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Message No. 376, 15 October 2015, from the Senate was reported informing the House that the Senate had agreed to the following resolution:

That the following matter be referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in March 2016:

The regulatory framework governing the financing of electoral activities undertaken by political parties and other participants in the political process, with particular reference to:

(a)    how many of the recommendations made by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in its 2011 report (the report) on its inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns were accepted by government, and how many have been implemented;

(b)    what factors, if any, are contributing to any delays in implementing the accepted recommendations of the report;

(c)    how much was spent on the last election in 2013 by:

(i)    political parties or associated entities,

(ii)   third parties,

(iii)  candidates, and

(iv)  Senate groups;

(d)    what proportion of the expenditure at the last election in 2013 was provided by private sources, including:

(i)    what amounts were acquired from each source,

(ii)   the circumstances of the donation or contribution,

(iii)  whether third parties were involved in the donations or contributions, and

(iv)  what influence those sources had on the political process;

(e)    the current level of public funding provided to:

(i)    political parties or associated entities,

(ii)   third parties,

(iii)  candidates, and

(iv)  Senate groups;

(f)    how public funds are allocated to electoral activities, and whether the current levels of such funds should be increased or decreased or allocated differently;

(g)    whether the status of the political donations as tax deductions should be maintained;

(h)    whether any comparable democracies:

(i)    regulate electoral contributions from private donors, or particular classes of private donors, or

(ii)   have absolute limits on private funding on electoral activities, and, if so, what policy objectives underlie the regulation and whether those objectives are achieved;

(i)    how the regulation of electoral funding is achieved in comparative democracies, and whether it is applicable in the Commonwealth sphere; and

(j)    any other related matter.