The minority Liberal government’s stalling of its own Bill to reform Tasmania’s political donations laws is keeping the state in the dark.
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 the winter parliamentary break, with no sign of movement on the Bill, and an early election looking likely to push it back further on the agenda.
Even if it is 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 again stalled debate on their own legislation despite having ample opportunity 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.
July 06 2023