents would, too. But what is being proposed here does not discriminate against anyone. Political parties, political groups or named groups-whatever you call them-are treated equally.

There are very good reasons why little donors, ordinary citizens or people who feel vulnerable do not particularly want their names bandied about. When we were talking about this in the party room earlier this week, Jacqui Burke made a valid point. If you are a Liberal supporter, like the party and want to make a donation of, say, $1,450 but you work with a lot of Labor people, and your boss is a Labor bloke actively involved in the party, you might be pretty worried about having your name bandied about as a Liberal supporter who has made a donation. The same might apply to a Labor person in a Liberal stronghold, an Independent in a Greens stronghold, or whatever. Those things do occur.

You ask any member of this Assembly who has not been re-elected-I am about the only one who has come back-about how you get tainted for having been a politician. I went to get my old job at the DPP back. I did not get a look in. I was interviewed, but that was it. I went for a couple of other legal jobs I was ably qualified for and I did not get a look in. Thank God, I did some work with the Army Reserve, which I was in at the time, and I did some work at Russell Hill for the regular army for about nine months. I then had a crack against Ros Kelly in the GST election. Eventually I worked with my old mate Bernard Collaery.

Mr Stanhope: From the Residents Rally?

MR STEFANIAK: From the Residents Rally, yes. I found that if you are an ex-politician, a Liberal, you are tainted. The same might well apply to Labor. Helen Szuty suffered that fate. A lot of people have had a lot of trouble getting back into the work force after having been tainted by being in this place. That is incredibly unfair. The same principle applies to little people who might want to make a donation to a party. They do not particularly want to be named.

The big boys do not mind. The people who have an obvious affiliation with a political party do not mind being named, and they are named. You have seen that in the Sydney Morning Herald. You have seen that in Michael Moore's proposal to tender receipts for political donations made to the Liberal Party and the Labor Party over a number of years.

A number of companies and groups will probably make donations to both parties. They do not mind that. That is part of the political process. Unions, obviously, will feature prominently. They make donations to the Labor Party. A number of businesses

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