Media Release

Selling Access to Ministers is Wrong

21/01/2015 2:00 pm

The SA Greens today announced they would push for a ban on the use of Ministers of the Crown as bait for party-political fundraising. 

“When Parliament resumes next month, I will move to refer the practice of selling access to Ministers at party fundraising events to the Parliamentary Committee examining electoral laws”, said Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary Leader of the SA Greens.

The SA Liberals are promoting Federal Liberal Government Defence Minister Kevin Andrews as “special guest” at a fundraiser for Davenport Candidate Sam Duluk this evening. On the Labor side, the State Government routinely offers special access to State Ministers at expensive fundraising events.

In 2013, after pressure from the Greens, the SA Government legislated to limit the ticket price to such events to $500, but they squibbed the main reform, which is a complete ban on selling access to Ministers.

“Ministers are appointed by the Governor to work on behalf of all South Australians and access to a Minister should not be used to profit for party political purposes. Ministers should meet with constituents and other stakeholders on the strength of the issues involved, not giving special access to Party donors.

“It’s simply outrageous that Labor and Liberal continue to misuse their power in this way. For our system of government to work it doesn’t just have to be squeaky clean, it has to be seen to be squeaky clean.

“Of course, Ministers are also members of political parties and will be involved in Party fundraising events. That’s not the issue.  It is promoting access to these MPs as Ministers that crosses the line.

“Former Labor Premier Anna Bligh banned the practice in Queensland, and we should do the same here.

“The Greens will continue to draw attention to political practices that undermine confidence in our democracy,” concluded Mark Parnell.

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