Tuesday, 16 February 2021
I, and also on behalf of Senator Siewert, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes the Bergin report concerning Crown's gaming operations and its findings of money laundering and criminal activity;
(b) calls on all political parties and candidates to join the Greens in refusing to accept donations from Crown; and
(c) calls on the Liberal, National and Labor parties to return the almost $2 million in political donations received from Crown since 2000 or to transfer an equivalent amount to a charity or support service that deals with problem gambling.
Australia has an appropriately robust system to regulate the disclosure and reporting of political donations. It is overseen by the independent Australian Electoral Commission. The Morrison government takes allegations of criminality seriously. AUSTRAC commenced an enforcement investigation into Crown Melbourne in August 2020 as a result of an AUSTRAC compliance assessment that began in September 2019. It's not appropriate to discuss details, as the matter is ongoing.
Labor will be opposing this motion. This is just another political stunt from the Greens. What the Greens don't tell you with this motion is that, since 2013, the Greens have accepted over $1.5 million from high-end gambler Duncan Turpie. Prior to the 2016 election, the Greens accepted $500,000 from Mr Turpie. In 2018-19, they accepted $545,000 in donations from Mr Turpie, including a $450,000 donation 18 days before the last election. Last year, the Greens accepted $150,000 in donations from Mr Turpie, including a $100,000 donation to Senator Waters's own branch, the Queensland Greens, 12 days after she introduced her bill to ban donations from the gambling industry. If the Greens were serious about donations reform, they'd be handing back the donations they've received, which have been financed by the gambling industry.