Premier Mike Rann should ensure more information is made available publicly about the activities of the Labor Party’s fundraising vehicle – SA Progressive Business.
SA Progressive Business was first established in 2003 and is chaired by lobbyist and former Labor Senator Nick Bolkus.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today that SA Progressive Business lodged last year, for the first time since its establishment, a disclosure return to the Australian Electoral Commission which showed they had total receipts of $237,000. No further information is provided on this return identifying names of individuals and companies attending Labor fundraising functions, although some companies are identified on donor returns and the Labor Party returns.
“Mr Rann should explain why the equivalent Labor organisation in Victoria has been lodging disclosure returns for many years and its total contribution to the Labor Party is also listed on the Labor Party’s disclosure returns,” Mr Lucas said.
“Whatever the legal position might be, Mr Rann could ensure greater accountability and transparency by directing the Labor Party to reveal the total amount of money raised by SA Progressive Business since 2003.
“People are interested in who is donating to political parties so they can make their own judgments when governments make decisions.”
After all, it was Mr Rann who said in his 2002 Plan for Honesty in Government:
“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.”