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18    Politics— Political donations

The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Di Natale), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 961—That the Senate—

               (a)       notes:

                                     (i)       the growing prominence of business events that enable direct and private access to senior members of Parliament, such as the Australian Labor Party’s Business Observer Summit, the Liberal Party’s Millennium Forum and The National’s National Policy Forum, and

                                    (ii)       the failure of Australia’s political donation laws to require the disclosure of payments for these events; because there is contractual consideration, they are therefore not classified as a ‘gift’ under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 that would mandate public disclosure;

               (b)       acknowledges that political donations enable access and influence policy decisions made by political parties and that these events are shrouded in secrecy; and

                (c)       resolves that, in the interest of good government, political parties should voluntarily disclose the attendees of these events and the amount of money provided by these businesses to political parties during these events.

Statements by leave : Senators Chisholm, Bernardi and Di Natale, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 14

Senators—

Bartlett

Griff

Patrick

Steele-John

Bernardi

Hanson-Young

Rice

Storer

Di Natale

Hinch

Siewert*

Whish-Wilson

Georgiou

McKim

 

 

 

NOES, 38

Senators—

Abetz

Duniam

McAllister

Payne

Anning

Farrell

McCarthy

Pratt

Bilyk

Fawcett

McGrath

Ryan

Birmingham

Gallacher

McKenzie

Singh

Brockman

Gichuhi

Molan

Smith, David

Bushby

Keneally

Moore

Stoker

Cameron

Leyonhjelm

O’Neill

Urquhart*

Chisholm

Macdonald

O’Sullivan

Watt

Colbeck

Marshall

Paterson

Williams

Collins

Martin

 

* Tellers

Question negatived.