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Greens call for independent investigation into chopper scandal

Lee Rhiannon 17 Jul 2015

Following revelations today that the company contracted by Bronwyn Bishop to helicopter her from Melbourne to Geelong has close ties to her office, Australian Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon is calling for a full, independent investigation into the matter.

"The more details revealed about this absolutely extraordinary episode the more apparent it becomes that something fishy is going on," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The public are fed up with scandals involving politicians and entitlements - especially when the age of entitlement is apparently over.

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Bishop should refund $5,000

Lee Rhiannon 16 Jul 2015

Commenting on reports that Federal Speaker Bronwyn Bishop spent more than $5,000 on a charter flight from Melbourne to Geelong, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"It would be appropriate for Ms Bishop to immediately pay back the $5,000 if she did bill the taxpayer for a charter flight in order to attend a political party fundraiser.

"Ms Bishop's charter flight is yet another political scandal involving entitlements and shows the urgent need for entitlements reform.

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Bishop's $5000 helicopter ride signals time for a major overhaul of MPs' entitlements

Lee Rhiannon 15 Jul 2015

Commenting on reports that Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop spent $5,000 on 80km charter helicopter flight from Melbourne to Geelong, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"If Ms Bishop argues that her $5000 helicopter ride is within the rules clearly it is time that the rules for MPs' entitlements were given a major overhaul.

"There is no justification for MPs using public money to attend party fund raising events.

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5 Ways the Senate Voting System is Broken -- and How to Fix it

Lee Rhiannon 14 Jul 2015

1// It’s undemocratic

The current Senate voting system is almost like a lottery. You vote for one person, then your vote ends up electing somebody totally different.

Convoluted, complicated, and often secretive preference deals means you have no control over where your vote ends up. Some micro-parties are even created for the sole purpose of funnelling preferences and being a cog in the machine that manipulates your vote, distorting our democracy.

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Call for Labor conference to make political donation reform top priority

Lee Rhiannon 8 Jul 2015

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has urged Labor Party officials to ensure far reaching political donation reform is a top priority for debate and decision at their July National Conference.

"Labor need to come out of its national conference with a strong plan to place limits on private donations to political parties and candidates," Senator Rhiannon said.

"We need action, not just commentary every time a scandal is exposed.

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Mafia political donation scandal - Abbott and Shorten must act

Lee Rhiannon 30 Jun 2015

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has urged the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition to move quickly to clean up electoral funding laws following the reports linking major political fund raising with a campaign to allow a known mafia figure to stay in Australia.

"Prime Minister Tony Abbott and opposition leader Bill Shorten can't expect this scandal to blow over. They need to recognise how discredited political fund raising activities are," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Mafia linked political donations show Liberal, Labor out of excuses on donations reform

Lee Rhiannon 29 Jun 2015

Today's reports that the Mafia are attending political party fundraisers and donating to Liberal and Labor candidates puts the spotlight on the need for urgent overhaul of electoral funding laws, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"The clean-up of party funding rules needs to start now. It's time to ban corporate political donations and tighten up disclosure requirements," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Increase in political donation threshold to $13,000 spurs call for reform

Lee Rhiannon 17 Jun 2015

With the threshold for the disclosure of political donations set to hit $13,000 from 1 July the Greens plan to step up their campaign for greater transparency for donations to political parties, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"The increase in the disclosure threshold to $13,000 makes a farce of the Abbott government's stated commitment to transparency," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The Prime Minister's 2013 election platform commited to ‘restore accountability and improve transparency measures to be more accountable to you'.

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