Federal donations reform

The Greens are committed to democratic reforms that give people more of a say in how Australian government works.  We campaign to remove the corrupting influence of donations from Australian politics and to strengthen the democratic values of our voting system so that ordinary people can have their voice heard and can genuinely participate in the political process. 

See Lee Rhiannon's work as the Greens' Democracy spokesperson.

Recent donations reforms in the federal parliament have been slow.  There has been no move to ban donations to political parties at a federal level, such as has occured in NSW and Queensland in recent years.

In 2010 the Labor government introduced a donations reform bill, the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2010, with six measures in three key areas:

  • increasing the transparency of political donations disclosure;
  • more frequent and timely reporting of political donations and expenditure; and
  • reforming the public funding of elections.

The bill would lower the disclosure threshold from the current $11,900 disclosure threshold to $1,000.  It is currently before the Senate but progress on the bill has stalled. See text of bill and second reading speeches

A similar bill, the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2009 was passed by the House of Representatives twice but was defeated in the Senate.

Federal Green Paper and parliamentary inquires

In December 2008 the federal government released a green paper prepared by Senator John Faulkner, then Special Minister for State, that discussed the reform of election donations, funding and expenditure. The paper offered a robust analysis of the challenges and a way forward for reform but sadly has not been advanced.  The Greens submission to that inquiry remains an excellent blueprint for donations reform.

In 2011 the federal Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters held an inquiry into election and political party funding. Senator Lee Rhiannon was the Greens member on that inquiry.  the Greens supported some recommendations of that inquiry and made a disssenting report about its failure to advance donations reform.

Read more about federal donations inquiries.



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