Four years after gambling interests bought the election for the Liberals, new donations disclosure and electoral laws were tabled in Parliament today.
We’re at the bottom of the table nationally now, and we’ll stay there if these laws pass Parliament unamended.
While the Liberals’ electoral reforms will undoubtedly be an improvement, we are disappointed the legislation has not materially changed since the draft Bill put out under Peter Gutwein as Premier late last year.
At $5000, the Bill introduces the equal highest disclosure threshold of any State or territory.
It provides no expenditure cap, no third party donation limits, and a ban only on foreign donations which are prohibited under Commonwealth law anyway.
Critically there are no bans on donations from developers, corporations and other vested interests. There is nothing in the legislation tabled today that would prevent a repeat of the corrupted 2018 State election.
There is also no real-time disclosure of donations other than during election campaigns, meaning that for three years and eleven months of an electoral term, voters will still have to wait more than a year to learn which vested interest has donated and declared how much money to the two major parties.
Big gambling, logging, mining, tourism and developers will still be able to buy and wield enormous influence over the two parties of government in this State.
In short – under this proposal, Tasmania will still have the weakest electoral laws in the nation.*
We are disappointed that the Premier, who did the right thing by our democracy by announcing restoration of the House of Assembly, has failed to repair Premier Gutwein’s weak, politically self-interested Bill.
Tasmanians deserve better.
Our submission to the draft bills is available here: https://tasmps.greens.org.au/submission/electoral-act-review-electoral
*see below for comparison table: