Media release – Caps needed to rein in big donors and record spending

Media release 20th June 2023 Experts have welcomed the JSCEM interim report recommending the implementation of donations and spending caps. Analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity shows that donations and spending are at unprecedented levels: The JSCEM interim report presents an opportunity to put caps on donations and spending for the first time. “Elections are… Read More

Media release – Big corporate donors use former Ministers and advisers as lobbyists

Big corporate donors are using the revolving door to gain access to government, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. The research finds that many lobbyists working for big corporate donors are doing so within the first year of leaving government, due to weaknesses in the lobbying code of conduct. Analysing the… Read More

Media Release – “Time to act on pork barrelling” Former ICAC Commissioner

The former Chief Commissioner of NSW ICAC, the Hon Peter Hall KC, has today called for action to strengthen the administration of Commonwealth grants. Speaking as the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit holds inquiry hearings into Commonwealth grants administration, Mr Hall has advocated that pork barrelling be included in the Ministerial Code of… Read More

Media release – $91 million of election funding hidden from public view

The source of $91.32 million, or 22.74%, of party income was hidden from public view in 2021-2022.

This is an increase of 33% from the $68.26 recorded in the previous year.

The total dark money since 1998/99 is $1.53 billion.

The Coalition has hidden the source of 36.41% of their party income since 1998, while the ALP has hidden 24.61% Read More

Media release – Top 10 donors contribute 76.9% of all donations in 2022

The latest AEC disclosures show that big donors continue to dominate the funding of parties, and campaign spending remains at record levels. From 1998-2021 the top 5% of donors funded 76.4% of all donations. In 2022 the top 10 individual donors contributed $137.5 million to parties and independents which equates to 76.9% of all donations… Read More

Media release – Joint statement on the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022

As the NACC Bill returns to Parliament today, the country’s leading integrity organisations and experts are making a united call for the elimination of the ‘exceptional circumstances’ threshold for public hearings. The Centre for Public Integrity, Transparency International Australia, the Human Rights Law Centre, the Accountability Roundtable, the Ethics Centre, the Governance Institute and the… Read More

Media release: Campaign spending has increased by 144%, spending caps now urgent

Electoral expenditure by political parties has increased 144% in 20 years, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. Analysis of total payments disclosed by parties to the Australian Electoral Commission, with adjustments made for routine expenses and inflation, show that election year spending by Australian political parties increased 144% from approximately $124… Read More

Media release – Public hearings lead to corruption findings

All public hearings by NSW ICAC in the last 10 years have made findings of corrupt conduct or wrongdoing, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. Analysis of annual reports and investigation reports by NSW ICAC show that the claims of reputational damage are overstated, and that public hearingsexpose corruption. The analysis… Read More

Media Release – Corruption experts welcome corruption commission

Press conference 1.30pm at the Mural Hall with Stephen Charles AO KC, Michael Barker KC and Geoffrey Watson SC. The Centre for Public Integrity today welcomed the tabling of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill (2022). The experts’ analysis of the bill found that it contains strong investigative powers and a broad jurisdiction, and is able… Read More

Media release: FOI delays double in 10 years

FOI delays outside the statutory 30-day period have doubled in the past 10 years, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. As well as systemic delays, the research finds that FOI refusals have increased 50%, while requests granted in full have fallen 30%. The research finds: Bret Walker SC, one of the… Read More

Over $55 billion in grants necessitates new scrutiny framework

A new framework for the administration of government grants is urgently required, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. With over $55 billion in government grants distributed by the Morrison Government, and the Australian National Audit Office finding systemic problems with grant administration, greater scrutiny is vital. The research recommends a tripartite… Read More

Media release: Blueprint to rein in money in politics

Urgent reform of political donations laws is needed to stop the flows of hidden money in politics, and rein in record campaign spending and millionaire donors, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. The Centre for Public Integrity, led by former judges and corruption experts, has published a Blueprint to Rein in… Read More

Media Release – $68 million in political funding hidden from public view

New research from the Centre for Public Integrity shows hidden money continues to fund our democracy. Analysis of the latest AEC figures shows: “The source of almost $70 million in party income was hidden last year alone. This secrecy needs to stop,” said Geoffrey Watson SC, a director of the Centre for Public Integrity. “The… Read More

Who pays the piper? Political parties funded by associated entities and millionaires

Media release 31st January 2022 New research by the Centre for Public Integrity finds that the funding of our political parties is dominated by opaque associated entities and large donations over $1 million. Analysis of donations declared to the AEC over 22 years from 1998/1999-2019/2020 shows that: The Australian Labor Party was the largest fundraiser,… Read More

Upcoming webinar with whistleblower Bernard Collaery

Thursday 14th October 1pm. Register here: Bernard Collaery is an eminent Canberra lawyer and is a former ACT Government Attorney-General. He was charged in 2018, along with ‘Witness K’, in relation to the Australian government’s bugging of the Timor-Leste government offices in 2004, during negotiations over the Timor Sea oil and gas resources. Between… Read More

Commonwealth Procurement Rules unenforced and ineffective – new analysis

Media release 29 April 2021. Land procurement at Western Sydney Airport is exempt from oversight under the procurement rules, according to a new submission to the inquiry. Analysis from the Centre for Public Integrity has found that enforcement and accountability of CPRs is largely ineffective. Although the Act provides for judicial review of alleged contraventions… Read More