Labour Council calls for action on donations

Arthur Rorris.

Arthur Rorris.

The South Coast Labour Council has called for the banning of all political donations from private health and pharmaceutical corporations to parties and candidates at all levels of government.

The Labour Council made the resolution this week. 

The organisation says this is “a first step to stop the corruption of public health policy and the insidious threats by government to privatize our public hospitals”.

The resolution notes, “until such a ban is legally imposed we demand all parties, politicians and candidates to voluntarily declare that they will not solicit or accept any donations from these sources with immediate effect”.

“We ban donations from property developers to stop politicians from being corrupted and selling off our public land,” Labour Council secretary Arthur Rorris said.

“So why do we allow politicians to be corrupted by private hospital owners and multinational drug companies who want them to sell off our hospitals?”

Mr Rorris said “millions of dollars have been donated, mainly to the Liberal Party”. 

“Do they honestly expect us to believe these are philanthropic gestures?” he said.

“We don’t have to wait for the new legislation. In the interim we are calling for a voluntary ban on these donations and we ask our politicians to step up to the plate and show some integrity.”

Mr Rorris recently questioned why some of the nation’s private health corporations are channelling millions of dollars to a “political party with a privatisation agenda’’.

Mr Rorris said Australian Electoral Commission data revealed that health and pharmaceutical companies had forked out more than $8 million in political donations in the past decade. He said the vast majority of the donations went to the Liberal Party with Ramsay Health Care – which operates Wollongong, Figtree, Lawrence Hargrave and Nowra private hospitals – one of the biggest donors.

A Ramsay Health spokeswoman said the company had donated money to many organisations and causes, including the Labor Party.

READ MORE: Questions over private health corporations big political donations