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Nats reveal roading lobby donation thanks to EFA

17 September 2008

National reveals roading lobby donation thanks to EFA

The National Party has been forced to reveal they are being funded by the roading lobby as a result of the 'rolling disclosure' provisions the Greens insisted were placed in the Electoral Finance Act.

The National Party has declared a $30,000 donation from the Road Transport Trust, which is registered at the same address as the pro-roading lobby group the Road Transport Forum, Co-Leader Russel Norman says.

Parties are required to disclose donations of more than $20,000 within a fortnight of receiving them, however, under the Act as it stands voters still can't find out who is giving money for political parties to trusts like this till after the election and I believe this needs to be rectified, Dr Norman says.

"It is hardly surprising that National would be funded by the roading lobby given their obsessive compulsive desire to waste our taxes building new motorways rather than public transport, but it is good that they have been forced to tell the public some information about their funding sources prior to the election.

"Under the old rules, donations were only disclosed to the Electoral Commission in the year following the election so the public didn't know who funded the parties before polling. The Greens were able to introduce a 'rolling disclosure' provision in the Act so that voters have some idea of who is providing the big donations to the parties prior to the election.

"The Greens wanted the Act to go further in making donations transparent but the 'rolling disclosure' provision is progress on the old system.

"National wants to repeal the EFA which would return us to the old system of voters being in complete ignorance of party donations when they go to vote.

"However, the new rules are far from perfect because we don't know who gave the money to the Road Transport Trust and National won't be forced to tell us until they make their donations' return next year. At that point National will be required to declare the original source of the money.

"As part of the independent review of the Act, the Greens would like to see the rules strengthened by ensuring that the actual source of the money is disclosed at the time that 'rolling disclosures' are made."


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