Invisible donors: Big political spenders just the tip of the iceberg

By Katie Burgess, originally published in The Canberra Times 5th November 2019. Billionaires bankrolled high-profile independents including Canberra’s Anthony Pesec ahead of the May federal election, new electoral disclosures show. But most donors remain invisible, because of the high disclosure threshold. Independents received around $4.7 million in donations from more than 5500 donors, election disclosure… Read More

MR: “Accountability institutions are under attack” – former integrity officials call for greater independence, funding and powers

Media release 29th October 2019 Former integrity officials today launched 10 reform principles to strengthen accountability institutions, in the wake of ongoing attacks on the judiciary, the media, corruption commissions, and other important agencies. Former judge Paul Stein AM QC, former Independent Security Legislation Monitor Bret Walker SC, former ABC journalist Quentin Dempster AM, and… Read More

RN Breakfast: Queensland crackdown on election donations

Interview by Hamish McDonald, producer Cathy Van Extel, ABC RN Breakfast 30th October 2019. Queensland is set to implement the toughest electoral donation caps and spending limits in the country. Next month the Palaszczuk Government will introduce a bill into State Parliament, with spending caps to take effect in time for next year’s state election.… Read More

Corruption experts welcome Queensland donations reform

Media release 29th October 2019 Leading corruption experts and former judges today welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement of electoral reform. Reforms include caps on electoral expenditure and donations, and increasing public funding, which aligns with The Centre for Public Integrity’s 15 Point Plan to eliminate the undue influence of money in politics. “The Centre for… Read More

‘It is all part of the same disease’: media and other key institutions under threat

By Nick O’Malley, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 29th October 2019. The prosecution of journalists, cuts to the ABC budget and the appointment of “dud” politically connected officials to roles in key agencies present an unprecedented threat to democracy in Australia. “Media provides crucial accountability and transparency functions,” said a report by… Read More