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Donations data shows our democracy is for sale

Media Release
Larissa Waters 1 Feb 2019

The political donations data released today revealing massive corporate donations to the major parties shows our democracy is for sale and donations reform is desperately needed, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.

“Today’s data again shows the major parties are owned by the mining, gambling, alcohol, property and banking industries,” Senator Waters said.

“Just in the last financial year the major political parties have taken more than  a million dollars from the fossil fuel industry, almost two million from the gambling and alcohol industry, and tens of millions from the big banks.

“Millions of dollars of corporate donations have flowed from infamous companies like Adani ($50k), Santos ($182k), Woodside ($237k), and Tabcorp ($218k), and industry associations like the AHA ($1.09m).

“It’s no wonder we still have lax corporate taxation laws, tax subsidies for fossil fuel companies and no plan to transition to clean energy, no limits on predatory gambling, and alcohol advertising dominating our sports events.

“Millions from the big mining and gas companies is why we don’t have action on climate change despite having have just had the hottest month on record in Australia, flooding in Far North Queensland right now, and catastrophic bushfires in Tasmania.

“In the last six years there’s been more than $100 million in corporate donations to the big parties, and today’s data further increases that.

 “Today’s data is just the tip of the iceberg with the millions of dollars donated since July 2018 remaining secret for 12 more months – well after the next federal election.

“The lack of transparency perpetuates a system where politicians represent their corporate donors, instead of representing the community and improving people’s lives.

 “To add insult to injury, a third of all corporations didn’t pay tax last year - yet many could afford to donate generously to political parties.

“Our democracy is broken. We need to get the influence of big money out and start restoring integrity into our parliament.”

The Greens today announced their plan to clean up politics which includes:

  • banning political donations from mining, property development, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, banking, defence and pharmaceutical industries;
  • putting a cap on all other donations of $1000 a year;
  • until those bans and caps are in place, making sure every donation over $1000 is listed publicly and disclosed in close to real-time;
  • banning donations splitting and all donations from foreign entities;
  • stopping all MPs from accepting lobbying jobs for five years after they retire, where a conflict of interest may arise;
  • requiring politicians to tell the public when and why they meet with lobbyists;
  • establishing a strong, independent federal anti-corruption commission to investigate politicians and governments; and
  • protecting the rights of citizens and community groups to speak out, ensuring all of us are represented and able to participate in our democracy.


Link to full policy: 

Dirty Donations Campaign: 

Link to video: 

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