Premier Mike Rann’s office had today attempted to make an issue of the Liberal Party’s legitimate fundraising activities to deflect from a series of concerning reports in newspapers regarding Labor Party fundraising.
“Given that his office has now begun to address the issue of fundraising, after a long silence, he must now come clean with the South Australian people,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“Mr Rann needs to answer serious questions about Labor Party fundraising that he has avoided over the past several years.”
Those questions include the following:
• The number of times he or his staff have met with Nick Bolkus and or his clients, and the extent of any donations by those clients;
• Details of Mr Rann’s attendance at fundraising activities of SA Progressive Business, which is headed by Mr Bolkus;
• Details of Mr Rann’s attendance at fundraising activities of Hawker Britton, whose SA Director, Stephen Halliday, is a former Chief of Staff to the Premier; and,
• Mr Rann’s failure to answer questions raised by The Australian concerning a meeting with the CEO of a failed abalone company which he initially denied ever having met.
“The recent events in Queensland have highlighted the need for more transparency and accountability in fundraising activities,” Mr Lucas said.
“The Liberal Party has today released a policy that will help restore integrity to all fundraising activities.
“After all, Mr Rann should remember the promise he made in 2002 to South Australians:
“We will lift standards of honesty, accountability and transparency in Government.
“Secrecy can provide the cover behind which waste, wrong priorities, dishonesty and serious abuse of public office may occur.
“A good Government does not fear scrutiny or openness.””
“The simple fact is that until the policy can be changed after the March 2010 election, there has to be a level playing field between Government and Opposition in relation to legitimate fundraising activities.”