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Thursday, 15 November 2018
Page: 8422

Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and the Public Service, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (17:40): There are longstanding transparency, disclosure and reporting requirements under the Electoral Act, as it stands, that apply to political parties and other relevant political actors, principally associated entities. That is a longstanding arrangement and it is not something that is changed with this bill. What we are doing in this bill is adding a further category—the category of political campaigner—as a new category of political actor that has to comply with the relevant disclosure, transparency and reporting requirements and will be subject to the same ban on foreign political donations. I mentioned the example of GetUp! but, no, I didn't mention $500,000. I mentioned $10 million of expenditure in the 12 months leading up to the 2016 federal election. Off the top of my head, I seem to remember that at various times GetUp! bragged that they had distributed half a million or a million how-to-vote cards—I can't remember, so I'll get it back to you on notice, but half a million or a million seems to ring a bell. I think it was a million how-to-vote cards at 500 polling booths. I'll check it out and get back to you.

The point is that all organisations, including unions, businesses and individuals, have to comply with the requirements in terms of disclosure and reporting that are already in place. The bill in front of us strengthens those requirements in relation to some organisations that currently are not captured. It also ensures that we put in place a ban on foreign political donations, which we believe is widely supported across the chamber.

The TEMPORARY CHAIR ( Senator Dean Smith ): The question is that Greens amendment (9) on sheet 8546 revised, moved by Senator Waters, be agreed to.