Greens candidate challenges on political donations
NEWLY announced Greens candidate for Page, 18-year-old Kudra Falla-Ricketts, has put out a public challenge to fellow candidates to sign a petition to stop political parties accepting donations from big polluters.
The pollution-free pledge, a national campaign run by climate change group 350.org, aims to prevent potential bias and influence from companies like mining, tobacco, alcohol and property developers who donate to political parties.
Ms Falla-Ricketts said it was her goal to help end the practice of big fossil fuel companies gaining influence over political parties through big campaign donations that may be preventing government action on climate change.
"We want some action on climate change and the fossil fuel donations that have been give constantly to the major parties are meaning that they have too much invested interest and aren't taking proper action on climate change," she said during a press conference at the Bentley protest site yesterday.
"They really need to be investing in renewables and taxing those mining companies, which they're just not doing.
"I think Janelle and Kevin and all other politicians in Australia really need to be signing this pledge."
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon threw her support behind the young candidate's challenge and used it to highlight her donation reform bill - currently before parliament - which would ban political donations from big mining, tobacco, alcohol and property development companies.
"The Greens have worked for many years on political donation reform and we've also been calling for a long time for a transition to clean energy to end the domination of the fossil fuel industry," she said.
"The Greens Democracy for Sale project has found that $3.7 million from the fossil fuel industry has gone to the Liberal, National and Labor party over the last three years.
"This is very wrong, because at the same time we see heavy subsidies going to this industry.
"We need to end the subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, clean up our political donations systems so money is not subsidising the patties from the fossil fuel industry."
Senator Rhiannon said that for every dollar donated by the fossil fuel sector to political parties, the industry has received about $2000 in subsidies.
"Findings from successive ICAC investigations in NSW have revealed the potential for corruption where parties are financed by the industries they are supposed to be regulating," she said.
"Coal and oil industries have been prominent problem areas for corruption in recent years both in Australia and globally."
Page candidate responses
Labor candidate for Page Janelle Saffin said she had already given her public commitment not to accept donations from mining and fossil fuel companies.
"I'm fiercely anti-CSG here and very mindful of the issue," she said. "And I've given that commitment publicly."
In response to the challenge, Nationals Page MP Kevin Hogan said he would "not be taking donations locally from such companies".