The Liberals’ undermining of Tasmania’s democracy through heel-dragging on political donations and continued lack of commitment to transparency in government has Tasmania lagging the nation.
Today’s Grattan Institute report gives Tasmania a woeful “E” rank for transparency, the lowest rank in their metric. It is a damning indictment on the secretive, corporatist Hodgman Government.
The Grattan Institute has called for Tasmania to follow the lead of all other States by legislating to require disclosure all political donations of $5,000 or more, and by disclosing donations at least every six months, and within 21 days during election campaigns.
As it is, voters at this year’s March election won’t know for more than a year how much big gambling or foreign money the Tasmanian Liberals took to spend their way back in to office. Little wonder they have no apparent appetite for long needed reform that lifts Tasmania from the bottom of the national ladder on transparency.
This is an unacceptable standard for an advanced democracy in 2018.
The Grattan Institute is proposing very basic and sensible measures. The only possible objection is on the basis of wanting to keep Tasmanians in the dark.
Through accepting undisclosed donations, their conduct in Parliament, across the Budget Estimates table, via Right to Information undermining and misleading public statements from the Premier even today, it is clear the State Liberals prefer the dark for voters.
Donations reform is not controversial, and is not complicated. All it requires is a measure of leadership and decisive action to strengthen the foundations of our democracy.