We need to shine a light on dodgy political dealings. We know Queensland has a pretty poor history when it comes to corruption and a lack of integrity and accountability in politics, and as the only State without an upper house, there are less checks and balances on sitting governments.
This year I introduced a Bill to ban all political donations from for-profit companies. The Bill is similar to the political donation elements of the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (Belcarra Bill), however it importantly goes further by extending the ban on political donations to not just ‘property developers’ as provided for in the Belcarra Bill, but to all for-profit corporations, being:
- companies registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act); and
- industry representative bodies whose majority of membership is made up of Corporations Act registered companies;
- however excluding non-profit organisations, charities and employees and employee organisations under state or federal industrial relations legislation.
This Bill is as a necessary step to remove the same risks to our democracy posed by all political donations from privately interested, for-profit companies and representative bodies.
Our democracy depends on our decision makers making decision unbiased by financial benefits from for-profit corporations.
Queensland cannot afford to allow corporations to buy the favour of our politicians at the expense of the public interest and our environment’s protection. Yet all too often there are reports of decisions being made in favour of the biggest corporate donors at the expense of the interests of communities or environmental values.
This Bill is an important step in the work Queensland needs to do to clean out corruption from political decisions in our state, to ensure the best decisions are being made for all Queenslanders and our environment.
Public submissions for my Electoral Legislation (Political Donations) Amendment Bill 2018 have now closed and I'll update you on progress as we go.
In the meantime, please sign and share this petition to join me in calling on the Queensland Parliament to task the Crime and Corruption Commission with investigating the corrupting influence of political donations on our democracy.
You can read the Greens' full plan to stop corruption in Queensland here.
PETITION to the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland:
Queenslanders are deeply concerned about the corrupting influence of political donations on government decision-making.
Queensland’s corruption watchdog, the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), recently investigated corruption at the Local Government level and found disturbing levels of dodgy relationships and donations from companies with vested interests in decision-making. The full extent of corruption in Local Governments is still being uncovered, but no investigation like this has been conducted into the extent of corruption, or the perceived risk of corruption, at the State government level in Queensland.
The CCC has previously acknowledged that the increased the risk of corruption, associated with political donations, is a key concern. The Palaszczuk Government and Opposition could, with a bipartisan direction through the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee, direct the CCC to investigate the corrupting influence of political donations on all aspects of governance, policy and decision-making in Queensland.
The integrity of Queensland’s political system requires that the public have trust in the independence of our parliamentarians and political parties, and faith that our Government is representing the people, as a democracy should.
Your petitioners, therefore, request that the House call on the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee to instigate a CCC investigation into:
• the extent of political donations to Members of Parliament, registered political parties, political candidates and associated entities in Queensland;
• the influence of political donations on governance, policy and decision-making in Queensland; and
• the perceived risk of corruption caused by political donations in Queensland.