Greens candidate for Canberra Tim Hollo has today announced that, if elected as the ACT’s first crossbench Member for Canberra, his first action in the parliament will be to introduce a bill to ban political donations from fossil fuels and other influential corporations, and limit all other donations.
“Getting the corrosive influence of big money out of politics is the crucial first step in making sure we can move on all the other issues our community cares about, from climate action to housing affordability to getting dental and mental health care covered by Medicare,” Mr Hollo said.
“How can we imagine we’ll get action on the climate crisis while fossil fuel corporations buy so much access to Liberal, National and Labor Ministers and Shadow Ministers? How can we expect the old parties to make the billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of tax when they collect millions of dollars in donations from them?
Mr Hollo’s first formal action in the House of Representatives will be to introduce a bill to ban donations from the fossil fuel, banking, gambling, alcohol, pharmaceutical, defence, tobacco and property development industries and cap all other donations (including from individuals, unions and charities) to no more than $1,000 per year.
The bill would be based on Larissa Waters’ 2020 Senate bill, which was never brought on for debate as the Liberal, Nationals and Labor would not prioritise it. With a big crossbench in both houses it could no longer be ignored.
“I want to make my and the Greens’ position absolutely clear: any claims to want greater integrity in Australian politics count for nothing unless you will actually vote to get big money out of politics.“
“It’s great that there is real momentum towards a strong anti-corruption commission. But the problem is, too much of the corruption in our system is perfectly legal and supposedly above board. Until we get donations under control, an anti-corruption commission can’t actually stop the main source of corruption: big money buying influence.”
“Labor and the Liberals have taken over $200 million in corporate donations in the last decade. These donations are rewarded by billions in government subsidies and corporate welfare, including $51 billion of public money directed to the fossil fuel industry in the 2021 budget.”
“It is clear the millions handed by the fossil fuel industry to the major parties have influenced their climate policies and their continuing support for coal and gas against all scientific evidence and good sense. Billions of dollars in wasteful government subsidies continue to flow to these polluting, dying industries. Meanwhile, clean industries and the thousands of jobs they can provide remain hamstrung by a lack of support.”
“Democracy is supposed to be one person, one vote. The donations system makes a mockery of that principle. It has to end for the sake of our democracy.”
“In over 20 years working for climate action, at the Nature Conservation Council, Greenpeace, 350 and in the community, it’s become absolutely clear to me that we won’t get real climate action until we get fossil fuel money out of politics. This is the critical first step.”