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 Money in Politics, setting out 4 priority reforms:

1.     Require real time disclosure of donations over $1000;

2.     Implement spending caps;

3.     Implement donations caps;

4.     Strengthen enforcement and compliance through the Australian Electoral Commission and a National Integrity Commission.

“The Commonwealth has the weakest laws in the country, allowing millions in hidden money to flood our political parties,” said Geoffrey Watson SC, a Director of the Centre for Public Integrity.

“The public will have no idea who is funding our parties before the next federal election,”

“We urgently need to lower the disclosure threshold to $1000, and cap political donations and election spending,” said Mr Watson.

“We’re reaching a crisis point where money in politics is undermining the integrity of our democracy,” said the Hon Anthony Whealy QC, Chair of the Centre for Public Integrity. 

“We need to stop the flows of secret donations, and set caps on donations and spending so billionaires can’t influence our elections,” said Mr Whealy.

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