20 October 2010
Special Minister of State Gary Gray today introduced legislation into the Parliament to increase transparency and accountability to the political funding and disclosure regime.
Mr Gray said the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2010 was the third bill introduced by the Government over the past two years that was designed to increase transparency and reduce the maximum value of anonymous donations.
“On both previous occasions, those Bills have been blocked by the Opposition,” Mr Gray said.
“In 1984 the Labor Government introduced legislation that, for the first time, required political parties to disclose political donations. Over the course of the past two and a half decades, we have seen substantial tightening and increased regulation of political party activity.
“These regulations have ensured Australian Federal politics has not been marred by many of the issues encountered in other countries.
“However, we must be vigilant to ensure that our laws, and the regulatory environment in which we work, are as good as they can be.”
The Bill 2010 will:
Should the Bill pass the Parliament the measures will commence on 1 July 2011.
The Government is committed to building a dialogue with the Coalition, the Australian Greens and independent members to ensure that real progress can be made in reforming campaign financing.
The Bill gives effect to the Government’s recent commitment to the Australian Greens and the independent members to seek immediate reform of donation, disclosure and funding laws for political parties and election campaigns.
This is not the first time that these provisions have been presented to the Parliament, with the Government pursuing campaign finance reform since May 2008.
The Government remains committed to improving the election funding and disclosure regime to maintain the integrity of the electoral process and to help ensure that election campaigning is transparent and fair.
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