It’s official – the Liberals aren’t serious about foreign donations reform.
Senior South Australian Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham this morning told ABC Radio in Adelaide:
“I don’t care who wants to give money to the Liberal Party; I want to see a change of government here and that is the most important factor.”
Trying to brush off serious questions about Chinese national Sally Zou’s multi-million dollar donations to the Liberals, Simon Birmingham let slip what we already know –power is the end game for the Liberals, at any cost.
The Liberals are not serious about addressing the risk of undue foreign influence in Australia’s democracy.
Using donations reform as an excuse to silence their critics seems to be the only thing they are serious about.
Simon Birmingham says it’s not a problem for the Liberals to accept a huge donation from a foreign national with unclear interests in Australia, but apparently has no concerns about his party’s plans to stifle the voice of charities in democratic debate.
Malcolm Turnbull must immediately clarify whether he agrees with Simon Birmingham and doesn’t care who donates to the Liberals.
What is clear is that only Labor is serious about reforming Australia’s political donations system to strengthen our democracy through transparency and accountability.
And only Labor will do it while maintaining the right of charities to speak up for vulnerable and marginalised Australians.
Labor’s plan for political donation reform will:
- Ban foreign donations;
- Ban donation splitting;
- Ban anonymous donations above $50;
- Require all donations over $1000 to be disclosed;
- Link public funding to campaign expenditure;
- Introduce new offences and increase penalties for breaches;
Support real time disclosure.