Government must hand back tobacco donations
The NSW Labor Opposition has demanded the O'Farrell Government hand back the $59,720 in donations it received from big tobacco in the final days before political donations from tobacco companies were banned in NSW.
"In the final days before political donations from tobacco companies were banned in NSW, the O'Farrell Government accepted nearly $60,000 from British American Tobacco and the Cigarettes, Tobacco and Cigars Group," Shadow Health Minister, Dr Andrew McDonald said.
"The O'Farrell Government's addiction to big tobacco donations has killed what little credibility it had left when it comes to addressing smoking rates in NSW.
"The Liberal Party is infamous for courting big tobacco donations and it appears the ban on donations was only an impetus for the Premier to make an even faster grab for tainted cash.
"The Health Minister, Jillian Skinner should be banging on the Premier's door demanding the tainted donations from big tobacco are returned immediately.
"Big tobacco's motives are clear – they want people to smoke.
"It is beyond reprehensible that the Health Minister, Jillian Skinner would allow political donations from big tobacco to be courted and accepted in the first place.
"Big tobacco isn't donating to the O'Farrell Government for no reason. The Health Minister needs to come clean on what influence British American Tobacco is having at the cabinet room table.
“The reality is smoking causes one in five of all cancer deaths in NSW and more than 6,500 people die each year from smoking related diseases.
"As a practicing medical practitioner, I see firsthand the impact smoking has on families across our State.
"One of the most important steps in cancer control is driving down smoking rates – that’s why the Labor Party stopped accepting donations from tobacco companies more than seven years ago.
"Jillian Skinner needs to start behaving like a Health Minister and announce these donations will be handed back to big tobacco today."
Tags: Andrew McDonald, Barry O'Farrell, cancer, donations, health, Jillian Skinner, tobacco donations