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Thursday, 15 November 2018
Page: 8412


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (17:03): There has obviously been a level of public debate and public reporting here in Australia over the last two years in relation to these matters. As I've indicated in my summing-up speech and also in introducing the amendments, Australia is actually one of very few Western democracies in which foreign donors can still influence domestic elections. In the United States, for example, if you are foreigner, you are not allowed to donate towards a presidential or congressional election.

Senator Farrell: You're not allowed to run, either.

Senator CORMANN: You're not allowed to run for president, that's right. That counts the two of us out, Senator Farrell. But Australia is one of the few Western democracies in which foreign donors can still influence domestic elections. Senator Hanson would remember that the government announced some time ago now, I think this time last year, a package of reforms, of which this is a component, to protect Australia from undue foreign interference in our internal democratic processes.