Friday, November 12, 2010

Northcote independent calls for developer donation disclosures

Media release

Independent candidate for Northcote, Darren Lewin-Hill, has called for donation disclosures as part of the public application process for all significant developments. The call follows a report in The Age earlier this year that developers had donated millions of dollars to the ALP in Victoria.

"This inconvenient truth seems to have been forgotten in the election debate, and I think it would add to the transparency and accountability of planning decisions in this State," Lewin-Hill said today.

Under the plan, developers would need to disclose as part of their planning application whether they had made donations to the ruling party of the day - Labor or Coalition. There would need to be further discussion regarding the amount that would trigger the disclosure requirement, but it would be there to see for any local resident who wanted to know.

"We're all familiar with the planning permit signs put up on development sites. Let's include on them just how much a given developer has handed over to the political party in power at the time. Wouldn't that be refreshing?" Lewin-Hill said.

Along with the donations to the Labor party from big developers, the Brumby Government has been short on accountability in the area of planning, with its evasiveness in the Windsor Hotel sham consultation affair hardly instilling confidence that all is well in Victorian planning.

Mr Lewin-Hill said there were a number of large developments slated for the Northcote electorate, held by Labor's Fiona Richardson by a margin of 8.5%. He said these would come to fruition in the next term of government, and local residents should be able to see whether any developer of any major site had ever been a donor to the Labor party, and at what level.

"Maybe these sites will be developed by companies with no donation history, but residents deserve to know. The disclosure of political donations of all sorts is something on which there really ought to be a crack-down over the next four years, and independents are well placed to do that," Mr Lewin-Hill said.

Darren Lewin-Hill
0404 526 555

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