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Victoria To Have Nation’s Strictest Donation Laws

18 September 2017

The Andrews Labor Government will introduce the strictest and most transparent political donation laws in Australia.

Premier Daniel Andrews today announced that the Labor Government would help put an end to individuals and corporations attempting to buy influence in Victorian politics.

Across Australia, millions of dollars are donated to political parties every year. This includes $1.75 million given by Malcolm Turnbull to the Liberal Party in 2016, and $1.6 million from a businessman to the Greens Party in 2010 – the two largest donations in Australian history.

These new laws will eliminate large political donations and usher in Australia’s most transparent donation disclosure laws. Under new legislation the Labor Government will:

  • Cap donations at $4,000 over a four-year parliamentary term, completely eliminating large donations to political parties, associated entities, and third party campaigners
  • Reduce the disclosure limit from $13,500 to $1,000 per financial year
  • Ban foreign donations.

Under the lacklustre national laws, the community often has to wait over a year before donations are publicly disclosed, including Malcolm Turnbull’s 2016 donation which won’t be officially disclosed until 2018.

For the first time in our state, every disclosable donation under the new rules will be published online in real-time by the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) – shining a light on who donates and when.

Other bodies and organisations involved in political fundraising or campaigning will also face the same restrictions and scrutiny, and be forced to submit annual returns to the VEC.

Given the strict new administrative requirements upon political parties and the need to ensure continued participation in election campaigns, the existing public funding formula will also be changed to reflect these stringent new donation rules.

An appropriate public funding arrangement will be determined over coming months with the tough new rules expected to come into force ahead of the November 2018 election.

Other changes to modernise the Electoral Act will also be introduced, with details to be announced soon.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“These will be the strictest donation laws in the country, because Victorians deserve to know who donates, how much, and when.”

“We’ll give Victorians confidence that governments are making decisions on their merits, not repaying favours to big political donors.”

Quote attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“We’re banning foreign donations and for the first time Victorians will be able to see political donations being disclosed in real time.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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