Political returns: chocolate, toys and china

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ACT Electoral Commissioner Phillip Green today released the financial disclosure returns for ACT political parties, Members of the Legislative Assembly, associated entities and donors to political parties for the 2009/2010 financial year.

How I wish all the MLAs included details on the gifts they recieve.

While Green says the returns show “details of receipts, gifts, payments and debts related to political participants in the ACT for the last financial year,” in truth only five of the 17 members returns published online included an actual list of such things.

And such fine things they were.

Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan duly noted $6 from Cadbury Chocolate, but what variety was it?

Joy Burch's "plush, orange multicultural toy"

Labor Minister Joy Burch recieved an impressive collection of scarves, baseball caps, fine bone china, a frisbee, local history books and a $10 “plush, orange multicultural toy” (pictured) to the value of $1187.

Labor Whip John Hargreaves, aka “Sir Lunchalot”, appropriately listed a variety of gifted $150 lunches from the AFL and the Chinese cultural attache, cufflinks and glassware from the Property Council and a Chinese scroll.

Liberal deputy Brendan Smyth racked up a bunch of free tickets – including the Falun Gong propaganda extravaganza, “Shen Yu” and a single ticket to Fresh Funk’s “Adventures in Wonderland”. Did Mr Smyth venture into Wonderland alone?

The Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, had the stand-out list, of course, including a stripey tablecloth from East Timor, a book called “The meaning of the Holy Qu’ran” from the Australian Federation of Islam and a “Boxed Set” of something from Manuka Arts with a price tag of $4900.

Labor Minister Simon Corbell recieved $238 in gifts and donations, but he owes the ALP $6475.26.

King O’Malleys public bar clearly identifies as a working-class institution, donating $1600 to the ACT ALP, along with the usual host of builders/developers and unions.

But oddly The University of Canberra donated $1500 to the ACT ALP. UC is funded by the ACT Government, currently led by the ACT ALP.

ACTewAGL say they donated $2000 to the ACT Greens, but it isn’t included in their returns; they only gave the Liberal Party $1900 and Labor recieved $3250.

Returns can be inspected on the ACT Electoral Commission’s website.

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