Tuesday, 20 June 2017
by leave—I amend general business notice of motion 361 in the terms circulated in the chamber and move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(ii) the High Court stated that the particular concern was that reliance by political candidates on private patronage may, over time, become so necessary as to sap the vitality, as well as the integrity, of the political branches of government, and
(iii) large political donations from both foreign and domestic donors threaten the integrity of Australia's democratic institutions; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) ban foreign donations and place caps on domestic donations to protect the integrity of Australia's democratic institutions,
(ii) cap election expenditure per seat, and
(iii) mitigate any caps with increased public funding.
The coalition government believes that it is important that only Australians and Australian entities can participate in our elections. Following the 2016 election the Special Minister of State referred a range of issues to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for inquiry. The committee, in an interim report tabled in March, recommended banning foreign donations. The government welcomed this interim report and has committed to ban foreign donations. It will introduce legislation later this year. With regard to the wider donation restrictions proposed in this motion, this is, as previously outlined, a subject for wider reference to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.
Question agreed to.