Transparency in Political Donations

Labor believes a robust electoral system is an important part of any democracy; the community must have confidence in the systems in place to guarantee its integrity.

Tasmania is the only state not to have state based laws that require individual candidates in state elections to disclose donations.

Tasmania is also only one of two states not to have any form of public funding towards election campaign costs. This means that all political parties or independents are heavily reliant on political donations to help fund election campaigns.

Without appropriate transparency measures in place, these donations can lead to a perceived conflict of interest amongst the wider community, thereby undermining trust in our democratic systems.

An expenditure cap on political parties and candidates combined with increased transparency and timeliness of disclosure of political donations to candidates and parties would help to increase confidence in our political system.

Labor’s Initiatives

A Labor Government will consult with the community with a view to legislate to:

  • Provide for an expenditure cap for political parties of between $500,000 to $750,000 increasing by the Hobart Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the period between elections.
  • Introduce an expenditure cap for candidates of between $45,000 to $75,000 increasing by the Hobart CPI over the period between elections.
  • Increase the Legislative Council expenditure cap from around $15,000 to $30,000 increasing by the Hobart CPI over the period between elections.
  • Introduce an expenditure cap of $100,000 increasing annually by Hobart CPI for third parties who wish to participate in the election process as well as require them to by registered with the Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) and comply with electoral disclosure laws for any donations towards the campaign.
  • Lower the disclosure threshold for all candidates, parties and third parties from $13,500 to between $1000 and $2000 increasing annually by Hobart CPI.
  • Prohibit anonymous donations to individuals and parties over the disclosure threshold level.
  • Require all political donations to parties, candidates and elected members to be disclosed to the Electoral Commission within 14 days of receipt for one-off or accumulated political donations from a single source to a total of the disclosure threshold or more within a financial year.
  • Following an election, a special receipt and expenditure return from political parties and candidates must be lodged with the TEC within sixty days after polling day.
  • Ban donations from tobacco companies and foreign donations to individuals, parties or third parties subject to any state based funding and disclosure legislation.