6 July 2011 The Gillard Government must come clean on its attempts to solicit donations from cigarette companies and their executives.
Over two weeks ago Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton called on the Prime Minister to reveal which Labor Party branches and which Ministers (in addition to Minister Roxon) in her Government have or continue to seek funding from the tobacco industry, and still the Prime Minister refuses to answer.
Mr Dutton renewed his call today.
“Labor’s hypocrisy on this matter has been revealed time and again,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton first called for honesty from the Government after it was revealed Health Minister Roxon was saying publicly Labor refused tobacco company donations while privately she was seeking that funding.
“Labor takes a holier-than-thou attitude that they do not seek donations from cigarette manufacturers only to have that claim shown to be a sham time after time.”
“For a start the same Health Minister that today introduced the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill into Parliament - and who constantly makes much of Labor’s supposed donation ban - has actively solicited tobacco company funding.”
“Just last month the Health Minister was forced to admit to her deception. She had to own up to the fact that she had written to company executives seeking their attendance at a fundraiser and that she had also failed to keep the Members Register of Interests updated on hospitality she has accepted from tobacco firms.”
Mr Dutton said that was not the only deception with other revelations last month that the NSW Labor Party was still seeking donations and that the now Sports Minister Mark Arbib had constantly solicited funding for cigarette manufacturers.
The Shadow Minister said it was incumbent on the Prime Minister to fully reveal Labor’s secret dealings with cigarette firms.
“There should be no ifs and no butts about it.”