1 September 2016
Premier Mike Baird has repeatedly refused to take responsibility for the Liberal Party not complying with electoral funding and disclosure laws that has seen the NSW Electoral Commission withhold $4.4 million in funding since March 2016.
In today’s Budget Estimates hearing, Premier Baird also failed to explain why he and his Government voted in Parliament to ensure those named in Wednesday’s ICAC report – as having breached electoral funding and disclosure laws – will not face the consequences in any court.
As leader of the Liberal Party in Parliament it is Mike Baird’s name and those of his Parliamentary Liberal colleagues, which was on ballot papers in March 2015 – not those of his head office.
Mr Baird is also the Minister responsible for the Electoral Commission.
Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Adam Searle today said:
“The Liberal Party has not made full disclosure of donations received for the 2011 State Election, which was more than 5 years ago.
“It is extraordinary that Mike Baird, who talked such a big game on improving transparency in our political system, refuses to take any responsibility for this. It is always someone else’s role. He repeatedly refused to say what steps he has taken, or will take, to ensure his party abides by the law.
“In 2012, Mike Baird and his Liberal and National colleagues voted to retrospectively take away the legal rights of injured workers to compensation and medical support. In 2013, Mike Baird and his Liberal and National colleagues voted to retrospectively take away the legal rights of victims of crime, including victims of sexual assault – many of whom had court orders for the payment of compensation but had not yet been paid.
“But in 2014, Mike Baird voted against making the new 10 year timeframe to bring prosecutions for breaching electoral funding and disclosure laws apply to offences already committed – knowing this would let his Liberal friends off the hook.
“Mike Baird thinks politicians who have breached these laws should have more legal protections than injured workers or victims of crime. This is an outrageous double standard and Mr Baird should be made accountable for it.”