Powerful and well-resourced business groups, unions and not-for-profits are influencing policy in Australia to serve their interests, sometimes at the expense of the public interest. Stronger checks and balances on policy influence are needed, to make Australian politics cleaner and fairer.
This discussion paper sets out the proposed levels of caps on electoral expenditure and political donations, as well as the introduction of partial public funding of political parties and candidates as recommended by the independent inquiry.
While the states are making improvements to their political donations laws and practices, Canberra still has a long way to go.
On 1 December 2016 the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory resolved to conduct an Inquiry under section 4A of the Inquiries Act (NT) into options for the reform of political funding and donations in the Northern Territory (‘the Inquiry’).
This advisory report examined the Bill to strengthen the transparency of foreign influence in Australia’s political and government decision making.
This inquiry focused upon the level of influence that political donations exert over the public policy decisions of political parties, Members of Parliament and government administration.
Much-anticipated changes to Victoria’s political finance laws favour the big parties and fall short of full transparency.
The Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform bill seeks to ban foreign donations to political parties and their “associated entities”. But it also seeks to capture organisations, including charities, that undertake public advocacy on policy issues.
While most would agree that only Australians should have the power to influence our election outcomes, our nation is one of the few western democracies where foreign money can still be used to influence domestic elections.
In announcing this Bill as part of a package of bills focusing on foreign interference in Australian politics, the Prime Minister specifically highlighted China, whilst noting that the reforms were not purely about China.
Freedom of speech is fundamental to a free society. Political communication is obviously an important mode of speech and accordingly, the laws and regulations that seek to restrict it are inherently concerning.
Proposed criminal offences, with regard to foreign interference in Australian politics and national security, will significantly expand the scope of existing laws against espionage and treason. This will make it easier to prosecute spies and other foreign nationals who seek undue influence over Australian business...
This paper considers the potential impact of China’s expanded political influence activities in New Zealand and how any effects could be mitigated and countered.
This discussion paper suggests that the Australian mining industry is dominated by foreign corporate interests that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars influencing our political process.
Taking private donations out of the equation would help restore trust in the political system – and we’re already partway there, writes Mike Steketee.
Recent controversy has refocussed attention on foreign donations to Australian political parties.
A corruption survey has revealed major concerns within the Australian population about perceived back-room deals between business and government.
Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer shows a serious lack of trust in business and political leaders across the country.
And the group's local arm...
InformationWhile Donors are required to declare only their donations, Political Parties and Associated Entities must give details of all receipts above the disclosure threshold for the financial year ($13,000 for 2015-16). Many of these receipts are not donations and may represent, for...
Declared donations and payments to Australian political parties are about to top $1 billion, a new analysis of data shows. But the true figure could be triple that because donations under $13,200 do not have to be declared.
The current funding and disclosure scheme...