Victoria's laws for disclosing political donations have long been criticised as among the weakest in the nation, prompting concern that influence could be up for sale. Under existing rules, political parties vying for power in Victoria need only comply with federal laws, currently requiring the annual disclosure of donations worth more than $13,500. The state's Labor government has promised a sweeping overhaul which, according to Premier Daniel Andrews would make Victoria's political donation laws the strictest in Australia. Mr Andrews' claim is a fair call. Under the new rules the state will have the lowest cap on political donations in the nation. It will also have the equal lowest disclosure threshold for donations and among the most transparent reporting requirements, while also casting its net widely to include third party political campaigners. Furthermore, penalties for breaches will be equal to the toughest in the country. Foreign donations would be banned. But Victoria won't be banning donations from property developers, or from tobacco, liquor and gambling businesses, as NSW has done. Victoria's proposed cap on donations ' at $4000 per four-year term (that is, an average of $1000 a year) ' is far lower than the cap imposed in NSW; in essence, removing formal political donations as a means of exerting influence over government.
Verdict: Fair Call