CFMEU steps up campaign for Federal anti-corruption body

Published: 26 May 2016

The CFMEU has stepped up its campaign for a broad-based Federal anti-corruption body with the launch of a new report examining the murky relationship between property developers and the Liberal Party.

Following revelations on ABC’s Four Corners on Monday by former Liberal Party treasurer, Michael Yabsley, that he knew of illegal donations made through the Free Enterprise Foundation during his tenure, the CFMEU says a Federal ICAC is needed urgently to restore transparency and confidence in the democratic process.

The union has Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos in its sights, using him as one of half-a-dozen case studies on developers and the Liberal Party across multiple jurisdictions in A Catalogue of Concern, The Liberals, property developers and policy.

“It beggars belief that Mr Sinodinos had no knowledge of such donations in his position as NSW Liberal Party Treasurer, after Mr Yabsley’s admissions this week.

 “The Liberal Party are hypocrites.  Entities in which Senator Sinodinos was an office holder are alleged to have been involved in the deliberate evasion of disclosure laws,” said Mr Noonan.

“If Mr Sinodinos had nothing to hide, why did he refuse to attend a Senate inquiry into the fund last month?

“A number of NSW MPs saw their careers ended and millions in campaign finance is in limbo.  There are so many instances of donations to the Liberal Party being shrouded in secrecy, deliberately hidden or potentially linked to future benefit that the relationship deserves close scrutiny. 

“Democracy is such a precious thing it deserves a Federal body to protect it”.

A Catalogue of Concern examines the relationship between the property development industry and the Liberal Party and asks if donations are driving policy, especially in relation to the ABCC and the Royal Commission. 

“When businesses donate to political parties and at the same time benefit from government decisions, the public deserves to know exactly what was donated, by whom and when. 

“The attempted re-instatement of a beefed-up ABCC looks like payback to many, payback for donors from the building and development industry, payback for a union that won’t do as they’re told. 

“Australia deserves better – we deserve a system which protects the integrity of our democracy and that can properly examine suspected corruption across the board, not just in one very lucrative industry full of Liberal Party cronies”, said Mr Noonan.

Visit the campaign website and read the report: A Catalogue of Concern