Clover Moore today called on all local government candidates to declare their reportable donations ahead of the election.
Ms Moore, who is contesting the City of Sydney election, has pledged to make her reportable donations public one week before the September 8 election.
"Under the current law candidates are only obliged to make their donations public months after the election. I think the public should know ahead of an election just who is financing a campaign - is it the community or are vested interests involved?" Ms Moore said.
"The public has a right to know exactly who they are voting for before they cast their vote.
"Campaign donations give people a chance to participate in the democratic process, but can also undermine public confidence. Some donors use their money to exert improper influence."
Ms Moore said she had always strived to avoid conflicts of interest by refusing donations from the development industry and vested interest groups and committed to returning any donations that could compromise her independence or integrity.
"I comply with campaign donations law, advocate for higher standards and go beyond the law to provide greater confidence in the political process," Ms Moore said.
The Clover Moore Independent Team will:
- Provide summary information on all donations and fundraisers (the law only requires disclosure of donations over $1000)
- Limit maximum donations to $5000 per individual per year (there is no legal cap)
- Provide public disclosure immediately before this election (the legal requirement is an annual disclosure by 22 September 2013)
- Return any donation that subsequently is confirmed to create a conflict of interest (there is no mechanism in the law to return donations)
- Not channel donations through party branches or head offices to disguise sources (as routinely done by all three major Parties).
"Elections are expensive and can cost more than $100,000. The election funding system is an increasingly onerous system and is biased towards the major political parties.
"As an Independent Team we don't have the war chests that the big parties pull out for elections, instead we rely on community donations.
"I believe community Independents should not need to be independently wealthy to run for political office. My Independent team relies on volunteers for our fundraising and have no local branches or head office."
The Independent Team will disclose personal information about donors in line with requirements of electoral funding and privacy legislation.
Shehana Teixeira 0418 238 373 or firstname.lastname@example.org