Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has said that Labor’s concern about the potential for overseas political donors to use their money to buy influence should equally apply to wealthy Australian companies that bankroll parties.
“While the former Treasurer Wayne Swan’s call for a debate on overseas political donations is a start this approach does expose Labor’s failure to end the corrupting influence of political donations whatever the source,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“When in office Labor failed to act on political donation reform.
“The evidence from corruption cases in Queensland, Victoria and NSW to last October’s High Court case on political donations highlights that broad scale electoral funding reforms are long overdue.
“When it comes to using political donations to buy influence there is no evidence to suggest that the problem just lies with money from overseas donors.
“Opposition leader Bill Shorten should give leadership on a major overhaul of electoral funding laws and not use half measures from a former senior Labor minister as cover to make out Labor are engaging on this vital reform.
“The Greens are working for national uniform political donation laws including bans and caps on political donations, limits on election expenditure and greater transparency with real time disclosure of donations.
“We will set this plan out in detail in our submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters when it starts its inquiry into the 2016 election,” Senator Rhiannon said.