Democracy is not for sale
Parliament should serve the people, and work in the best interests of all Australians. Yet our weak political donation laws mean that our democracy is for sale to the highest bidder. Money shouldn’t be able to buy political influence, access or policy outcomes. The laws on political donations need to be cleaned up, just like the old polluting industries that exploit them.
Over the last 3 years that the Liberals have accepted $2,365,250, Labor have accepted $1,108,528, and the Nationals have accepted $221,787 from fossil fuel companies. That’s almost $3.7 million of dirty money that influences politicians' judgment when debating crucial issues like global warming and clean energy.
It is clear the millions donated from the fossil fuel industry to the major parties has influenced their climate policies and their level of support for coal and gas. 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.
In order for Australia to transition to a clean economy, we must stop the fossil fuel political donations arms race. The Greens are working with the community to call on other parties to clean up the political process.
Exposing fossil fuel donations
The Greens are calling on the Liberal and Labor parties to clean up their act by not taking dirty money from the big end of town.
The public also has a right to know which polluting industries are making big donations – we’re calling for disclosure from political parties before elections, so that voters can make up their own mind about what they are really getting when they cast their vote on election day.
A National Anti Corruption Commission
For the last decade the Greens have led the call for a national corruption watchdog to clean up politics. Recently, the major parties changed their mind and now agree with us – but our challenge is to make sure they don’t set up a weak, toothless body but instead a strong, independent anti-corruption body that covers politicians, industry and the public service. We will use our numbers in parliament and work with all other parties & independents to deliver a watchdog with teeth that can prevent corruption and investigate allegations of misconduct.
Fixing donation laws
The Greens’ donations reform Bills would clean up the corrupting influence of political donations through a combination of greater transparency measures and bans on donations from industries that have an unsavoury track record in influencing decision makers.
The Greens Donations Reform Bill would ban political donations from mining, development, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, banking, defence and pharmaceutical industries. We would also cap all other donations (including from individuals, unions and charities) to no more than $1,000 per year.
The Greens’ Political Donations Enhancing Transparency Bill resets the disclosure threshold at $1000; prevents ‘donation splitting’ by requiring all donations from a single donor in one financial year to be accumulative; bans donations from foreign interests; bans all anonymous gifts above $50; and tightens up penalties.
Get dirty money out of politics
As long as there is big money in politics, politicians will represent the interests of big business and big polluters - not the people who elect them. The Australian people can see through the government’s inaction on global warming - and on the other side there is money from big coal, big mining and big business.
It’s time to get money out of parliament and to clean up politics.
We are calling on Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese to stop taking donations from the big polluters. If they refuse, they should put their donations on the public record and let the people decide whether they want to vote for a party that’s being given orders by the coal industry.
Tell the Liberals and the Labor Party to clean up their act and stop taking dirty money from the big end of town.