The Australian Greens party once championed restrictive and draconian electoral donations laws to ensure all parties were brought down to their level. As an anti-business and anti-development party, they often struggled to get donations in the past.
However, they have been able to come to terms with near billionaires like Graeme Wood who built his fortune by promoting last-minute leisure non-essential travel that many strict environmentalists would see as polluting the eco-system and wasting resources. He gave them the biggest ever donation in political history in the form of $1.6 million, an enormous amount by any measure and one that prompted Greens party leader and superannuation millionaire Bob Brown to say he would be â€˜forever gratefulâ€™ for the loot.
Nice to see that once bought, Brown stays bought, in fulfilment of the Chicago doctrine.
Indeed, thereâ€™s now plenty of money sloshing around the extreme-left party. So much so that the cash-rich Victorian branch of the Greens was able to channel a spare $110,000 to the federal Australian Greens.
The only reason we know that is the federal Greens party submitted their financial disclosures â€“ as required under federal law â€“ to the Australian Electoral Commission.
If any other party had made a similar lapse, the Greens would be the first baying for blood.
The failure by Victorian Greens officials is a criminal offence:
COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACT 1918 – SECT 315
(1) Where a person fails to furnish a return that the person is required to furnish under Division 4, 5 or 5A within the time required by this Part, the person is guilty of an offence punishable, upon conviction, by a fine not exceeding:
The person in charge of this mess â€“ among others facing criminal charges â€“ is Greens party official and Adam Bandt staffer turned high-priced lobbyist Hayley Conway who now receives money from the multi-national owned Kreab Gavin Anderson to lobby Greens party MPs in support of clients including the Australian casino industry, pokies barns, oil producers and miners. The inside word is that she is being paid as much as $5000 per week. At least sheâ€™ll have no trouble paying the fines from her criminal reign of error as a Greens party official.