The Accountability Round Table has urged the Premier to take up the recommendations in full, including transferring rezoning decisions from local government to the state.
Chairperson of ART, Lyn Allison, said that otherwise lobbyists and MPs prepared to corrupt planning processes will carry on regardless.
The “web of well-orchestrated strategies designed to manipulate Casey Council decision-making processes, buy influence and undermine the effectiveness of the Victorian Planning system in exchange for certain benefits.”[i] should have been apparent.
Both major parties are complicit in accepting donations in the expectation of access and influence – corruption that richly rewarded the players.
NSW banned donations from property developers more than a decade ago and all other states should do likewise. They should also cap expenditure on elections and close the many loopholes that allow the donation caps to be bypassed like dinners which raise thousands of dollars from attendees.
The $1m in cash payments given by developer John Woodman to each major party and hundreds of thousands to Casey Councillors demonstrates how easy it is to buy influence in Victoria.
IBAC’s 34 recommendations should be adopted in full and there should be strong penalties for concealing donations which the report says “… can distort and potentially corrupt government decision-making.”