Northern Territory

Jul 17, 2017

Is the NT inquiry into political donations already doomed?

Proposals for a local inquiry into political donations -- and its ugly cousin election funding -- have been around for a while. And this one might be DOA.

Bob Gosford — Editor of The Northern Myth

Bob Gosford

Editor of The Northern Myth

Mansfield Inquiry

 Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner

The appointment this past weekend by Michael Gunner’s Northern Territory Labor government of retired Federal Court justice John Mansfield to conduct an inquiry into political donations in the NT was long overdue and welcome. As Gunner noted yesterday, the Mansfield Inquiry will be an important step towards restoring public trust in the institutions of government in the NT. Finding a commissioner for this gig was always going to be tough, but I can think of no better person than Mansfield for the task -- he has long familiarity with the Territory and its people and institutions without being beholden to any.

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One thought on “Is the NT inquiry into political donations already doomed?

  1. granorlewis

    A very well-researched and competent analysis of this complex issue. You are absolutely right that the Government have mishandled the matter from the start. Your analysis of the Foundation 51 issue, again, is spot-on. With this “terms of reference,” there will very likely be a considerable waste of Justice Mansfield’s time, and/or a substantial waste of taxpayer funds. But credit to Justice Mansfield, he will likely pull it all together, and produce a serious and valid outcome.
    Funny that there is never any mention anywhere of the need, throughout the process, to investigate the monstrous financial and in-kind support given to the ALP by the Union movement, not very much of which ever appears in published reports of the AEC and the NTEC. What is totally overlooked in the terms of reference or in your writings Bob, is the extent, if any, of the political favours that flow from donations made. We have already seen some classic examples in recent times eg the unions getting additional public holidays declared over Christmas at huge cost to employers.

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