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Australia’s Weakest Political Donations Laws Pass Parliament

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 16 November 2023

Tags: Democracy, Electoral Reform, Donation Disclosure, Political Donations, Integrity, Transparency

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Leader

Tasmania will finally have political donations laws but they will be the weakest in the nation. Thanks to the major parties’ team effort, the set of reforms that have passed will do little to improve integrity and transparency.

The Liberals deserve plenty of harsh criticism for these pathetic laws, but after ten years of anti-democratic behaviour we’d expect nothing less from them. Labor on the other hand had promised so much, but delivered absolutely nothing except political self-interest.

With the Liberals in minority in both houses, this was an unprecedented opportunity for real reform to electoral laws – to ensure transparency, integrity, and fairness in our democracy. Rather than taking this opportunity, Labor backed the Liberals instead and voted against strengthening these laws. 

Labor can come up with whatever convenient excuse they like for their broken promise to Tasmanians, but the fact is there was a pathway to this legislation passing without the government’s support.

We don’t buy Labor’s argument for voting against strengthening these laws, especially given their vested interest in keeping the status quo. In the past five years they’ve received $4.5 million dollars in secret donations, and under these laws they will still have the ability to rake in huge amounts of dark money.

We still won't know who pays the Liberals and Labor to sing their tune  The secret MOU the Labor party struck with the pokies lobby after the 2018 election is just one example of influence at work. Little wonder both parties voted against banning donations from the gambling and tobacco corporations, and property developers.  

Unlike both major parties, the Greens will continue to stick to our principles and fight for laws that deliver the transparent and fair democracy that Tasmanians want and deserve.