The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has welcomed nation-leading electoral reforms in Queensland to reduce the influence of corporate money in elections.
ACF said the new laws, expected to pass parliament later today, should improve community trust in politics by capping political donations and placing limits on how much can be spent during elections.
“These reforms are essential to cut the influence of money in politics and make sure elections are about the best ideas, not about who has the deepest pockets,” said ACF’s Democracy Campaigner Jolene Elberth.
“By placing limits on how much can be spent on elections, this reform should stop those with the fattest wallets from being able to buy the biggest say in politics.
“Under the laws, Queensland will have some of the strongest electoral laws in the country and set a new standard for good electoral reform in Australia.
“Powerful industries, like the coal and gas sectors, have long used political donations to gain access and influence with politicians.
“This bill should prompt our elected representatives to focus more fully on the communities they represent, not their biggest donors.
“This nation-leading legislation could be a model for reform at the federal level, where there are currently no limits on election spending, no caps on donations, and little transparency around political funding.”
The fossil fuel industry directly donated more than $85.7 million to Australian political parties in the 2018-19 financial year.