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Gutwein Delaying Donations Reform, Scared of a Fair Fight

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Tags: Political Donations, Donation Disclosure, Transparency

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Peter Gutwein is clearly afraid he can’t win the next election without banking millions in secret donations from corporate backers.

Tasmania has the weakest donations disclosure laws in the country. In Parliament today, the Premier showed again he has no interest in fixing them – despite previous acknowledgement by his predecessor that reform is needed.

The Liberals’ win at the 2018 State Election was bankrolled by the gambling industry. The quid pro quo to the Tasmanian Hospitality Association came after the election in the form of a $4 million funding boost.

Given the great job they do for and on behalf of vested interests, there is no doubt the dark money is still pouring in to Liberal Party coffers.

Despite these ongoing corrupted dealings, at least under Will Hodgman it seemed there was some chance reforms would be made to the Electoral Act – tepid and drawn out as that process may have been.

It is clear Peter Gutwein has let his fear of losing an election get in the way of strengthening our democracy.

The Premier knows the Liberals would be in dire straits if the 2022 election was a fair contest, so he’s paving the way for super-funded scare campaigns to continue indefinitely into the future.

We welcome the news that Labor is finally following the Greens in taking this issue seriously. We look forward to working constructively with them to ensure meaningful reforms can be achieved.

In the meantime, we would encourage Labor to follow the Greens’ lead and voluntarily disclose all donors in near real time who gave them more than $1500 in the 2018 - 19 financial year.

The corrupting influence secret, dirty money has on our elections is a critical issue for our democracy. The Premier must prioritise the health of our political system over his political cowardice and his own selfish ambitions