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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1911 ..

Mr Rugendyke: What are the figures, though?

MR STEFANIAK: I am sure Michael Moore will table them. These are all donations of more than $1,500. Our party got something from the Electoral Commission, too. We got more than Labor did, because we got more votes. You beauty! The 250 Club-remember them?-were proud to support the Liberal Party. They gave $20,000. Donations were made by the Free Enterprise Foundation; a real estate firm, IOF Australia Pty Ltd; Jim Murphy-no dramas there; Lou Westende; your good self, Mr Speaker; my good self; and Senator Margaret Reid. The information is all in the table.

If people or groups want to give to a political party, they are going to do it. Quite often the same group will give something to both. You see that time after time. Small individual donor are not going to give $1,499 one day, $1,499 the next day and $1,499 the day after that. I do not think that happens terribly much in Australian politics. If someone can prove me wrong, please do so. That does not seem to occur. Most people do not seem to have a drama. If they want to give a certain amount of money to a party, they do it. But if you are a small donor and a bit wary, this bill gives some type of protection.

Mr Rugendyke: What does "a bit wary" mean?

MR STEFANIAK: People are. Mr Rugendyke, I have been in situations to know that it is very hard for people who have been in this place to get other jobs. I can understand people thinking that if their name appears as having made a small donation to the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, Dave Rugendyke, Paul Osborne, Michael Moore or the Greens, someone might take it out on them. I think that is a pretty sad situation in a democracy. You cannot discount that that happen. I just want to lay that on the table.

We are probably going to hear a fair bit of hypocrisy in this debate. I ask members to have a little bit of a think about the reality of political donations and the political situation in Australia. This is not the United States. Have a little bit of a think about the members around you in this place. Whilst we might regard some people in this place as having some pretty strange ideas, I do not think anyone in this place is so dishonourable as to be bribed by a donation which might not be reported. That is stretching the imagination a lot.

This is available to anyone-not just the major parties but the minor parties, the Independent groupings and the Independents. The Liberal Party is quite comfortable with the Independent groupings. One area where we do differ from Labor and the Greens is in the Independent groupings. That is fair. It has been accepted in the Canberra electoral scene. We have no dramas with continuing that.

I make those points in speaking to this basically procedural amendment. That will save me making them later. I hope that that is the case with other members who have made comments now so that we do not protract this debate.

Amendment agreed to.

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