NSW Labor has announced it has returned a donation received from mining corporation Santos Ltd to, ‘ensure there is no doubt in the community’s mind that we are committed to a CSG-free north coast.’
But it’s not good enough for Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham; on Tuesday he called on NSW leader Luke Foley to ‘pressure [his] federal colleagues to return over $90,000 in donations they have received from coal seam gas company Santos over the past two years if they want to restore any credibility.’
At a candidates forum in Byron Bay last night candidate Paul Spooner said he had approached Luke Foley about the Santos donation, asking that it be returned.
Meanwhile, Mr Buckingham has called on Luke Foley and the NSW Labor party to pressure their federal colleagues to return over $90,000 in donations they have received from coal seam gas company Santos over the past 2 years if they wanted to restore any credibility.
‘If Luke Foley is serious about restoring Labor’s tarnished reputation after they accepted thousands of dollars from coal seam gas company Santos to fund their state election campaign, then he should call on the Federal Labor party to return the $90,000 in donations they have received from Santos over the past 2 years,’ Mr Buckingham said.
‘I am pleased that following the outcry from the Greens over their acceptance of toxic CSG cash, they have today decided to hand the money back.
‘It is disappointing, however, that it took a public outcry to convince Labor to return the money, rather than Labor rejecting the donation in the first place.
‘In the recent Leader’s debate we saw Labor leader Luke Foley refuse to rule out coal seam gas development under a Labor government, saying ‘There is a role for gas in the state’s energy future’.
‘Given the toxic and corrupting influence that corporate donations have been seen to have on our democracy in recent years, the public have every right to ask whether this and the federal donations from Santos have influenced Labor’s weak position on coal seam gas.
‘There is a strong public perception that there is a “decisions for donations” culture in NSW and that is why the Greens are calling on all parties to back our policy for a ban on donations from mining and coal seam gas companies,’ Mr Buckingham said.
The Greens NSW policy is not to accept any corporate donations and to publically disclose all donations worth more than $200.