The minority Liberal government needs to show Tasmanians it is serious about political donations reform and bring its own donations reform Bill on for debate this parliamentary sitting week.
The government only introduced its Donations Reform Bill after intense pressure from Labor – and even though the reforms do not go far enough, Labor debated them in good faith and they passed the Lower House last year.
The Bill should have been the first order of business for the Legislative Council in March, but instead, was relegated to last on the list.
Now here we are in August and the Bill is still in limbo, with no effort by the government to bring on debate.
Even if it’s passed, Tasmania would still have the weakest political donation laws in the country but this Bill is an important start to ensure parties and candidates would have to disclose donations they receive as well as their campaign spending.
Labor will continue pushing for important amendments to help level the playing field and restore public confidence in Tasmania’s political processes, including lowering the disclosure threshold to $1,000 and introducing spending caps for House of Assembly elections.
But the fact that the Liberals have stalled debate on their own legislation shows their lack of commitment to their own promise to fix these broken laws – and their dishonesty with the Tasmanian public.
Tasmanians want more honesty and transparency – not more game playing from this government.
August 13 2023