Dear Lockwood

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith

Speaker of the House of Representatives

By blog and email

Re: Parliamentary Services Funding benefiting MPs or Parties

Dear Dr Smith,

Some MPs and some political parties own electorate offices that are rented to Parliamentary Services. This appears to be in clear breach of Parliamentary Services Rules.

There are several problems with this:

  1. Political Parties are able to amass a large property portfolio, gaining the benefits of capital gains over time, funding political operations at the expense of tax payers.
  2. Individual MPs owning their own offices receive benefits of capital gains from properties rented to Parliamentary Services.
  3. Individual MPs owning their own properties to Parliamentary Services at greatly reduced rentals to enable them to have an office that is substantially larger or in a better location than what their rule following competitors have.

In all cases I can provide specific examples on my blog if you require them.

Please could you inform me of whether this is legal, or whether it is acceptable under Parliamentary Services rules? If it is not could you please inform me of the action you intend to take against, or if you chose not to take action the action I can take.

Could you please also address the issue of whether an office on a prominent site rented by parliamentary services at below market rates needs to account for the difference in the market rate and the rate paid in the MP’s electoral return. If this is not your responsibility can you please inform me and I will forward this email to the Electoral Commission.

Yours faithfully

Cameron Slater

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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