Public faith in governance and democracy has been on a steady downward trajectory. There are ongoing and serious concerns regarding corruption, lack of transparency, and the conduct of politicians. The Greens are committed to maintaining the health of our democracy, and to making sure that our government puts people before corporate donors and profit.
We want to restore faith in government by increasing measures of transparency, accountability and integrity. We are committed to:
|▲||Banning political donations from dirty industries|
|▲||Increasing transparency measures for members of parliament|
|▲||Strengthening the parliamentary code of conduct|
|▲||Fighting to keep public services in public hands|
In 2021, the Greens worked to improve integrity in politics by introducing the following measures into State Parliament:
|▲||An Amendment to limit government advertising|
|▲||A Private Member’s Bill to provide for the release of ministerial diaries|
|▲||Amendments to strengthen the parliamentary codes of conduct – VOTED DOWN BY ALL PARTIES, EXCEPT FOR THE GREENS|
|▲||Mandatory disclosure of donations received by candidates standing for Council prior to the election period|
|▲||A select committee on the impact of privatisation of public services in South Australia|
BANNING POLITICAL DONATIONS
Corporate donations from dirty industries have the potential to warp our democracy into a system that works for profit, rather than for people. The influence of these donations can set our government back dramatically when it comes to implementing strong environmental protection laws and protecting public land.
Donations allow a slew of dirty industries such as fossil fuel and mining corporations and property developers to enjoy a level of access to politicians that members of the community simply don’t have. The Greens will work to ban political donations from these dirty industries, and those partners and associates who may act on their behalf.
GREATER TRANSPARENCY FOR POLITICIANS
Public access to information is vital to the health of a democracy. Greater transparency leads to greater accountability and higher standards of governance. The public has a right to know what goes on behind closed doors. Information regarding the activities of politicians and parties, particularly when it relates to donations and lobbying should be made publicly available.
The Greens want to ensure that all ministers proactively disclose the interest groups and lobbyists they meet with. We want to strengthen reporting obligations for members of parliament and ensure that the public has easy and quick access to documents requested through FOI’s.
Strengthening the code of conduct
Corruption is only one of the many ways in which a politician can abuse their office. Though we are glad to have passed a code of conduct for members of parliament in 2021, there is still work to do.
We want to make the code stronger and enforceable, with increased authority to impose penalties given to the State Ombudsman Politicians should have to face consequences, such as suspensions, fines, and potentially more severe measures when they have been found to be in breach.
A code of conduct with teeth would stop the revolving door between politicians and big business, by banning all MPs from becoming industry lobbyists for five years after they retire, where a conflict of interest may arise.
KEEPING PUBLIC SERVICES IN PUBLIC HANDS
Increased privatisation of public services has led to increased opportunity for secrecy and the withholding of information.
The Greens will strengthen reporting and monitoring of privatised services, as well as strengthening the criteria for selection of providers.
We will make sure that contracts between the government and private sector providers are made available to the public. We will also push for a strategy of improvement of in-house provision, to make sure that public services stay under public scrutiny.