Tasmanian Times

Media Release

Hodgman Government still silent on political donations reform

Jo Siejka MLC
Labor Member for Pembroke
20 December 2018
  • Labor welcomes removal of election day print media ban
  • Government failing to ensure public confidence in political donations
  • Tasmania’s donation laws the weakest in the country

Tasmania’s political donations laws are the weakest in the country and should be the priority in reforming the Electoral Act.

Labor Transparency Committee Chair Jo Siejka said while Labor welcomes the lifting of the ban on print media on election day, it is concerning that the Government is dragging its feet on the most important components of the Review.

“Tasmania has some of the worst transparency in the nation around political donations, where currently political parties only have to declare donations over $13,800 and individual lower house candidates aren’t required to declare anything at all,” Ms Siejka said.

“This compares with the $1,000 limit in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

“The review should be looking at shortening the time in which donations must be declared.

“Donations from the 17-18 financial year, which took in the last state election will still not be declared until February.

“We’re lagging behind the rest of the country and Tasmanians want to know that political parties are accountable.”

In its submission to the review of the Electoral Act, Labor recommended all political parties as well as candidates should have to disclose donations above $1,000 and, like in other jurisdictions, those disclosures should be made within 14 days.

Labor has also recommended candidates should be limited in the amount they are able to spend on campaigns.

“These proposed changes are long overdue, and Labor hopes that the Premier and Attorney General are with us in wanting to clean up donations laws,” Ms Siejka said.

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  1. Dave Parsell

    December 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Time for all donations to be declared as soon as they are received. Transparency!

  2. max

    December 21, 2018 at 9:49 am

    While ever we have donations to politicians or political parties, there will be corruption.

    What is a donation, other than a bribe in the expectation of a return? Political parties are not football teams. As a staunch supporter of a football team, I know that it is good to support them, even if sometimes they disappoint. But football teams do not make decisions that may be the life or death for you or your family.

    At every election we see the vast majority of the voters go to the polling booths like sheep to the slaughter .. and vote for the same party, possibly the same one their parents voted for.

    Any change of government is made by the few free thinkers who change their vote, but these free thinkers are often influenced by the amount of propaganda that parties can afford .. hence the need for donations.

    Take away these donations, or blatant bribes, and perhaps we will get the politicians we deserve, not the one who bought their election.

    Turnbull donated a million dollars to himself, but did we get the right outcome? His party didn’t think so.

    If every politician seeking election was given the same amount to spend and was given the same amount of free TV or newspaper coverage, corruption would be dealt a severe blow and we might get an honest election.

    It can be done, and it would be done, if politicians didn’t think they could get an advantage out of donations. What is a little corruption if it gets you elected with all the perks and lurks?

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