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Have your say · Accès to justice

Have Your Say: Political donations bill

13 June, 2018

Have your say on a Bill to ban all for-profit corporate political donations. This Bill is an important step in the work Queensland needs to do to clean up corruption from political decisions in our state. Submissions are due noon Friday (15 June 2018).

Submissions for the Electoral Legislation (Political Donations) Amendment Bill 2018 are open now until noon Friday 15 June 2018.

This is a private member’s Bill introduced by MP Michael Berkman - see the parliamentary committee inquiry page here for more information.

The bill is similar to the political donation elements of the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (Belcarra Bill), however it importantly goes further by extending the ban on political donations to not just ‘property developers’ as provided for in the Belcarra Bill, but to all for-profit corporations, being:

  • companies registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act); and
  • industry representative bodies whose majority of membership is made up of Corporations Act registered companies;
  • however excluding non-profit organisations, charities and employees and employee organisations under state or federal industrial relations legislation.

EDO Qld supports this Bill as a necessary step to remove the same risks to our democracy posed by all political donations from privately interested, for-profit companies and representative bodies.

This Bill will ensure that representative bodies of for-profit industries, like Queensland Resources Council, are as equally unable to provide political donations as any property developer, resource industry proponent, or tobacco corporation.

Our democracy depends on our decision makers making decision unbiased by financial benefits from for-profit corporations.

Queensland cannot afford to allow corporations to buy the favour of our politicians at the expense of the public interest and our environment’s protection. Yet all too often there are reports of decisions being made in favour of the biggest corporate donors at the expense of the interests of communities or environmental values.

This Bill is an important step in the work Queensland needs to do to clean out corruption from political decisions in our state, to ensure the best decisions are being made for all Queenslander’s and our environment.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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