The Human Rights Law Centre reform is needed so the interests of the people, the planet, and future generations come before those of big political donors — in other words people and planet first before political ambitions.
The Human Rights Law Centre and the Australian Conservation Foundation gave evidence to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, reviewing the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Donation Reform and Other Measures) Bill 2020) (Cth).
The proposed law would lower the threshold for donations that need to be disclosed from $14,300 per year to $5,000 per year, and require them to be disclosed in real time.
The HRLC say the changes would be a much needed step in the right direction, although some amendments are needed to ensure small grassroots organisations aren’t effectively barred from speaking out on their issues by a heavy administrative burden.
Alice Drury, Senior Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre says “Australians ought to be able to trust that our Government is putting the health of people and our planet at the heart of decisions which will shape our society and economy for generations to come.” She went on further to say that the current laws allow for wealthy people to make big political donations in secret, creating a real risk of corruption and conflict of interest.