Last night’s 4 Corners episode on foreign donations shows there are no more excuses left for Malcolm Turnbull – it is time for him to support Labor’s Bill to ban foreign donations.
Labor has advocated for action against foreign interference with Australian elections for nearly a decade. It’s time for urgent action.
There’s a private member’s bill – introduced by Bill Shorten – sitting in the Parliament right now to ban foreign donations, improve transparency and lower the disclosure threshold.
Malcolm Turnbull has spent years fighting against lowering the disclosure threshold so the Liberals can hide their big money donations.
We always thought it was to hide his own personal million dollar donations to the party. But it appears he’s refusing to support our legislation as he doesn’t want to turn off the tap of donations from overseas into the Liberal Party.
Labor’s reforms will:
· Ban foreign donations;
· Reduce the donation disclosure limit from $13,200 (indexed to inflation) to a fixed $1000;
· Ban ‘donation splitting’ between political party branches and associated entities to avoid disclosure obligations;
· Ban the receipt of anonymous donations above $50;
· Link public funding to campaign expenditure;
· Introduce new offences and increased penalties for abuses of the political donation disclosure regime.
The Prime Minister should show some integrity and back our plan in its entirety to deliver a transparent and accountable political donations system for all Australians.
It’s time for Malcolm Turnbull to put the national interest ahead of his own interests.