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Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Lowering the Donation Disclosure Threshold) Bill 2019

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2019

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Lowering the Donation Disclosure Threshold) Bill 2019

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie MP



Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Lowering the Donation Disclosure Threshold) Bill 2019

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The Bill amends the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (“the Act”) to lower the political donation disclosure threshold from $13,800 to $1,000, and to remove ongoing indexation of that disclosure threshold.

 

Currently, political parties are only required to provide the Australian Electoral Commission (‘AEC’) with an annual return which provides details of the donations received over the disclosure threshold of $13,800.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The bill will have no financial impact.

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short Title

 

This clause provides for the Bill, once enacted, to be cited as the Commonwealth Amendment (Lowering the Donation Disclosure Threshold) Act 2019 .

 

Clause 2: Commencement

 

This clause provides for the Bill to commence on the next 1 July after Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3: Schedules

 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

Item 1

 

Item 1 repeals and substitutes the current definition of the disclosure threshold contained within subsection 287(1), changing it from $13,800 to $1,000.

 

Item 2

 

Item 2 repeals the indexation of the disclosure threshold as contained within section 321A.

 



STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Lowering the Donation Disclosure Threshold) Bill 2019

 

This bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the bill

 

The Bill amends the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (“the Act”) to lower the political donation disclosure threshold from $13,800 to $1,000, and to remove ongoing indexation of that disclosure threshold.

 

Currently, political parties are only required to provide the Australian Electoral Commission (‘AEC’) with an annual return which provides details of the donations received over the disclosure threshold of $13,800.

 

 

Human rights implications

 

This Bill may engage the implied right to freedom of political communication by seeking to strengthen the framework surrounding the disclosure of political donations.

 

The bill seeks to improve public confidence in our political system by providing the public with greater transparency regarding how our politicians and the parties they belong to may (or may not) be influenced by donations.

 

Conclusion

 

This Bill is compatible with human rights and freedoms.

 

 

 

 

Rebekha Sharkie MP