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Foreign influence: half the job done



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SENATOR DON FARRELL SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY MEMBER FOR ISAACS

FOREIGN INFLUENCE - HALF THE JOB DONE

The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill and the National Security Legislation (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Amendment Bill, passed through the Senate last night, will significantly curb foreign influence on our democratic system.

But the government has only done half the job - it is still yet to ban foreign donations.

The government’s own bill to ban foreign donations is gathering dust. In fact, the government is yet to respond to the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Matters’ report on the bill, published in April.

The government’s failure to progress the bill through the Parliament means the coalition can continue raking in foreign money for at least the next six weeks until Parliament returns, including through the by-election period.

Labor voluntarily gave up taking foreign donations many months ago, in line with our policy of prohibiting foreign political donations.

You have to ask - why has the government failed to eliminate this very significant element of foreign influence, when it has acted so quickly on these other bills? Surely it is not because of monetary benefit to the party?

We call on the government to end their shameless hypocrisy, cease accepting foreign donations and legislate a ban as soon as Parliament resumes.

FRIDAY, 29 JUNE 2018

MEDIA CONTACTS: TOM ZED (FARRELL) 0419 227 286 JOANNA HEATH (DREYFUS) 0427 915 633