MEDIA RELEASE: Casey Council revelations show need for property developer donation ban

MEDIA RELEASE: Casey Council revelations show need for property developer donation ban

The Sustainable Australia Party has called for a ban on all property developer donations and contributions to political parties, following revelations yesterday at Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.

The inquiry was told that Casey Councillor Sam Aziz had received $900,000 for advice on “smart cities”, Casey Councillor and former Liberal Party candidate Geoff Ablett had received $330,000 for tending to co-owned racehorses, and local Labor MP Pauline Richards also received a campaign donation from local property developers.

The property developers concerned were seeking to have industrial land rezoned residential, a proposal known as Cranbourne West C219, and a major development called the Pavilion estate.

Sustainable Australia says the revelations show the need for a complete ban on political donations from property developers in Victoria. Scandals involving the buying of influence among Members of Parliament and Councillors in New South Wales and Queensland have led to action to stop property developer donations in those states. The Victorian Government should now do the same.

It would also increase public confidence in the integrity of Victoria’s political process for the Labor and Liberal Parties to return campaign donations they have received from Watsons Pty Ltd, the company responsible for these donations to Casey Councillors.

The revelations show that the political influence exerted by property developers in Victoria is excessive and needs to be reined in. Governments claim to be supporters of Melbourne’s rapid growth, when they know perfectly well it is damaging Melbourne’s quality of life and isn’t what the people of Melbourne really want.

The real beneficiaries of Melbourne’s rapid growth are property developers, and unfortunately the major political parties who use their campaign donations to secure political advantage.