Greens call for urgent corruption review following ICAC
GREENS MP Jamie Parker says only in New South Wales can politicians get a "bag full of cash from a property developer" and not be named as corrupt.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption has found 18 politicians, political staffers and developers flouted political donation laws in the run-up to the state election in 2011.
The report, released today, also found the Free Enterprise Foundation was used to channel donations to the Liberal Party during the election campaign in an effort to disguise donors' true identities.
ICAC released a statement saying its findings were of fact, based on the balance of probability, not corrupt conduct because it lacked the authority to make corruptionfindings.
Any criminal findings would have to be made through the courts and be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
"Only in NSW can you receive a bag full of cash from a property developer in the back of a Bentley, and not be named as 'corrupt'," Mr Parker said.
"Even though the semantics might have been changed through legal manoeuvring by expensive lawyers, the public will see this for what it is - a large section of the Liberal party acting with the intention to break the law."
Mr Parker, the Greens' anti-corruption spokesman, said voters were already highly sceptical about politicians' integrity after 10 Liberal and Labor MPs either resigned or were sacked during the ICAC inquiry.
"Now the ICAC report has taken us deeper into this web of lies and dishonesty and exposed the corrupt relationship between politicians and developers in NSW," he said.
"No wonder both the Labor and Liberal parties have opposed the Greens moves to establish a federal anti-corruption body.
"In NSW Labor and Liberal also united to block the Greens bill to reduce corruption risk by banning political donations from mining and petroleum companies.
"If the Liberals are serious about political donation reform, they need to establish a federal ICAC and introduce uniform federal and state donation laws."
The ICAC report recommended former Liberal energy minister Chris Hartcher should be charged with larceny.
Incumbent Liberal MP Mike Gallacher was also found to have acted with the intention of evading donation laws.
ICAC found former Labor MP Joe Tripodi should be prosecuted for the common law offence of misconduct in public office.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is yet to respond over whether it will press charges. -ARM NEWSDESK