The Victorian Government will act on recommendations contained in a report into donations and lobbying released by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) today.
Recommendations to update donation laws – donations are currently capped at $4,320 per four-year electoral cycle, with strict disclosure requirements – will be incorporated in the terms of reference for an independent expert panel review of the operation of 2018 electoral reforms after the 2022 State Election.
The independent review was mandated in the 2018 electoral reforms and will specifically consider and make recommendations about whether the Electoral Act 2002 should include a cap on political expenditure, as well as other matters.
The Government supports in principle the IBAC report’s recommendations on lobbying reform and will work on implementation if re-elected, in the next term of government.
The Government will also provide dedicated funding to help implement the nation’s most significant integrity reforms relating to parliamentary oversight.
The Government is strengthening the integrity and ethical conduct of Members of Parliament (MPs), Ministers and their staff after earlier this year receiving the report of IBAC’s Operation Watts and immediately accepting all 21 of its recommendations.
An allocation of $8.52 million will support the Department of Parliamentary Services in the implementation of Operation Watts recommendations that relate to the operation of Parliament.
Key to these reforms will be strengthening the training, education and support for electorate officers, including a refreshed member induction led by an expanded People Services team.
Other changes to be made through a combination of new laws and reforms include the establishment of a Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner to receive and investigate complaints about possible misconduct from MPs and the creation of a Joint Parliamentary Ethics Committee.
Work is underway to draft new legislation to establish the Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner and Joint Parliamentary Ethics Committee and the Government will consult with MPs from all parties on the reforms next year.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’ve always stood ready to deliver necessary reforms to donation and integrity frameworks – that’s why we will act on every recommendation.”
“Victorians deserve to have confidence in the political parties and public institutions that serve them – which is why we’re delivering funding to support the most significant overhaul of parliamentary oversight in the country.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson
“We’re establishing an integrity framework that will hold parliamentarians and their staff to the highest standards – that’s what all Victorians expect.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Melissa Horne
“There is no place for corruption in local government, which is why we’ll bring in donation and lobbying reforms.”
Reviewed 11 October 2022