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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A glimmer of light on political donations-at least for NSW local council candidates

Much needed reforms to Federal election laws, particularly in relation to political donations, have been sidelined for a year, according to Special Minister of State John Faulkner, as a result of the Opposition using its numbers in the Senate to refer the bill to a committee with a very generous report deadline.The proposed reforms could be improved, but the Opposition move seems primarily designed to give it another year under the current unsatisfactory rules.

In NSW a Legislative Council Committee has tabled its report on state political donation laws, recommending a ban on donations from business, and on donations of more than $1000 from individuals, with disclosure twice a year of donations of more than $500. This report provides an overview.The Committee's Report is here. All eyes on the Iemma Government to see what emerges, but it has acted to require all donations of more than $1000 to candidates in this year's local council elections to be disclosed. No mention of when- the requirement should be public disclosure before we have to vote.

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