Lost opportunity for meaningful political donations reform

TasCOSS is deeply disappointed at Labor’s decision to join the Government in walking away from meaningful political donations reform, turning their back on key amendments which would have strengthened the Electoral Disclosure and Funding Bill and improved transparency and accountability in politics.

TasCOSS CEO, Ms Adrienne Picone, said Tasmania has the weakest political donations laws in the country.

“TasCOSS and organisations across the community services industry were widely consulted on key amendments which would have improved the Bill, such as lowering the disclosure threshold to $1,000, capping expenditure at elections, and increased frequency of disclosure,” Ms Picone said.

“Such amendments would have made the Bill consistent with donation laws in other jurisdictions and given Tasmanians some confidence they know who is potentially influencing the decisions our politicians make.

“Instead, what we’ve witnessed is the major parties teaming up to vote against the public’s right to know. And without laws which address truth in political advertising, in Tasmania it remains perfectly legal for political parties and candidates to mislead voters during an election campaign.

“Trust in political institutions is on the decline and this is just another example of the major parties joining forces to serve their self-interest at the expense of transparency. Ultimately, it is Tasmanians who lose out.”