Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 August 2022


Senators' Interests Committee; Reference

3:41 pm

Photo of Alex AnticAlex Antic (SA, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the following proposed amendment to the resolutions relating to senators' interests be referred to the Standing Committee of Senators' Interests for inquiry and report:

Resolution 3 — Registrable interests

After paragraph (m), insert:

(ma) any association or involvement with domestic or international political, activist or lobbying organisations, non-government organisations or other bodies, international societies, charitable foundations, not for profit organisations, or advocacy groups in the previous ten (10) years including but not limited to:

(i) employment by such bodies;

(ii) membership of such bodies;

(iii) office(s) held with such bodies;

(iv) participation in, or receiving of, training or other educational programs or material with or from such bodies; or

(v) prizes, awards or commendations sought or received from such bodies.

Photo of Larissa WatersLarissa Waters (Queensland, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Sue LinesSue Lines (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Larissa WatersLarissa Waters (Queensland, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

The Greens support increased transparency, and we believe that people should know who is influencing the decisions made by their representatives. But this proposal doesn't seek more transparency about politicians' relationships with all groups—only some groups. It doesn't seek disclosure of senators' relationships with religious groups or industry lobby groups—no, it's just another in a very long line of thinly veiled attacks on charities and the not-for-profit sector. The previous government consistently tried to silence the voices of organisations fighting in the public interest, whether they were refugee advocates, environmental groups or welfare organisations. They threatened the tax-deductibility of environmental charities, they cut funding to NGOs, they gagged charities from engaging in public debate, they tied charities up in red tape, and they tried—and, thankfully, failed—to remove charitable status of organisations involved in protests against unconscionable laws. This motion isn't about transparency. If you were actually serious about that, you'd be calling for donations reform and stopping the revolving door that will set people like you up for a future job— (Time expired)

Photo of Sue LinesSue Lines (President) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that business of the Senate motion No. 1, moved by Senator Antic, be agreed to.