Northern Territory PUP leader Alison Anderson says she wants a Senate inquiry to be conducted into political donations.
The Senate in Canberra should “bring in the big boys to see what the little boys are doing in the Northern Territory” amid a furore about political donations, the Northern Territory’s Palmer United Party leader says.
Alison Anderson on Friday said the PUP backed her calls for a federal Senate inquiry much like the one recently passed to examine the LNP in Queensland.
The NT government this week backed down from holding a promised wide-ranging independent inquiry into 20 years of political donations, calling it “unworkable”.
It was replaced with an investigation to be overseen by the Department of the Chief Minister examining the rules of political donations rather than specific allegations of undeclared funding.
The Country Liberals-affiliated Foundation 51 has been under fire after leaked emails showed that members expected their membership fees to go towards funding the CLP’s 2012 election campaign, which it seemed to do to the tune of an undeclared $200,000.
“Unlike any other jurisdiction, we don’t have a house of review in the NT and you’ve seen what can happen in the NT when democracy is completely taken away by numbers,” Ms Anderson told ABC radio.
She said the PUP hold the balance of power in the federal senate and “we take this opportunity to make sure the Territory government is scrutinised on behalf of all Territorians, and bring in the big boys to have a look at what the little boys are doing in the NT”.
She said she was confident she could get the majority support of the PUP senate bloc, along with Motoring Enthusiasts Party senator Ricky Muir, Labor and the Greens.
NT Labor are encouraging their federal counterparts to support the inquiry, Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie said.
Chief Minister Adam Giles said the Australian and NT Electoral Commissions were investigating Foundation 51, and was unaware of an offer by the opposition to shrink the original inquiry’s range to examine the last four years – two of Labor leadership and two of the CLP.
He warned PUP leader Clive Palmer away from meddling in the NT.
“Mate, get your house in order first in Queensland. Clearly you’ve got your own problems, and we can run our own Territory,” he told reporters.
“If the senate is going to start running some sort of constitutional intervention in all states and jurisdictions in Australia then we’ve got a problem with federation and we should have a look at that.”