Abrahams criticises election donation disclosure system
Killcare resident Mr David Abrahams, who ran as an independent Robertson candidate in the federal election earlier this year, has criticised the way election donations are disclosed.
Figures for the independent candidates about donations they received and expenditure for the May federal election were released on November 4 by the Australian Electoral Commission.
Mr Abrahams said it was a shocking anomaly that his donations had been made public but not those to candidates for the political parties.
The figures for candidates from political parties will not be disclosed until next year.
"In my mind, it illustrates the non level playing field between the big parties and the independents,'' he said.
Candidates endorsed by political parties had their disclosure statements rolled into the political party returns for the 2018-2019 financial year and will not be available for inspection until February 3.
It means the returns for candidates such as the Animal Justice Party's Mr Sean Bremner Young and the Liberal's Ms Lucy Wicks - who was returned as the sitting member - show nil in the candidate returns that were released this month.
"It means there is nothing to compare. It is not very transparent,'' Mr Abrahams said.
"I was prepared for full and live declarations at the time, and I'm surprised it was so lax."
He said he understood the NSW electoral commission asked for more detailed information and was much more transparent.
Mr Abrahams said his returns showed $45,000 in donations and only half that in expenditure but, in fact, half the donations were professional services that were donated and he had to put a dollar value to them.
He didn't make any money from the election and, because he didn't get enough votes, he did not receive any refunds from the Australian Electoral Commission.
Media release, 4 Nov 2019
Australian Electoral Commission
Interview (Merilyn Vale), 6 Nov 2019
David Abrahams, Killcare