Today’s important Age article by Royce Millar; Political Donations Linked to Developers, Contractors dissects how those in property or infrastructure dominate Victorian Labor’s cosy Progressive Business fundraising arm. They also dominate the political donations made to political parties. The returns are staggering.
The percentage return on donations for Victorian Govt contracts:
- Leighton – 301% return
- ABN Amro – 684% return
- Baulderstone – 5862% return
What is shocking is that these figures do not include the upkick in land values that the associated zoning changes or infrastructure delivery provide. Big decisions deliver big returns, captured in land values. These would add thousands of per cent in return to each political donation. Our concern for such trends saw us invent the term ‘lobbyocracy’ in 2003. One vote one value has been replaced by one dollar for one decision.
Visit lobbyocracy.org to contribute your story on legalised corruption. Evidence is mounting even at the local government level that new footpaths seem to materialise adjacent to big property developments.
As Royce Millar says, the only reason we haven’t had a similar corruption epidemic in Victoria (as compared to NSW and its’ Woolongong Council fiasco) is that we don’t have an independent anti-corruption commission here. Remember the independence of the Victorian Auditor General was sold off years ago. With these trends prevalent, we must question who is to hold government accountable for the dominance of the costly PPP model (Public Private Partnerships)? Government donors in unions and big business both win under today’s cosy lobbyocracy mantra.