Donations to Political Parties

6 February 2020

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (12:44): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) recognises transparency and accountability in Government are the hallmarks of a strong democracy;

(b) acknowledges trust in government has reached an all-time low compounded by recent scandals;

(c) notes, with concern, the results of the Australian National University 2019 Australian election study that:

   (i) satisfaction with democracy is at its lowest level (59%) since the constitutional crisis of the 1970s,

   (ii) trust in Government has reached its lowest level on record, with just 25% believing people in government can be trusted, and

   (iii) 56% of Australians believe that the Government is run for 'a few big interests', while just 12% believe the Government is run for 'all the people'; and

(d) further acknowledges that winning back people's trust is among the most urgent challenges facing political leaders;

(e) recognises rebuilding trust with voters involves tightening the rules around political donations;

(f) further recognises that donations to political parties revealed in the Australian Electoral Commission disclosures published on Monday demonstrate the need for urgent political donations reform;

(g) recognises that, ideally, the Government should ban corporate donations from vested interests that seek to influence government policy; and

(h) calls on the Federal Government, as a minimum, to:

   (i) lower the disclosure threshold for political donations to $1000; and

   (ii) for real time disclosures of donations to political parties.

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