Parakeelia scandal shows need for corruption watchdog and donation reform: Greens

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Australian Government Elections Money & Finance Political

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Greens parliamentary leader Richard Di Natale and Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said today that the Parakeelia scandal should put the need for a national corruption watchdog and political donation reform back on the agenda.

"Today's reports involving Parakeelia show why a national corruption watchdog and political donation reform are sorely needed," said Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

"It's no wonder that public confidence in politics is so low.

"Revelations about the flow of money from Liberal MPs to Parakeelia and from Parakeelia to the Liberal party demand investigation."

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "This certainly seems like a rort of public money.

"The Liberals seem to have found a way to launder their parliamentary software allowances - that is public money - into donations to their party by simultaneously paying and charging for 'services'.

"There are lots of questions to be answered - did the Liberal Party issue invoices for these services? Did Parakeelia issue invoices for their work for the Liberal Party?  We would like to see those invoices.

"What services could possibly have been provided by the Liberal Party which cost $500,000? At $50 an hour that is 10,000 hours of work. So did tax-payer paid staff provide these services?

"The MP's are able to pay money directly out of their software allowances to Parakeelia without disclosing anything, because those payments individually are smaller than the $12, 800 threshold.   

"We know that Parakeelia has already been investigated by the AEC in 2012, and the compliance review report emerging from that investigation found two errors regarding the reporting of receipts."

 
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