Friday, 15 December 2017

About that political influence on domestic affairs on the part of foreign powers, Prime Minister Turnbull.....

He went on to excoriate the Labor Party in parliament last week with regard to its contacts with Chinese nationals.

This week the primary subject of Turnbull's verbal attacks announced his resignation from the Australian Parliament.

However, this week also brings news from Western Australia which demonstrates just how hypocritical is the prime minister’s political posturing.

Via @kimbakit

Then came this three days later.

Via @kimbakit

When it comes to close association with or susceptibility to foreign influence, Malcolm Turnbull is engaging in a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black.

By way of background…..

Political donations to the Liberal Party & fund raising at West Australian level involving The 500 Club and companies/individuals having ties to the People’s Republic of China in 2015-16:

The 500 Club (WA) - $15,000, $20,000, $20,000, $20,000, $20,000, $30,000, $55,000
Chaoshan No 1 Pty Ltd ATF Legpro 30 Unit Trust (Chinese billionaire Xiangmo Huang is a director) - $10,000, $20,000,
Hong Kong Kingson Investments (Australian-Chinese billionaire Chau Chak Wing) - $200,000, $200,000
Kingold Group (Chinese-born billionaire Chau Chak Wing) - $200,000

Political donations to the Liberal Party & fund raising at Federal level involving The 500 Club and companies/individuals having ties to the People’s Republic of China in 2015-16:

The 500 Club (WA) - nil
Hong Kong Kingson Investments - $400,000, $100,000, 10,000

Of course neither Western Australia nor the Liberal Party are alone in receiving political donations from Chinese interests and readers can click on this searchable database to view declared donations from all sources going back to 1998-99.

The connection between political parties and big business which appears to be cemented by these donations has long been a troublesome aspect of federal and state election processes, with ABC News reporting in December 2016; Declared donations and payments to Australian political parties are about to top $1 billion, a new analysis of data shows.

Businesses with Chinese connection donated more than $5.5 million between 2013 and 2015 - a breakdown of these donations can be found here.

Then there is the matter of undeclared donations and other undeclared income.

According to GetUp!:

Australian law requires all payments to politicians over $13,200 to be publicly declared - an important public transparency measure to stop corruption.

But right now there are some gaping legal loopholes that see tens of millions of dollars funnelled into the pockets of our politicians with no oversight, no accountability.

By piecing together fragments of publicly available data, our research reveals the full extent of hidden 'Dark Money' flooding our political system…..

Last election the Liberal Party transparently declared only 13% of their total private income. 

The Liberal Party declared $8.98 million transparently, funnelled a further $5.5 million of donations through "affiliated entities", and listed $8.97 million as "other receipts". A full $45.9 million of their income was undisclosed Dark Money.

Last election the Labor Party transparently declared 21% of their total private income.  

Labor declared $10.4 million transparently and listed $15 million as "other receipts" (note: Labor listed all income from affiliated entities as "other receipts"). A full $24.4 million of their income was entirely undisclosed Dark Money.

Make no mistake, it is not the intention of the Turnbull Government to turn off the foreign donation tap, no matter what the current rhetoric. If NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption investigations have shown us anything, it is that politicians, political parties and vested interests are highly creative in how they deliver/receive banned political donations.

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