Bob Burton Profile picture
Mar 5, 2018 25 tweets 20 min read
Thread: What does the re-election of @WillHodgman Tas Liberal government mean for the prospect of the basic anti-#corruption reform of requiring disclosure of political donations? #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
2) In the campaign Hodgman said the current federal laws are adequate. In short, only donations over $13,500 this year will have to be disclosed, increasing in in following years in line with CPI #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes201
3) Here’s an earlier thread of mine on the origins and problems with the current federal political donations laws #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
4) If Hodgman serves a full term and the Tas Libs have an income equal to the last 4 years, an estimated $11.5 million will pour into the party’s coffers #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
5) Over the last 4 years the origin of just 14% of the Tas Libs donations were disclosed. If that % holds true over the next 4 yrs that could mean just over $1.6 million of $11.5 million estimate is likely to be disclosed to the Tasmanian public. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
6) Which would bring the Tas Libs estimated income for the July 2006 to June 2021 period since Will Hodgman was elected as leader to ~$32.2 million. Of that ~ $4.47 million disclosed with about $27.7 million in #darkmoney #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
7) Without legislative change, the origins of potentially $9.9 million donated between 2018-2022 to the Tas Liberals will remain secret. The #darkmoney total may well be far higher than that given the massive expenditure in the 2018 campaign #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
8) What chance is there that the Hodgman Govt will politically be able to get away with that? Certainly, a majority Hodgman Govt can block a Labor/Greens bill in the House of Assembly. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
9) But public pressure in Tasmania for political donations reform is far stronger than ever before – it was a major theme in two out of the three leaders tally room concession speeches on election night #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
10). The Liberals may be tempted to think public alarm over secret donations will dissipate now that the election is all over. But there are good reasons as to why that is unlikely #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
11) Debate over poker machine policy – which requires legislative changes – may well be protracted. The issue of donations from the Federal Group and other gambling interests is likely to be raised every step of the way. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
12) There is every prospect that all controversial Hodgman Govt policies and announcements will be met with questions as to whether they received donations from companies or individuals with an interest in the project or policy #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
13) The Tas Libs will no doubt be feeling pleased with their fundraising prowess, but here’s the rub: having more major corporate and lobby group donors simply increases the risk of a major scandal #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
14) With the election now decided major donors will be seeking to call in their favours and press for the speedy implementation of policy concessions gained in the lead up to the poll. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
15) Hodgman also revealed many policies were kept secret from the public ahead of the election, incl. changes to gun laws introduced after the Port Arthur massacre. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018 theguardian.com/australia-news…
16) In a modern democracy, secrecy is indefensible but the Hodgman Govt is going to be left trying to defend secret meetings held to develop a raft of secret policies. They are gambling on a weakened media failing to do its job #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes20
17) Tasmania’s commercial media outlets are in the spotlight too. Tasmania’s ailing newspapers and TV stations were major beneficiaries of the Tasmanian Liberals huge advertising spend. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
18) The Mercury took it one step further and for a period early in the election campaign, had a significant chunk of its news coverage directly sponsored by the Federal Group. Federal also ran its own ad campaign, including in The Mercury. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
19) The July 1989 Fitzgerald Royal Commission report into the Bjelke-Petersen era in Qld had a telling comment (p. 159) on the media: noting some had exposed corruption while others “contributed to a climate in which misconduct has flourished” #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
20) A significant chunk of the Tas electorate feels they just witnessed an election being bought. The Hodgman Govt may have been re-elected but it is unlikely there will be a honeymoon period when it comes to political donations and #secrecy. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
22) The issue of political donations reform was raised in Hodgman’s last term and he rejected it. Eric Abetz has long opposed stricter disclosure. Even if Hodgman supported effective reform, what’s the chance he would prevail against Abetz? #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
23) A sensible government –with an eye on the scandals in other states where Ministers have been exposed doing deals with donors – would enact best practice anti-#corruption reforms. #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
24) If in the next 4 years major scandals erupt revealing Tasmanian Ministers helping donors, pressure to require donations disclosure and adopt other anti-corruption measures will dramatically intensify #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018
25) If Hodgman bows to the Liberal hard heads and further delays reform, the risk is that more damage will be done to public faith in Tasmania’s democracy – and that doesn’t serve anyone’s best interests in the long term #tasvotes #politas #tasvotes2018 END

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May 4, 2018
Thread) Well there you go: the Minerals Council of Australia rep #BHP, #RioTinto & #Glencore couldn't resist responding to the Kerry Schott's comments that the push for new #coal plants in Australia doesn't stack up financially #lignite #auspol
2) On an earlier thread I thought the MCA would duck for now & respond in the future - but the #coal lobby in Australia are getting desperate & can see how fast the case for new coal globally is collapsing. Desperate times breed desperate PR #auspol
3) There’s a few things worth noting about their latest media release – the MCA have opted to focus their criticism on Kerry Schott
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