Opposing political donations

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DONATIONS to political parties and how they undermine Australian democracy and public health will be discussed by the Public Health Association of Australia at today’s hearing of the joint standing committee on electoral matters.

The committee is currently conducting an inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns.

“It has become clear to us that inappropriate commitment of political donations provides an incentive to political parties to focus on the interests of business sometimes at the cost of community health,” PHAA CEO Michael Moore said.

“The clearest indication of this is that so many business donors contribute equally to the two major parties – providing an indication that they do not favour one ideology over another but seek to purchase political influence.”

PHAA will recommend the committee considers solutions that address:
•       Limiting expenditure on elections – to prevent escalating needs for further electoral funding;
•       Purchasing influence – disclosure, conflicts of interest, donations to parties and MP centred political fundraisers; and
•       Clear and timely declarations to the electoral commission – removing the loopholes illustrated by the gap in expenditure compared to the amounts declared.

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