Political donations data released this week shows that private toll road giant Transurban has made significant donations to both the Labor and Liberal parties in this reporting period, putting into question both parties’ unquestioning support for mega private toll roads across Australia, say the Greens.
“Companies like Transurban ‘invest’ money in the old political parties because it’s good bang for buck," said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens transport spokesperson.
“We see decisions made that are favourable to companies like Transurban, at the expense of the public, even where the case for the project doesn’t stack up.”
“Big corporations like Transurban shouldn’t be able to buy political influence to get the policy outcomes they want.”
“Transurban paid the Labor party over $28,000 in 2016-17. Meanwhile, Victoria’s Labor government signs off on a Transurban ‘market led proposal’ of creating a massive, polluting toll road in Melbourne’s west, a project slammed by transport experts, local councils and affected communities.”
“The Liberal party also received tens of thousands from Transurban and also has a serious toll road addiction, despite feeling the pain of rejection at state election ballot boxes after WA’s Roe 8 and Victoria’s East West Link were roundly rejected by voters.”
During this donations reporting period, Transurban controlled 13 of the 15 private toll roads in Australia.
“Transport planning and decision-making in Australia is broken. We must get back on track, so that infrastructure decisions are made in the public interest, not just to line private toll operators’ pockets.”
“We need drastic political donation reform and we need it now. With this latest release of political donations data, we’re seeing once again the massive amounts of money poisoning our democracy as vested corporate interests buy political influence.”
Transurban’s 2016-17 donation disclosure return can be found here.