Submission: Political Influence and donations

16 October 2017

TIA believes the present donations system in Australia represents a serious corruption of the political and democratic process.

As a consequence, this issue has contributed to a collapse of support for democratic institutions and a distrust of politicians generally.

The public perception is that the present donations system suits the political parties and big money interests but betrays the community at large.

There is a perception that many important decisions are made in the interest of the rich and powerful, not in the interest of the general community. There are many factors contributing to this perception and the present fractured donation system is certainly one of them.

A further worrying aspect is that the laws currently in force are easily flouted. Recently, the NSW Electoral Commission penalised the State Liberal Party for breaching electoral rules. The Liberal Party had used the Free Enterprise Foundation to disguise donations from donors banned by state laws, such as property developers. This sorry saga is told in full in the NSW ICAC’s important report – Operation Spicer.