The Victorian Ombudsman has called for more powerful laws to reveal the extent of political donations from property developers to curb the perception that Victorian governments are captive of developers interests.
Two news articles detail her findings.
Victorian Ombudsman calls for ‘urgent reform’ of state’s political donation disclosure laws
Victoria’s political donation laws must be more stringent to eliminate the perception that politicians can be bought, the state’s Ombudsman has said.
The comments came as an investigation cleared Casey councillors Geoff Ablett and Amanda Stapledon of receiving campaign donations from property developers in return for favourable planning decisions.
The pair stood as Liberal candidates in the 2014 state election.
While the allegations were unsubstantiated, Ombudsman Deborah Glass said they posed questions about the propriety of donations made by developers to political campaigns.
“There can be little doubt that the lack of transparency in political donations and the lack of limitations on who can make those donations in Victoria creates an environment in which allegations of improper conduct can flourish,” she said.
“Ultimately, they create a perception that politicians can be bought, which reduces public trust in government.”
Political donations from property developers a bad look, says Ombudsman
Donations from property developers to political candidates create a perception that politicians can be bought, according to Victoria’s Ombudsman Deborah Glass.
The findings, released today, will add pressure to the Andrews government to begin reform of political donation laws in Victoria.
“There can be little doubt that the lack of transparency in political donations and the lack of limitations on who can make those donations in Victoria creates … a perception that politicians can be bought, which reduces public trust in government,” Ms Glass said.