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Time Labor ditched Shorten’s weak stance on political donation reform

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 31 Jul 2017

Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has accused Labor of using their classic tactic of different messages for different audiences on political donation reform.

“While Senator Dastyari is going for the ‘full monty’ version calling for a total ban on political donations, Mr Shorten is pushing the minimalist version of reform that goes no further than some transparency changes to reporting and a ban on foreign donations,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“Labor’s official position will not clean up politics or end the corrupting influence of political donations.

“The Dastyari donation scandal that broke last year should have jolted Mr Shorten into backing a thorough clean-up of electoral funding laws.

“It is ludicrous to assert that only foreign donations have an adverse impact on Australian democracy. Domestic corporate political donations can be just as dangerous in terms of buying influence.

“The opposition leader’s weak stance on reform is similar to the approach of earlier Labor leaders.

“When Labor was in government from 2007 to 2013 they had the opportunity to work with the Greens in parliament for an overhaul of political donations. However, they failed to act. 

“The Greens long held position is for a suite of complimentary measures that include caps on election expenditure, bans on donations from for-profit organisations and overseas donations, caps on donations from individuals and improved disclosure of all donations of $1000 or more in real time.

“This is what we are taking into negotiations with the government and opposition through the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters process which is currently underway,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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