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Political donations report must be released

  • Premier cannot hide behind COVID-19 to keep report secret
  • Tasmania has weakest donation disclosure laws in the country
  • Labor to move Notice of Motion calling for report’s release

Peter Gutwein is hiding behind the COVID-19 crisis to walk away from his Government’s long-standing promise to reform donation laws.

Shadow Attorney-General Ella Haddad said the Parliament would be given an opportunity tomorrow to vote on a motion calling for the immediate release of a report on reform options.

“Tasmania has the weakest laws on political donation disclosure in the country – an issue acknowledged by former Premier Will Hodgman, who promised to fix these broken laws,” Ms Haddad said.

“But the report on reform options remains on the Attorney General’s desk, where it has been since December.

“This is the trademark secrecy we’ve come to expect from Elise Archer. Unless there is something to hide, why won’t the government release it?

“The government has been sitting on this report for nine months, so for the Premier to claim in Parliament today that he has been too busy with COVID-19 is disingenuous at best.

“With yet another Liberal Party donor awarded an exclusive government contract just last week, Tasmanians rightly are calling out for transparency and donation reform.

“We need a system in place to ensure all Tasmanians know who is donating to political parties and candidates and how much they spend on campaigning.

“Fixing these broken laws is fundamental to our democracy and to restoring trust in politics, which is why we will move a Notice of Motion tomorrow, calling for the report’s release.

“Labor also has a Private Members Bill out for community consultation, which would address many of these issues. If our Bill passes, all donations to political parties, individual MPs and candidates over $1,000 would be disclosed monthly and there would be spending caps on election campaigns.

“This is about cleaning up politics. The public has the right to know who is donating to candidates and how much they spend on their campaigns. If the Premier won’t fix it, the Parliament must.”

Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Attorney General