Political donations

Labor has had legislation in the Parliament for some time now that bans foreign donations and lowers the threshold on all political donations. Banning of foreign donations has been the policy of the Australian Labor Party since 2007.

The Liberals could have supported these important reforms, but have failed to do so despite the fact many Australians, and indeed politicians on both sides know that the current system just isn’t good enough.

Labor has repeatedly tried to pass legislation to ban foreign donations, but it has been blocked time and time again by the Coalition.

Late last year, Bill Shorten, together with Labor’s Shadow Special Minister of State, Senator Don Farrell, introduced legislation into the Federal Parliament entitled: Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Donation Reform and Transparency) Bill 2016.

This bill would;

  • Prohibit the receipt of foreign donations.
  • Reduce the donation disclosure threshold from the current level of over $13,000 (indexed to inflation) to a fixed $1,000.
  • Ban ‘donation splitting’ where donations are spread between different branches of political parties and associated entities to avoid disclosure obligations.
  • Ban the receipt of anonymous donations above $50.
  • Link public funding to campaign expenditure to prevent serial candidates making a windfall from standing for election.
  • Introduce new offences and increased penalties for abuses of the political donation disclosure regime.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has spent years fighting against lowering the disclosure threshold so the Liberals can hide their big money donations.

There are no more excuses left – it’s time Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition supported political donations reform, including banning foreign donations and put the national interest ahead of their own interests.

 

 

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