BIG TENT FLAP: Liberal party fundraiser held in Vic Parliament grounds in breach of guidelines

parlhousefundraiser Last night the Victorian Parliament’s grounds were used by the Platinum Forum, a fundraising body established by the Liberal Party to obtain financial support for political campaigns in the south-east of Melbourne. This is believed to be in breach of guidelines that ban political fundraisers from the Parliament.

A marquee costing thousands of dollars was assembled for the Platinum Forum, with a large staff provided by the Parliament to serve drinks and nibblies to the donors. One of those attending said it was a relaxing evening of speeches, opera, nice drinkies and a large assembly of oldies not previously assembled in that part of the CBD since the days of Cats matinees.

WHO GAINS FROM THE TAKINGS OF THE BIG TENT?
Victorian MPs Heidi Victoria, preselection challenged Kim Wells, Nick Wakeling, said to be close allies of current state Liberal leader Ted Baillieu and their Club Fed chum, womens’ clothing enthusiast Chris Pearce (a committed Costello supporter in Canberra but thought to bat for both sides at home) are all said to be the beneficiaries of the proceeds of the hitherto little known Platinum Forum.

marquee While state MPs are free to host functions in the building and in the grounds of the Victorian Parliament, it is well established that formal political fundraising events are not held there to avoid suggestions that parties are relying on the taxpayer funded and owned facility to cash in and generate funds for themselves.

“The ban on political fundraisers is also designed to avoid the impression the building is for sale to donors, it’s considered to be very disrespectful and undermining of the institution” one source familiar with the operation of the Parliament explained to VEXNEWS.

Another said “As an MP, you can pretty much do anything you want there within good taste but not explicitly holding party fundraisers, it’s not allowed and if they’d honestly disclosed what they were doing they would have found the booking refused.I wouldn’t like to be the MP who booked the event. I wonder who it was.”

We share their curiousity and will be seeking answers to this today.

platinumclub The Platinum Forum appears to have a high degree of organisation as a political fundraising operation. Its website explains:

The Platinum Forum is an innovative group of individuals supporting Liberals in the Outer East of Melbourne. The Forum is aimed at building and sustaining Liberal values and forging strong links between local business leaders and the Liberal Party. Our activities support Liberal candidates in the Federal seat of Aston and the State seats of Bayswater, Ferntree Gully and Scoresby.

We offer a range of functions to our members, including events with high profile guest speakers, boardroom briefings, policy seminars and social activities. At many of these functions, members are welcome to invite guests along. However, there are also a number of functions which are exclusive, member-only events.

Their site pledges smaller boardroom briefings so you can get even better access than at rival party functions you might get hassled to attend where the access you think you’ve paid for is somewhat diluted by sitting next to a thousand other spivs who’d like a licence to sell scratchie tickets in Victoria, to choose a totally random example.

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT PLATINUM
All very good and worthy stuff. If we didn’t let party’s raise funds from business it would leave the cashed-up environment movement, trade unions and other vested interests dominate without hearing at all from employers and small business. And if the restrictions some in the Left seek on donations were in force, only politicians and bureaucrats would be able to determine who got to have political ads during elections.So we don’t have an issue with the Platinum Forum and hope it does very well indeed.

But their pitch does all sound rather familiar, doesn’t it?

Yes, it sounds just like the Liberal 500 Club and ALP’s Progressive Business. But they don’t have their fundraisers at Parliament House. Food – or canapés – for thought.

We have referred this matter to the Victorian Parliament’s Presiding Officers for their consideration.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “BIG TENT FLAP: Liberal party fundraiser held in Vic Parliament grounds in breach of guidelines

  1. Jenny Craig

    Have people started their speed diets there?

  2. Anonymous

    Another access for cash group.

    The average punter who cant cough up the cash is excluded while those who write the big cheques get to influence.

  3. Fatty Doyle

    Once I had a little ‘indiscretion’ when Little Fatty entertained EPC behind the tennis court.

  4. big one

    i bet yous that chrissie pearce didn’t book the room. I’ll put my money on heidi or nick booking the room. Nothing like innocence for an excuse

  5. annon annonski

    Access to who for cash? Kim Wells? Chris Pearce? Nick Wakeling? I’m sure the forum will receive most donations from people anxious to avoid such a fate.

  6. EPC

    Forget it Fatty, it was nothing memorable, a lot of fuss over ‘something’ so insignificant and it was over before it really began.

  7. Inga Binga

    Was someone after me? I noticed the heading ‘Big Flaps’ and I thought one of you Boys must have been after me.

  8. My Dear Fatty, the Dearest of Dear Fatties,

    All this talk of boozy gatherings in the Parliamentary Gardens makes me nostalgic for those glorious days when you and I both graced those lush lawns, dazzling our guests with our charm and repartee, dressed in my finest chinos and blue blazer, then snoozing the afternoons away under that lovely big elm tree after long lunches in the Strangers Corridor dining room.

    But I digress, my Dear Fatty. It’s getting rather lonely over here in California and I worry that I don’t have much to do with myself. Spending every day in my office waiting for the phone to ring with American companies wanting to invest in Victoria is a lot like sitting in Chambers waiting and waiting and waiting for somebody – anybody – to brief me. The only difference is that it is no longer possible to break the monotony by ducking out at 11.00 to meet you in the black CLK and heading off for a delightful afternoon’s lunching.

    So do drop by when you can. You wouldn’t want my life to get dull now, would you. And what does St Petersburg possibly have that San Francisco doesn’t? Well, for starters, it doesn’t have me.

  9. Fatty Doyle

    My dearest pal Victor, how so I miss our Friday Luncheons. We wined and dined, wined and wined after I had 69ed with my Therapist Lindy ‘DD’.
    I will arrange a study tour soon.
    Have you met Monica Lewinsky yet? I am keen to meet her and she if she is interested in ‘Consulting’ for me.

  10. Top Shelf Tony

    There have been a million party fundraisers held at Vic Parliament, and there always will be.

    No one pays cost price at that place – the donors pay well above, and the MPs pay well below.

  11. Natasha The Despoiler

    Honeys…

    Donate to GetUp! if you want a result.

    These people are real losers (and not honeys…)!

  12. hahaha

    Were these the same, upright liberals that were firmly behind the machinations to deliver a victory for McGauran’s pre-selection on friday night… on the basis of upholding some kinda principles?

    I guess they had alot to celebrate then.

  13. they're already practising

    They seem to have been practising fat cat dinners for when they are in power.
    Let them eat cake! But dont let them have power.

  14. why donate to thei rich?

    I find it odd the the party of the rich need fundraisers.
    Why don’t they stop being so tight and use their own?
    After all, they don’t support social welfare, so why should the masses give to a party that wants to take from the masses both when they are in and out of power?

  15. revolted

    I find the idea of the Liberal Party using Parliament House as a site to raise money, quite vulgar.

    Very tacky and cheap! Put your hand in your rich pockets and HIRE a venue to keep business going, rather than free loading off the taxpayer! Very lower class behaviour indeed.

  16. Anon Annonski

    The venue selection has more to do with the particular mentality of eastern suburbs Liberals. They tend to be of the petite bourgeoisie (like their confreres from bavaria in an earlier time they also tend to have envy/resentment based hard right views) and are unbelievably impressed with functions at parly house.

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