Thursday, 16 August 2018
Donations to Political Parties
I had the privilege of chairing an inquiry into political donations. What we learned through that was the extent to which our donation laws can be avoided and money taken from big businesses, from the big end of town, can be hidden from public view. The Liberal Party and the Labor Party use their business forums to launder money into their political war chests. They do it because they charge; they have a cash-for-access arrangement. Because they serve a bit of food, because they have a table at a venue, they can take tens of thousands of dollars and not disclose a cent of it. In the absence of laws that would compel disclosure—and obviously that is what should happen—this motion calls on political parties to voluntarily disclose which companies have paid, and how much, to get an ear of senior members of parliament. We are very happy to work with any side to ensure that we get more transparency and end the state-sanctioned bribery that is our political donations regime.