$14.8m in political donations revealed - corrupting influence demands reform

Thursday, February 1, 2018 | Lee Rhiannon

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on the Prime Minister to withdraw the government’s seriously flawed electoral funding Bill following the release today of the AEC data on political donations and payments made over the previous financial year.

For the 2016-17 financial year over $207 million was paid to political parties, which includes public election funding.

“The data released today highlights that Australia needs drastic political donation reform as once again we see the huge amount of money donated to major parties by vested corporate interests,” said Senator Rhiannon.

“Only two donations worth $80,000 have been identified as coming from a foreign source under the government’s proposed definition.

“That means only 0.53% of total donations would have been banned last year under the government’s so-called electoral funding reform.

“The Greens are calling for the current Bill to be withdrawn and replaced with legislation that includes a ban or strict caps on corporate donations. It is not just foreign donations that have a corrupting impact on our democratic processes. 

“Other measures that the Bill should include are caps on election expenditure, caps on donations from individuals and improved disclosure of all donations of $1000 or more in real time.

“Over $200,000 dollars was donated in the two days between the end of the 2015/16 financial year and close of polls for the 2016 election.

“The public had to wait 18 months to find out where that money came from but the government’s bill does not attempt to improve that at all.

“The Turnbull government should immediately withdraw the current Bill. Its true intent is to curtail the voice of civil society by limiting their funding options. 

Key Points:

  •     $14.8m in political donations declared by donors
  •     Only 0.53% of total donations identified as being from a foreign source
  •     $200,000 donated before 2016 election, but only revealed today
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Contact: Bjorn Wallin – 0432 425 548