Politics in the Pub: transparency in donations and truth in political advertising
The Tasmanian Government has finally put legislation before the Parliament to make political donations more transparent and modernise Tasmania’s Electoral Act. But do the proposed laws go far enough?
Join our panel of experts to hear what Tasmania’s donations and electoral laws should look like.
lutruwita/Tasmania is the only state in Australia with no law requiring disclosure of political donations. Tasmanians experienced the consequences of this in the 2018 state election, which was dominated by the influence of the gambling industry.
In the last financial year alone, the Tasmanian major parties received almost $5.5 million in donations, with the donors of $4.2 million of this amount still unknown.
The proposed legislation still leaves lutruwita/Tasmania with the weakest regulation of third-party campaigners, such as industry lobby groups, of any state or territory in Australia. Donations don’t need to be disclosed over $5000. The law introduces public funding for politicians without limiting spending. Updates to the Electoral Act are mostly technical and miss the opportunity to introduce truth in political advertising requirements, meaning that its still legal to lie in a political advertisements.
Tasmanians deserve better. With the laws likely to be debated in the coming weeks, this is our chance to ensure a strong political donations regime is established in lutruwita/Tasmania.
Roland Browne is a partner at FitzGerald and Browne Lawyers and community leader on donations disclosure. As the director of Election Funding Reform, a community group advocating for better political donations disclosure, he organised a public forum calling for change.
Professor Richard Eccleston is Director of the Tasmanian Policy Exchange, specialising in research on political donations disclosure in lutruwita/Tasmania. He wrote the influential paper “Campaign finance reform in Tasmania: issues and options”.
Eloise Carr is Director of the Australia Institute Tasmania, who’s research streams include democracy and accountability in lutruwita/Tasmania. She’s contributed throughout the reform process on Tasmania’s donations laws, with a focus on truth in political advertising.
Rachel Hay, Anne Kantor Fellow at the Australia Institute Tasmania, will MC the event.
Thursday, August 18, 2022 at 6:00pm - 7:30pm AEST
Hobart Brewing Co.
16 Evans St
Hobart, TAS 7000
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