Question without Notice: Developer Donations

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is to the Premier. Will the Premier act to improve integrity in our political system and ensure there are no conflicts of interest with or perceptions of undue influence by property developers over government decision-making by banning developer donations to political parties?

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — I thank the member for Prahran for his question. I would direct him to some very important commitments that we made to each and every Victorian in the lead-up to the election last year about strengthening our often complex and not altogether workable integrity framework as it stands and as we inherited it from the previous government. We made commitments around those matters, and we will deliver on them in full.

In terms of donations to any political party, they will be declared in full accord with Victorian law and the relevant law of the commonwealth of Australia. There are further provisions in relation to public funding and various obligations that are important for every political party for it to be a registered political party. All of those measures and all of that framework should be adhered to in full.

It seems, though, that in his question the member seems to be submitting that the only people in any democracy who make donations to any political party are people with development interests. That is simply not right. These one-out policy propositions that I do not really think have been thought through — —

Mr Watt interjected.

The SPEAKER — Order! I warn the member for Burwood!

Mr Watt interjected.

Questions and statements interrupted.

SUSPENSION OF MEMBER

Member for Burwood

The SPEAKER — Order! Under standing order 124 the member for Burwood will withdraw himself from the chamber for a period of 1 hour.

Honourable member for Burwood withdrew from chamber.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE and MINISTERS STATEMENTS

Political donations

Questions and statements resumed.

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — There is a framework and commitments to improve and enhance the process, and they will be delivered in full. I might just say — and again it is just a matter of fact that the history of our nation will show — that the biggest donation in the history of our nation was made to the Greens political party. If my memory serves, there were at least questions raised about when it might have been declared. I will not go any further because again I am going off my memory, but I do not know that those in the Greens political party are in any position to be lecturing anybody, anywhere on transparency, on integrity or on donations. They seem to be doing quite well for themselves in donations, public funding and lots of other things. They are much more a political party than the movement they would have us all believe they are. We have made commitments, and the member for Prahran and all his fellow travellers can be in no doubt that we will deliver on them in full.

 

 

Supplementary question

 

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — If the Premier will not act to ban developer donations, will he act to increase transparency of political donations by implementing a real-time political donations register so voters know who is donating to political parties before they vote? 

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — I will resist the temptation to say that the question is a bit hypothetical: what if this, what if that? How much money did the Greens political party get in the biggest donation in our nation's history? We will not be lectured to by those who have no credibility on these things and who sit on the sidelines as commentators and nothing more. We have made commitments, Speaker, and each and every one of them will be delivered. Be in no doubt about that. Neither you nor any member of this house, including the Greens political party, should be in any doubt at all. Each and every one of the integrity commitments we made will be delivered.