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Thursday, 15 November 2018
Page: 8419


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (17:33): I'll refer you to successive decisions of the High Court that have defined the implied freedom of political expression in our Australian democracy for some time. The Constitution, yes, is made up of the document that Senator Hanson has in her hot little hands, but it also, of course, needs to be considered in the context of decisions made by the High Court interpreting our Constitution over a long period of time. There is a consensus view that it would not be possible to prohibit participation, and, in fact, there have been previous cases in relation to relevant legislation where that has been made very clear. The best available advice that we have is that it would not be constitutionally sustainable to completely prohibit any Australian company or Australian citizen from participating in the Australian democratic process, including by making political donations.