Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
Today’s Australian Electoral Commission donations show the desperate need for electoral reform.
Dark money from vested interests continues to flow in to the major parties, corrupting democracy dollar by dollar.
Despite spending $3.42 million on their campaign, the Tasmanian Liberals only disclosed $260,000 worth of donations - just under 8% of their total expenditure.
Labor, likewise, only disclosed $180,160 – 15% of their total $1.17 million expenditure.
The Greens, however, disclosed $301,498 of our donations.* This is over a third of our total expenditure of $877,047.
The Greens’ Electoral Amendment (Integrity of Elections) Bill 2021 would have significantly improved Tasmania’s weak electoral laws. Sadly, our bill was blocked by the Liberals.
Our bill would have made significant changes, including but not limited to –
• Setting a cap of $3,000 on political donations.
• Only allowing political donations to be made by ‘natural persons’.
• Setting the donation disclosure threshold to $1,000.
• Introduction a real-time disclosure framework.
• Provide an expenditure cap for Assembly elections.
• Introducing ‘truth in political advertising’ laws.
The Gutwein Government’s much delayed proposal, on the other hand, only sets the disclosure threshold to $5,000, and sets no donation cap or expenditure cap.
The Liberals’ bill would still leave Tasmania with the weakest political donation laws in the country.**
The Liberals must listen to the recommendations contained in our submission and the submissions of other individuals and pro-democracy organisations and adopt measures from the Greens’ bill into their final legislation.
If they do not, we will be moving amendments to try to strengthen donations disclosure and restore public trust.
* including the donations published on the Greens’ website - https://greens.org.au/tas/about/donors/20202021
** Details contained in our submission - https://tasmps.greens.org.au/submission/electoral-act-review-electoral