Media release 11 February 2020.

A new briefing paper released by The Centre for Public Integrity today shows that vast amounts of money potentially influencing last year’s federal election will not be disclosed to the public.

Annual returns released on Monday by the Australian Electoral Commission will only cover some donations to political parties and other participants.

The paper shows that over $1 billion, or 36% of party income, has not been disclosed since 1999.

“Donations under $14,000 will not be disclosed, much income from associated entities, party fundraising events, membership fees is likely to be hidden,” said political finance expert and director of The Centre for Public Integrity Professor Joo Cheong Tham.

“Campaign spending will not be made public. Voters will not know who spent what in key states or marginal electorates.”

“Any breaches of disclosure regulations are unlikely to be investigated, as the AEC lacks the resources and there is no National Integrity Commission.’

“We need urgent reform of our disclosure system so that donations over $1000 are disclosed in real time, spending is made public, and any breaches are properly investigated by a National Integrity Commission,” concluded Professor Tham.

Read the briefing paper here.