Firmer laws for parties and other entities collecting foreign political donations are not too far away after Labour has agreed to most of the Coalition’s findings in a new report.
Electoral Matters Committee Chairman James McGrath stated that the amendments suggested by his committee would serve in tackling concerns over the initial proposed laws had on charities and not-for-profit organisations.
On Monday, the Liberal National Party senator commented on the issue.
‘Protection against foreign interference cannot be done by stifling lively, good-natured debate or vital charitable efforts…
‘We have heard from a broad cross-section of societal organisations and have made recommendations which we believe will strengthen our democracy without silencing these crucial voices.’
As reported by AAP, recommendations were aimed at making a new transparency register easily searchable, getting rid of the need for entity staff to declare their political affiliation on the register and establishing a $100 minimum threshold for foreign donation disclosure. New Zealand citizens living in Australia on a special category visa will be excluded.
Labor accepted all but one recommendation by the committee, connected to state, territory and local government campaigns. In the report, Andrew Giles the committee deputy chair, said although the party supported reform, it would still urge for tighter laws, as well as a national integrity commission.
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