I do not accept donations to my election campaigns from anyone.
My election campaigns in 2011 and 2015 were funded entirely by myself and my wife Lyn. I received some donations when I was first elected in 2007, but Lyn and I were the largest single donors to that campaign and the small remainder were properly declared and are still publicly available.
This is not to say that I expect all others to run self-funded campaigns as that would exclude some very good people from running, but I don’t want to compromise my position in the NSW Parliament in any way, and I don’t want any perception that I am not a truly Independent Member of Parliament.
In 2011, the political donations process became significantly mired in controversy and led to the resignation of several Hunter MPs. Unfortunately, it is a system which is open to abuse and, as we saw in 2011, has been systematically abused by some members of the major parties. The community needs to have trust in its elected MPs. Not only does the right thing need to be done, it must be seen to be done in an open and transparent way.