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Democracy Demands Transparency on Donations


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Tags: Political Donations, Donation Disclosure

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

First the ACT and now Queensland have committed to the real time publication of political donations rather than making voters wait up to 18 months to find out who gave how much to which party in the lead up to an election. 

It is well past time Tasmania did the same.

Under current Federal law and in Tasmania, voters went to the poll on 2 July having no idea who was seeking to buy influence with political parties or candidates.  Political donations at the State level are entirely unregulated.

That is neither transparent, nor democratic.  Voters have a right to know the full picture before they cast their vote.

As an example, over the past four election cycles, the Farrell Family has made sizeable donations to the Liberals and Labor, clearly in order to protect their gambling monopoly. 

Yet when Tasmanians went to the polls they did not know they might be voting for parties that would work to protect the financial interests of a major donor whose business causes serious social and economic harm.

The recent Legislative Council inquiry into the Tasmanian Electoral Commission has called for greater transparency in relation to political donations, while the Local Government Association of Tasmania is urging the State Liberal Government to legislate to require all candidates to disclose all political donations.

These requests have to date been ignored by the Hodgman Government.  

When Parliament returns in August, we will bring on the debate for electoral reform, including the real time disclosure of donations to political parties.