Image for Crackdown on donations would destroy activist groups, GetUp says

Donors who give less than $5 a week would have to fill in a statutory declaration under proposed new laws

The activist group GetUp has criticised the Turnbull government’s proposed crackdown on foreign political donations ( HERE ), saying its legislation will destroy the revenue streams of grassroots groups and minor parties.

In a submission to the joint standing committee on electoral matters, which is holding an inquiry into election funding and disclosure, GetUp says the government’s bill contains an extraordinary requirement for not-for-profit organisations to obtain a statutory declaration from donors who give just $4.80 a week to political campaign organisations such as GetUp.


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It says according to Sections 302L and 302P of the bill’s explanatory memorandum, buried on pages 43 and 45, the government makes it clear that if individuals want to donate $250 or more annually to an organisation they will have to declare they are an “allowable donor” and have a justice of the peace or a police officer witness their declaration.

GetUp says that would require organisations to monitor cumulative small donations in real time and, once the annual $250 ceiling is met, to refuse further donations until a statutory declaration is obtained.

Failure to comply with the law would result in 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $210,000 …

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