When you google ‘Georgina Downer’, the Liberal candidate for the seat of Mayo, one of the first sites that comes up is ‘Georgina Downer, Author at IPA – The Voice For Freedom’. The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) indeed is the voice for freedom from penalty rates for employees, from corporations paying taxes, from a minimum wage, from collective bargaining, from science, from doing anything about climate change, from Australian content on television, from paid parental leave, from knowledge of political donations, from industry super funds, from plain packaging of cigarettes, from Medicare, from Australia Post, from the ABC, from SBS, from the AIS, from the NBN, from CSIRO, from the Snowy River Scheme, from the Human Rights Commission. These are among the 100 policies put out by the IPA some time ago1.
The IPA is a right wing lobbying organisation based in Melbourne which is all about protecting the interests of corporations, and it is these corporations which fund it, although, you’d never know because they are very secretive as to who their donors are. This is because much of it has come from ExxonMobil, Shell, Caltex, BHP Billiton, Telstra, Philip Morris, British-American Tobacco and Visy Industries, among others2,3. The IPA’s concern over the laws designed to curb any ‘foreign’ donations to the community organisation GetUp, indicate that the IPA receives significant funding from overseas, most likely from the US4.
Georgina Downer has been parachuted into South Australia to contest the seat of Mayo, the seat held by her father, and which was, until recently, held by Centre Alliance’s Rebekha Sharkie who had to resign when caught up in the dual citizenship fiasco. Despite being raised in South Australia, Downer has lived in Melbourne for the last 20 years and has been parachuted into the seat to try to restart the Mayo dynasty for the Liberal Party.
The IPA is the premier climate change denial organisation in Australia, and Georgina Downer has repeatedly deleted polite questions regarding her attitude to dealing with climate change, and she has blocked me from asking them. Perhaps Mayo voters should ask her about that, as well as all the other IPA policies which she apparently supports, and which are listed in the first paragraph. I’m sure they would like to know.