Question without notice: Political donations 6 Aug

On 6 August I asked the Premier if he will commit to working with this parliament to reform Victoria's weak political donation laws. 

 

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is to the Premier. During the winter recess there were a number of very serious — —

Mr Richardson interjected.

The SPEAKER — Order! I warn the member for Mordialloc. The member is to start his question again.

Mr HIBBINS — and very serious issues arising relating to political donations.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The Chair must be able to hear the member for Prahran. The member to be heard in silence. The member is to start again.

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is to the Premier. During the winter recess there were a number of serious allegations and very serious issues arising relating to political donations. The federal Labor leader said:

The current system just isn't good enough … the most immediate and best way to restore confidence in our political system is to enhance transparency and improve disclosure arrangements.

Does the Premier agree with his federal counterpart, and will the Premier now commit to working with this Parliament to reform Victoria's weak political donations laws?

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — I thank the member for Prahran for his question in relation to transparency. Whilst the issue he raises, I am sure, is raised in an earnest way and in a serious way, I must say to the member for Prahran that it is very difficult to be lectured on transparency and integrity from people who come from a political party who have a state conference that no-one can go to, have a rulebook that no-one can read and received the biggest ever donation in Australian political history and did not properly declare it. This government has made commitments in relation to integrity and transparency, and all will be honoured in full.

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I have a supplementary question to the Premier. I appreciate that the government has plans and made election commitments towards transparency and integrity, but given this new information — these new allegations regarding organised crime, conflicts of interests and influence buying — does that not require a new approach from the government?

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — I am not entirely certain that there was a question there, but in any event, we thank the member for his members statement. I will make the point very clearly that I am grateful that he says he appreciates the commitments the government has made, and he asked for a different approach. I would say to the member for Prahran and to all honourable members that the government getting on with and delivering on each and every one of the commitments we made is a different approach. There is yet again another different approach, and that would be to sit on the sidelines as a commentator. That is not something I am interested in. Instead we are very proud and honoured to have formed government in this state, and we will deliver each and every day on the commitments we made at the election. Nothing is more important than delivering — not just talking about it but actually delivering — on those commitments in terms of transparency, openness and the raft of other commitments we made. The new approach is getting on and delivering.