Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten visited Oxley to announce a major upgrade to the Ipswich Motorway.
Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten visited Oxley to announce a major upgrade to the Ipswich Motorway. David Nielsen

Shorten throws down the donations gauntlet

LABOR Leader Bill Shorten has challenged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to meet the Opposition's policy of declaring all political donations of $1000 or more.

Mr Shorten issued the challenge yesterday after former Liberal Party treasurer Michael Yabsley told the ABC it was "crunch time" for the party to address the issue.

Mr Yabsley told Four Corners he was aware of donations from New South Wales property developers being funnelled to the state party through a federal "associated entity", the Free Enterprise Foundation.

Its donations have been in focus in an Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation because property developers are banned from making political donations in the state.

Federal Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos has faced scrutiny in light of the inquiry because donations were made when he was state party treasurer. He insists he was not involved with such activity.

Mr Yabsley said years of damage to the reputations of people, businesses and parties pointed to "the absolute case to do away with the system of political fundraising we ... have".

Labor has long had a policy of declaring all donations of $1000 or more, but the Coalition declares only those over the disclosure threshold - $13,400.

Mr Turnbull avoided questions on the topic yesterday and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann would say only all political parties were "expected to comply".


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