Submission on Banning Dirty Donations

Download this submission: Submission to the Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Banning Dirty Donations) Bill 2020 (PDF, 116 KB, 6 November 2020)

Read all the submissions on the inquiry website here.

We responded to a private senator's bill that would ban donations from several specific industries and limit any donor to $3,000 per election term.

These are not the reforms we need

The identified industries include mining, banking, and gambling—banning donations from these industries aligns with a particular worldview. Evidence of corruption involving members of these industries does not mean these industries are uniquely prone to corruption.

Limiting donations to $3,000 per electoral term would be very restrictive for individuals, especially since the cost of running a a candidate increased to $2,000 at the 2019 federal election. It would also be most damaging for smaller and newer parties that have not enjoyed six-figure donations in past decades.

Neither an industry-based ban nor a per-donor cap on donations to political parties would stop organisations or individuals spending millions of dollars on advertising campaigns to influence the Australian public.

What we need is transparency

Donations over $1,000 should be publicly reported (currently this rule applies only to donations over $14,000). The voting public deserves to know who is funding which candidates.

This reporting should happen in real-time (within a week). Political donations (over $14,000) are currently reported on the AEC website in February for the previous financial year. No matter the dollar amount, a donation made in July 2018 that helped fund the 2019 election campaign was only reported at the start of 2020!

text: Democracy needs transparency. Report political donations over $1,000 in real time. Image: money going into a piggy bank.

Real-time reporting of political donations of over $1,000 is the Science Party's long-held position. We argued for it also in our earlier submission on lowering the donation disclosure threshold.

The Science Party is staffed entirely by volunteers. We don't take money from corporations, only from people like you. If you want to help us bring truth and honesty back into politics please consider a tax deductible donation today.