I was most shocked to read the vitriolic and inaccurate attack on Mr Corrigan by MLA Gareth Ward in your letters page. Even though Mr Ward’s response was quite typical by playing the man and not the issue, the inaccuracies of his statement are in my opinion an assassination on Mr Corrigan’s character. As someone who was often on the receiving end of one of Mr Ward’s tirades I recognise one when I see it.
The question put to Mr Ward and to Mrs Hancock was simple. Why did you lodge electoral funding returns that showed zero donations when donors attended events and specified each of these candidates as the recipient of a donation.
For Mr Ward to then cast doubt on the factuality of that statement beggars belief as the evidence exists within the NSW electoral funding register and Mr Ward and Mrs Hancock both know this.
The second question was also simple - where did the other 93 per cent of funding for an $185,000 campaign in 2003 for Mrs Hancock come from? That shouldn’t be too hard to answer and the community has an absolute right to know - transparency and accountability.
The Greens in NSW spent many years uncovering a nexus between donations and decisions and have been a pivotal part of electoral funding reform. Today Lee Rhiannon continues that work in the federal sphere. The Greens ran a successful web based campaign called Democracy4Sale which mapped the money trail around NSW.
I’ve been a member of The Greens for some time and Mr Corrigan was never employed by The Greens - he made a submission to The Greens and all other political parties in respect to electoral funding reform. It is very legitimate for community members to be concerned about these issues and it doesn’t warrant negative characterisation.
Mr Ward finishes with a statement that he has ‘fought corruption and inappropriate conduct everyday of his political life’. With such a clear statement it shouldn’t be too much to ask him to answer the questions without a fit of histrionics and disclose how his campaign was paid for and encourage Mrs Hancock to do the same. Clear up the opaque with facts Mr Ward and then let's all get on with the job of cleaning up politics.