INDI MP Helen Haines' independent status has been questioned by a federal parliamentary colleague in the wake of revelations her successful election campaign received $35,000 from a rich-lister climate change advocate.
Simon Holmes a Court's Climate 200 group was the biggest individual donor to Dr Haines campaign with two instalments made in the final month of the campaign and following a social media shoutout on April 11 for $50,000 from Team Orange supporters to combat opponents with "deeper pockets than us".
Victorian Liberal senator Jane Hume, who actively campaigned alongside Indi Liberal candidate Steve Martin, said the revelation of Mr Holmes a Court's involvement showed Dr Haines' had been "bought out".
"In what way is the member for Indi independent if her agenda can be bought out by the biggest donor?" Senator Hume said.
"Climate policy takes a careful, considered and rational approach in its design and debate.
"It is disappointing to observe a self-proclaimed 'independent' sell out to the highest bidder.
"The news has revealed Helen Haines is independent for a price.
"Being bought out does not create community minded policy."
According to an ABC report, Ms Haines was among 12 candidates supported by Climate 200 with others including Rebekah Sharkie, Adam Bandt, Kerryn Phelps, Julia Banks and Rob Oakeshott on the proviso they "champion strong action on climate change".
"What will our independent sell out on next?" Senator Hume said.
"Cash for comments is unacceptable."
Donors gave a total of $421,011 to Dr Haines' campaign which dwarfed the $137,000 her predecessor Cathy McGowan received when she won the seat from Liberal Sophie Mirabella in 2013 and the $203,748 donated in 2016.
Dr Haines succeeded Ms McGowan when she won the seat by less than 3000 votes on a two-candidate preferred basis.
"We are experiencing extreme summer heat, less reliable autumn breaks, reduced winter and spring rainfall and decreased snow cover.
"We may well see the complete loss of the Victorian Alpine zone this century.
"Our physical and mental health is being impacted."
Dr Haines said she had been fully transparent with the confirmed of the financial support received from Mr Holmes a Court.
"The Indi independent campaign has been open and accountable," she said.
"I look forward to Monday and the complete disclosure of the names and numbers of donors to the Liberal, Nationals, Labor, Greens and Palmer's United Australia parties by their federal election candidates in Indi and Farrer."
The 2019 federal election financial disclosure returns will be revealed on Monday.