Friday, October 10, 2014

Want to find out who's funding me?

The stench of corrupt behaviour by various people associated with or elected to mainland Parliaments and local Councils has reached the emerald shores of Tasmania via the sensational media reporting of the proceedings of ICAC.  And I say sensational in a very amazed and positive way – ye gods, didn’t they think at some time they’d be caught out one day??  Nonetheless, the findings are causing local citizens to lobby for political donation disclosures.  And why not?  It should be the norm in an open and transparent democracy.

In the vacuum of legislative action to date a small group of committed citizens have developed a website called Funding and Disclosure ( ).  They are soliciting information from candidates across Australia, although it has no statutory basis and the website claims to be funded by small membership and donations below $100 (see cut and paste bits from the site below). 

The dangle of a 200 word statement is used to encourage participation, although with postal elections and candidate statements sent out with web links in Tasmania, I suspect people will be looking more at these and less at the F&D site. 

New South Wales elections are, of course, given the ICAC findings, a different kettle of three day old fish and for these, the site may well prove useful given the greater population and less opportunity for contact with candidates and elected people, compared to Tasmania’s local government.


So what was my response?

Have I disclosed on it?  No.  Why? 

I have no idea who these people are!  There’s nothing on the website other than a name, Pat Synge.  And forgive me for having such a suspicious soul, dear reader, but in this day and age of identity theft and hacker fraud, I’m not going to give my handwritten signature or a photocopy of my passport to someone I can’t physically deal with and whom I know nothing about.  Where is the relationship of trust?

If an email is considered a legal document, then I can’t see why these folks won’t accept an email from me.

Now, if the Tasmanian Electoral Commission requires it, no problems.  There is a greater relationship of trust in dealing with a statutory body that has to comply with all sorts of legislative safeguards. 

And it would be easy to lodge with the candidate nomination and statement forms and post on the TEC's website.

And what’s more, I’m quite happy to disclose any funding in cash or kind for a campaign upwards of two years prior, and during the term of election.  So if people ask me to publicly support political disclosure, take it as read I’ll do so and strongly support this. 

In fact, I’ve just chaired my final Strategic Governance committee meeting for this electoral term on 7 October 2014 that is sending a recommendation to Council that we ask the State Government to get the legislation in place.  See Item 20 on the Council meeting Agenda for 13 October, 2014: Local Government (General) Regulations 2005 – Review – part (ii).


So here’s the news. 

For two years prior and during the election, no one has funded me either with wads of cash or in kind support and I’ve received no donations below or above $100.  I’ve received no highly complimentary articles in free local newspapers distributed to local businesses, no fundraising auction proceeds, no placing of posters over real estate signs.

In fact, I’ve actually been recycling car stickers I paid for some elections ago and found surplus to requirements back then.  I’ve paid for the photo shoot (courtesy of Zanzo – really good photograph, don’t you think), did my own initial graphics design, and paid a local Hobart business to tidy that up and print the pamphlets (KwikKopy – and boy, were they efficient, courteous and professional).  Salmat is doing the paid delivery.  There’s an advertisement on Tasmanian Times (graphics and rental time costs paid again by moi).  My blogsite is also paid for by myself. 

How’s that for full disclosure? 

And if you can’t trust this written word, feel free to call and arrange a coffee (0407 391317 or email me on, look me in the eye and ask your questions.  After all, that is what local government in Tasmania is all about.



Funding & Disclosure (Inc) is a grass roots, not for profit organisation with no political affiliations.

Our aims are to: 

  • Facilitate voluntary disclosure of political donations and gifts
  • Lobby for legislation requiring timely disclosure of all political donations and gifts at all levels of government
    Provide opportunities for discussion of matters relating to political funding, funding disclosure and related topics.
    We receive no funding from any group or organisation but rely solely on membership subscriptions, donations from individuals and 'in kind' contributions (eg website development etc)
    Who is funding F&D

  • F&D is entirely funded by members' subscriptions and small donations (of under $100). All work has been voluntary and we are not associated in any way with, nor do we receive any support from, any political party or group, corporation, or other organisation of any kind.
  • Any donations of over $100 will be disclosed and we very much look forward to being able to post such disclosures.
    Authorised by Eva Ruzicka, 10 Congress Street, South Hobart

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