D’Amore wants detail on donations review

More details are needed about how election campaigns will be funded if the State Government bans donations from developers, according to Drummoyne MP Angela D’Amore. “I think anything that gives the community confidence that the system is being reformed is a good thing,” Ms D’Amore said. “My concern is how do people feel about public funds being spent [on election campaigns]? It’s something that I want to get feedback on from the community,” she said. Ms D’Amore said that she was not sure if the community would support taxpayer money being spent on political campaigns. “One of the things I have been hearing from many constituents is that [they] like to think that funds go towards public facilities. “We haven’t seen the practicality of the reforms and how they would work. We have to wait and see what these reforms are.”
By Ashlee Betteridge

Concord Hospital to undergo audit
Concord Hospital will be among 11 hospitals across the state to be audited after it was revealed that Gosford Hospital had fudged performance records. An internal audit at Gosford Hospital last year found that triage data had deliberately been changed to meet the hospital’s performance benchmarks. In response, NSW Health launched a series of independent audits of hospitals across the state, to be carried out by accounting firm Deloitte, to ensure hospital performance reports were being completed correctly. A spokesman from the Sydney South West Area Health Service said that Concord Hospital took the accuracy of its performance data seriously. “This important source of information is routinely audited both internally and externally to ensure its accuracy,” the spokesman said. “We welcome this additional external audit, which will increase the confidence in our data quality.”

Donations to the State Labor Party have come under scrutiny in recent weeks following the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation into developer influence at Wollongong Council. During last year’s State Election campaign, Ms D’Amore received $25,000 in contributions, much of which was from developers and local hotels. In her 2003 campaign, Ms D’Amore’s fundraising total was more than $130,000. Ms D’Amore said that a lot of these funds were from community fundraising events, and the current donations system was open and accountable. The Wollongong scandal had tainted the reputation of councils, most of which were doing a good job, Ms D’Amore said. “Most of the councils and councillors I deal with are respectable people and always look at the merits of a development,” she said.

Angela D’Amore said more details are needed before banning donations.

“One of the reforms that has been suggested is that if the DA goes to council the developers have to reveal any donations made. That’s something I would support.” Ms D’Amore said that businesses or individuals who have made donations to her campaign do not receive extra benefits, like more face to face time to lobby. “I think everyone knows that my door is open to everyone in the community, regardless of whether they have donated or not. I think it is quite offensive to imply that this is not the case,” she said. “I don’t approve development applications.”

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