Australia’s political finance laws are lax: the disclosure threshold is much too high, loopholes allow big donors to evade detection and the public has to wait up to a year and a half to see what ends up being disclosed.
Australia needs stronger donation transparency laws before the next election.
Leading civil society organisations have published an open letter calling for long overdue political finance reforms to make politics fairer and more transparent. Add your name today.
Parliament of Australia,
Australians have waited long enough for effective and fair political finance reform.
However, changes designed and supported by incumbent politicians need to be carefully scrutinised.
We need to ensure that, by accident or design, any changes to political donation rules do not lock out new entrants from Parliament, or create loopholes that perpetuate dark money while reducing the role charities and civil society play in our democracy.
If proposed changes have the net effect of excluding new entrants and civil society from participating in our democracy, they by definition cannot be considered as reforms to our current system, and ought to be rejected.
The guiding principle for any political donations reform should be: “first, do no harm, do not make matters worse.”