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Greens accused of hypocrisy in taking $30K political donation

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 6/12/2022 Sarah Liversidge For Daily Mail Australia

The Greens have been accused of hypocrisy after accepting almost $30,000 in political donations from one of South Africa’s richest people in an environmental fight against a gas producer.

The party accepted $29,000 in donations from NT cattle giant Rallen Australia Pty Ltd and its property arm Amanzi Property Group Pty Ltd last financial year, despite the party's claim not to take money from 'big corporations'.  

Rallen Pty Ltd is a Johannesburg-based company backed by one of South Africa's richest men, Giovanni Ravazzotti, who is reportedly worth around $400million according to Forbes.

The Greens' website asserts 'money shouldn’t be able to buy political influence, access or policy outcomes. The laws on political donations need to be cleaned up.'

Australian Electoral Commission rules state that any individual donation to a political party of more than $14,500 must be disclosed. However, the Greens' own internal policy is to declare any donation of more than $1,500 over a 12-month period.

The donations were made just months before a Senate committee hearing in October where Greens Senator and committee chair Sarah Hanson-Young accused gas company Tamboran Resources of trying to threaten and intimidate Rallen © Provided by Daily Mail The donations were made just months before a Senate committee hearing in October where Greens Senator and committee chair Sarah Hanson-Young accused gas company Tamboran Resources of trying to threaten and intimidate Rallen Cattle giant Rallen Australia Pty Ltd owns large cattle stations in the NT and donated $29,000 to the Greens last financial year © Provided by Daily Mail Cattle giant Rallen Australia Pty Ltd owns large cattle stations in the NT and donated $29,000 to the Greens last financial year

Sky News reported the donations were made just months before a Senate committee hearing in October where Greens Senator and committee chair Sarah Hanson-Young accused gas company Tamboran Resources of trying to threaten and intimidate Rallen.

Ms Hanson-Young told Sky she was unaware of the donations when she questioned Tamboran Resources managing director Joel Riddle at the hearing on October 10.

'I was not aware, nor were my staff aware, of these donations until today,' she said.

'Thank you for bringing them to our attention. I have written to the Committee to inform its members and will ensure the matter is noted in the inquiry’s report.'   

Senator Hanson-Young said she was unaware of the donations from Rallan until questioned today by the media  © Provided by Daily Mail Senator Hanson-Young said she was unaware of the donations from Rallan until questioned today by the media 

Rallan has been engaged in legal disputes with Tamboran Resources over access to Tanumbirini Station in the Northern Territory's gas-rich Beetaloo Basin. 

Between 2018 and 2020 Rallen purchased five Northern Territory cattle stations worth more than $140 million, and has since been engaged in efforts to fight development of the onshore gas industry.

When asked by Sky why the company had donated to the Greens, Rallen Australia co-director Pierre Langenhoven replied: 'Aren’t we allowed? So it’s fine. OK thanks,' before hanging up.

Daily Mail Australia has approached Ms Hanson-Young for comment on this story.

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