Greens renew call to make cash-for-access unlawful

The Greens have today renewed their call for the McGowan Government’s Leaders’ Forum to be made unlawful following revelations that a Chinese property developer has joined the Forum.

Greens spokesperson for Integrity of Government, Hon Alison Xamon MLC, said that the Government’s lack of integrity was clearly evident in the fact that a private meeting with the Premier and Cabinet members could be bought by Leaders’ Forum members for $25,000, or a table at a dinner hosted by Government Minsters for $4,000; money which goes directly to ALP coffers.

 “The Forum’s existence demonstrates a woeful lack of transparency and undermines any claims of integrity in the McGowan Government’s decision-making. The Government won’t even say who the members of the club are – and all the community knows is that they must be rich enough to afford the hefty $25,000 membership fee,” said Ms Xamon.

“The community is, quite rightly, sick of politicians behaving in a dodgy manner that suits their own interests first, and those of the community, at best, second.”  

“The Premier’s claim that his Government complies with the rules is simply not good enough, particularly given that the rules as they currently stand permit this kind of behaviour to continue,” Ms Xamon said.

In September 2017 Ms Xamon reintroduced a Bill into State Parliament which seeks to make it an offence under the Electoral Act for Ministers to offer direct access in return for money being donated to their party.

“The Greens have consistently called for this practice to stop. Western Australia’s democracy is not for sale. The rich should not be able to buy the opportunity to influence Ministers, who have extraordinary powers beyond the reach of the parliament,” said Ms Xamon.

Ms Xamon called on the Government to stop the cash-for-access practice immediately and for all parties to support the passage of the Greens’ legislation to demonstrate their commitment to transparent Government and their willingness to be part of cleaning up politics.