Election campaign funding

Campaign finance

Discussion paper

Confronting State capture

State capture occurs when powerful or wealthy interests interfere with decision-making and assume a degree of control over the democratic rule-making process itself. This report breaks down six modes of influence used in State capture.

Election funding and disclosure in Australian jurisdictions: a quick guide - February 2022 update

This guide summarises the complex funding and disclosure laws federally, and in each Australian state and territory. This document does not attempt to capture every nuance of each system and is not a substitute for legal advice. The analysis separates out donations and electoral expenditure...

Selling out: how powerful industries corrupt our democracy

This report explores how the powerful fossil fuel, gambling and tobacco industries are attempting to take advantage of Australia’s weak integrity laws, thereby distorting the nation's democratic processes, to put profits ahead of society's wellbeing.
Discussion paper

Good government in Tasmania

Compared to other Australian states, Tasmania has weaker political donation laws, less government transparency and limited public accountability. This report recommends that the Tasmanian government undertake significant, rather than piecemeal, reform in 2021, to ensure the people of Tasmania have confidence in their democracy and...
Working paper

How does digital campaigning affect the problems of political finance?

This paper deals with the intersection between three sets of challenges that constitute existential threats to democracies across the world. The first is money in politics which not only poses the danger of ‘policy capture’ but also, in worse scenarios, state capture by monied interests.

It’s time — for the Palmer electoral law

The Palmer advertisements were a problem in more ways than one. They contained content that was possibly distorted, potentially divisive, and likely damaging to Australia’s reputation and international relationships.
Briefing paper

The High Court’s decision on third-party campaign spending

This paper re-caps the events which influenced electoral reforms in 2018, before examining in greater detail the relevant legislative provisions, the concept of implied freedom of political communication under the Constitution, and the reasoning of the High Court in Unions NSW v New South Wales.

Election funding and disclosure in Australian states and territories: a quick guide - November 2018 update

This guide summarises the often complex funding and disclosure laws federally, and in each Australian state and territory. These laws regulate who can make and receive political donations, how and when those donations must be disclosed, how much money political parties can spend on election...
Discussion paper

Electoral reforms: consultation discussion paper

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.
Briefing paper

Let money speak

This resource argues that the Turnbull Government’s proposal to ban foreign donations and limit political contributions from charities is a flawed and rash proposal that would undermine democracy.

Advisory report on the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017

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.

Bills Digest: Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017

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 and political communication in Australia

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.

Election funding and disclosure in Australian states and territories: a quick guide - November 2017 update

This guide summarises the often complex funding and disclosure laws in each Australian state and territory for the purpose of comparison.

Why we need full public funding of election campaigns

Taking private donations out of the equation would help restore trust in the political system – and we’re already partway there, writes Mike Steketee.

Investigation into NSW Liberal Party electoral funding for the 2011 state election campaign and other matters

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Spicer investigation has exposed prohibited donations, fund channelling and non-disclosures in the NSW Liberal Party’s 2011 state election campaign.
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Rudd, Abbott, Palmer's ad spending claims pure campaign spin

ALP leader Kevin Rudd, Coalition leader Tony Abbott and Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer all accuse each other of attempting to win the election with massive spending on advertising. Are their claims correct?

The reform of political donations, expenditure and funding

This paper considers the constitutional and practical constraints upon reforming electoral campaign funding in Australia. It addresses the banning or capping of political donations, the limiting of campaign expenditure and the expansion of public funding of political parties. In doing so, it draws on the...

Renewing democracy by ending the campaign spending arms race

This submission to the 2020 Summit discusses political financing and argues that removing the dependence of political parties on large donors and preventing the use of parliamentary and government resources for partisan purposes will do much to restore the health of Australian democracy and confidence...

Selling the Australian government

There’s no justification for taxpayer dollars being used to fund party political activity by governments, argues Greg Barns.