Labor’s bid to clean up political donations

Tasmanian Labor
  • Tasmania has worst donation disclosure laws in the country
  • Liberals promised action; Peter Gutwein walks away
  • Labor’s Bill aims to level the playing field
  • Labor has taken action to clean up Tasmania’s political donations laws.

    Shadow Attorney-General and Labor Member for Clark Ella Haddad said Tasmania has the weakest laws in the country.

    “The bar is very low, and results in a perception that money buys influence in Tasmania.

    “Candidates for House of Assembly elections are under no obligation to declare any donations they receive or any of their campaign spending, nor are there any limits on the amount of money that can be donated or spent.

    “This leads to an uneven playing field and can lead to outcomes where candidates are elected because they have the deepest pockets.”

    Ms Haddad said despite a promise after the last election to reform Tasmania’s laws, the Liberals have done nothing but make administrative tweaks to the Electoral Act.

    “What people most want action on is real-time disclosure of donations, lowering the threshold for disclosure and requiring individual candidates to disclose the source of their donations.

    “People want to know who donates money to the candidates they are voting for.

    “One of Peter Gutwein’s first acts as Premier was to walk away from the reform the government had promised.

    “It’s unsurprising the Liberals have not rushed to clean up these lax laws, as they have benefited from them for years. Where the Premier has failed to act, we will ask the Parliament to do so.

    “The Labor party has written our own draft Bill to fix these laws, and the Bill has been released for public comment.

    “Labor’s Bill would require political parties, individual MPs and candidates to declare any donations they receive up to $1000 or cumulative donations up to $1000, every 30 days. It would also introduce spending caps for House of Assembly candidates, like those that already apply to candidates for Legislative Council and local government elections.

    “Labor wants to see a level playing field for elections. Elections must be a battle of ideas, not a battle of bank accounts.”

    Ella Haddad MP

    Shadow Attorney General

    /Public Release. View in full here.