The Greens welcome Labor’s calls to limit political donations, and look forward to their support for the Greens bill to cap all donations at $1,000 a year when it is debated on 15 February.
Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson for democracy, Senator Larissa Waters, said:
“The Greens have fought for years to clean up our democracy and put a cap on donations of $1,000 a year no matter who you are: big corporation, union, or individual. We’re glad that, after years of opposing Greens moves to cap donations, Labor has decided to change their tune.
“The Senate will debate the Greens bill to cap all donations at $1,000 a year on 15 February, and the Greens will seek to bring it to a vote. Then we will see whether Labor want genuine donations reform, or are just cranky that Clive Palmer gave $75,000 to the National Party instead of them.
“The Greens have reached out to Labor and the crossbench to discuss the cap on donations.
“Political donations data released yesterday once against showed the major parties are owned by the mining, gambling, alcohol, property and banking industries. The sheer volume of money spilling into the system is shocking: political parties in Australia received $168 million in donations in the 2019-2020 financial year, and just 5% of donors accounted for half of declared donations.
“We know that donations to the two major parties have tripled between the 2016 and 2019 elections.
“Once again, the data shows how big corporations are buying influence in the major parties. The coal, oil and gas industry continued its regular donations spree, with $313,500 worth of donations disclosed to the Liberals and Nationals, and $346,850 to Labor. In the same year, Australia got a ‘gas-led recovery’, tax subsidies for fossil fuel companies, and no plan to transition to clean energy.
“Democracy should be about serving people, not corporate interests. It’s time Labor put their money where their mouth is and worked with the Greens to get the influence of big money out of parliament.”