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

Taxpayers fund $55.6 billion in federal grants over less than four years

Taxpayers have funded $55.6 billion in federal grants over less than four years under rules that give ministers sweeping powers to decide the payments, with new research fuelling an election row over calls to establish a national integrity commission to safeguard public funds. The findings show the grants reached $20 billion last year alone across… Read More

Why we need an inquiry into our Covid-19 response

Written by George Williams, Centre board member and University of New South Wales deputy vice-chancellor and professor of law. Originally published in the Australian on March 20 2022. The extreme measures deployed by governments to combat Covid-19 have produced white-hot anger in parts of the community. Vaccination mandates, border closures and lockdowns have fuelled protest… Read More

Clive Palmer spends 100 times more than major parties on advertising

Clive Palmer has spent more than $31 million since August on political attack advertising for his United Australia Party, dwarfing the outlay of the major parties and putting him on track to fulfil his promise to run the most expensive election campaign in the nation’s history. The advertising blitz in the lead-up to an expected… Read More

Rules on political donations must be tightened to restore trust

Written by Centre board member, George Williams, professor of law at the University of NSW. Originally published in the Australian on 7/3/22 State politics has yet again been tainted by crooked donations. The Independent Commission Against Corruption made findings of corruption last week against people including former NSW Labor MP Ernest Wong over attempts to… Read More

Federal anti-corruption commission ruled out before election as government refuses to introduce bill

Written by ABC political reporter Matthew Doran and originally published on February 7 2022 A national anti-corruption commission will not be established before the next federal election. Prime Minister Scott Morrison first announced a Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) in December 2018, alongside then attorney-general Christian Porter.  Despite years of consultation and draft legislation being released,… Read More

Steggall misstep highlights urgent need for political donation reform

Written by Han Aulby, executive director at the Centre for Public Integrity. Originally published in the Age Feb 15 2022 This week’s revelation that Independent MP Zali Steggall did not disclose the source of a $100,000 donation from the Kinghorn Family Trust shows that the problem of hidden money in politics goes beyond the major… Read More

Breaking election promise on integrity commission could prove costly

Written by Rob Harris on Feb 7 2022. Originally published in the Age. The chances of a long-promised federal integrity commission being established by May could well be a neat analogy with Scott Morrison’s current predicament. The clock is ticking and there mightn’t be much time left. An admission from federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash on… Read More