Corrupted politicians green light property developer money laundering

Australia’s politicians have used the cover of COVID-19 to weaken political donations laws according to Luke Beck, Associate Professor of Constitutional Law, Monash University:

While Australians were distracted last week by Melbourne’s lockdown ending and the final days of the Queensland and United States elections, both major parties joined forces in federal parliament to weaken political donations laws.

This will make it easier for federal politicians to accept secret donations from property developers…

The legislation… overrides state bans on property developer donations in two ways…

This new provision allows property developers (and others banned from making donations under state laws) to ignore state laws banning them from making political donation where the donation is “for federal purposes”…

Second, the legislation allows property developers and political parties to ignore state laws requiring that donations be disclosed…

The explanation given for the new laws is that state laws shouldn’t apply to federal donations…

While the law requires parties to keep money donated “for federal purposes” in separate bank accounts, a donation “for federal purposes” frees up money from other, general donations to be used for state purposes.

This should serve as a stark warning of why we will never get a genuine federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Federal politicians do not want an independent body genuinely scrutinising every shady deal and potentially handing out penalties. Accountability is not in their interest.

Instead, the best we can hope for is endless stalling and/or a ‘toothless tiger’ put in place for purely symbolic purposes – much like we have witnessed with rules on property money laundering and illegal foreign purchases of property.

The Australian political system is basically corrupt.

Unconventional Economist

Comments

      • There’s a huge vested interest group in keeping housing from crashing.

        MPs and the RBA board all own many investment properties. They will look after their own interests before anyone else’s.

        • None of what you’re saying is incorrect, however, what Mike is alluding to is the fact that it is not necessarily in their power to keep property prices (values) propped up. They have a certain amount ammo — not an unlimited amount.

  1. I have been told in the recent past, in RL, that the Australian system is well-regulated. I tend to think most Aussies still believe this. The majority are oblivious. They will only care when it all starts to crumble. Until then, as long as their property goes up in price, they don’t really care. It’s all too abstract for them.

    • a “decent opposition” had a federal ICAC as part of their core election commitment at the last election. But Australians voted for higher house prices and franking credits. But according to Totes Bewoke, this is somehow still labor’s fault and not those australians that put personal greed above national interest

      • I think your point there demonstrates one of the biggest problems with our system of government.

        Yeah, the ALP had a federal ICAC on their platform, but they also had a policy to allow immigrants to import their grandparents willy-nilly, which would’ve destroyed our social security system in short order. Not to mention that they are owned by the CCP, to a greater extent than the LNP appear to be. Etc etc…

        Both sides of politics offer the punters ice-creams, but they are flecked with (or largely composed of) sh1t. Rather than voting for some individual fool, I’d like to be able to vote for the policies, via online referenda. It would be easily doable, but will never happen, so we all get to keep eating sh1t flavoured ice-cream, because that’s what the Great Princes and their toadies profit from.

        • a good point, well made !

          As Stephen Morris (I think?) used to say, the Westminster system of government was never about democracy but instead, the illusion of democracy

          • Reminds me of the Kath & Kim joke
            Kim: “I’ve got the concept for the new kitchen. We’ve decided we want solid monogamy!”
            Kath: “Oh no, monogamy’s so old-fashioned. You just need a veneer of monogamy. That’s all people care about.”

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