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Politics is rotting at its core

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Politics is rotting at its core

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Politics is rotting at its core

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Our political system is being bought from right under our noses

Ask yourself this: has your bank ever given you money for free?

For most of us, it just doesn’t happen. But it does for politicians. All the time.

Take last financial year: the banks gave more than half a million dollars to the major parties combined. Are we really supposed to believe that they gave all that money out of the goodness of their hearts?

I don’t buy it, and I don’t think you do either. The banks give money because it gets results. They don’t give big to our political parties because they’re altruistic. They do it because they’re smart. Other donors in other industries are the same.

They call it a donation. In truth, it’s an investment.

Here’s what we can do about it


I’ve got a Bill that will tighten the laws on how political donations will be disclosed to the Australian public.

If my bill becomes law, it’ll be the biggest shake up of donations disclosures in decades. It will fix our donations laws so that you have to disclose your donations if you give over $2,500 in a six month period and disclose it in real time.

Income from fundraising dinners — where people can pay thousands for soggy chips just to see a Minister — will finally be called what it is. A donation.

I’ve also proposed that we introduce electoral expenditure accounts for organisations that run political campaigns. It’ll force parties and others to disclose the source of any money they spend on their electoral campaigns.

Donations are one piece of the puzzle...

We still don't have a Federal ICAC

80% of Australian want a federal anti-corruption watchdog, but we’re not getting one.

On any other issue with 80 per cent public support, you’d see politicians falling over themselves to get it done.

For some reason when it comes to an anti-corruption watchdog, that’s not what we’re seeing.

Instead the Liberals are doing the old go-slow with their watered-down integrity commission and Labor still haven’t designed their own model, five years after announcing they’d create one.

Lobbyists are running rampant

Politicians morph into lobbyists in the blink of an eye — and there’s nothing we can do about it.

When your future employer is asking you for a policy change, you make the policy change, then you’re on their books a week later — that stinks. And we’re not protected against it. Lobbyists aren’t regulated in any meaningful way. Their meetings are never disclosed. They don’t have to disclose who they’re working on behalf of. And in fact, most of the lobbying happening today – those people don’t even need to register as lobbyists.

Canberra needs a cleanup.

Dark money is buying our elections

40% of the money buying our elections is never reported.

That’s more than $60 million in dark money flowing to our political parties that we’re never going to know about. We won’t know who’s giving it, what it’s funding, and why they’re giving it in the first place. We’ve got less transparency over the funding of our elections than the public expects and we’ve got silence from both the ALP and the Liberals as to why.

Australia’s donation disclosure laws are among the weakest in the developed world – and every year we let them rot a little more.

We still don't have a Federal ICAC

80% of Australian want a federal anti-corruption watchdog, but we’re not getting one.

On any other issue with 80 per cent public support, you’d see politicians falling over themselves to get it done.

For some reason when it comes to an anti-corruption watchdog, that’s not what we’re seeing.
Instead the Liberals are doing the old go-slow with their watered-down integrity commission and Labor still haven’t designed their own model, five years after announcing they’d create one.

Lobbyists are running rampant

Politicians morph into lobbyists in the blink of an eye — and there’s nothing we can do about it.

When your future employer is asking you for a policy change, you make the policy change, then you’re on their books a week later — that stinks. And we’re not protected against it. Lobbyists aren’t regulated in any meaningful way. Their meetings are never disclosed. They don’t have to disclose who they’re working on behalf of. And in fact, most of the lobbying happening today – those people don’t even need to register as lobbyists.

Canberra needs a cleanup.

Dark money is buying our elections

40% of the money buying our elections is never reported.

That’s more than $60 million in dark money flowing to our political parties that we’re never going to know about. We won’t know who’s giving it, what it’s funding, and why they’re giving it in the first place. We’ve got less transparency over the funding of our elections than the public expects and we’ve got silence from both the ALP and the Liberals as to why.

Australia’s donation disclosure laws are among the weakest in the developed world – and every year we let them rot a little more.

SIGN THE PETITION

Money and politics are a bad mix

You know we have a problem here. Our political system is being bought out from right under our noses.

Well, let’s do something about it!

No more brown paper bags full of cash. No more extortions from lobbyists who get their way by threatening to pull money out of the major parties’ political campaigns. No more hiding behind our shoddy donations laws.

Lots of people have been asking for better donations disclosures for years. Researchers, think tanks and advocates have called for a fix ever since John Howard changed the rules to hide all donations worth less than $10,000.

They can call for it as much as they want. If people don’t take action and say enough is enough, nothing’s going to change.

I want change. If you do too, it’s time we get this done.

Will you create change?

Since I've been in the Senate, I've seen lobbyists schmooze Ministers and then those Ministers leave and become lobbyists. What, the, heck... Can you chip in to help me give the whole system a detox?

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