Queensland electoral reforms will see public funding to candidates almost double after elections


October 29, 2019 13:15:01

Public funding of payments to parties and candidates after Queensland elections will increase by $23 million, the state’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced.

Key points:

  • Political parties and candidates in Queensland will be paid more per vote they receive in elections
  • Donations to political parties and candidates have been capped, as has party spending per endorsed candidate
  • The changes are expected to be in place before next year’s Queensland state election

Under the sweeping changes revealed today, payments to those standing for election will increase from $1.57 per vote received to $3.

Payments to political parties will also increase, from $3.14 to $6 per vote received.

The eligibility threshold for the payments has also changed — parties and candidates will only require 4 per cent of the primary vote, rather than 6 per cent, to receive the money.

Other changes include donation caps and expenditure limits which will lead Queensland to have some of the toughest political donation laws in the country.

Individual donors will now only be able to give up to $10,000 over any parliamentary term.

That includes a cap of up to $6,000 to one or several candidates of the same party and up to $4,000 to any single party.

Endorsed candidates will be allowed to spend up to $58,000 at election time and independent candidates up to $87,000.

Political parties will only be able to spend up to $92,000 per endorsed candidate for every electorate it is contesting.

No more than $92,000 can be spent in any electorate, to ensure a party does not spend their entire cap in three or four seats.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was one of the biggest electoral reforms in decades.

“Big donations are gone, they will be no more,” she said.

“My Government has answered the calls to make elections more equal and equitable.

“This allows the way for other jurisdictions to follow.

“It stops big donations.”

The changes are set to be in place before the 2020 Queensland state election.

Third parties like advocacy groups and peak bodies will also fall under new restrictions — they will only be allowed to spend up to $87,000 in an electorate with an overall cap of $1 million.

Donors will only be able to give up to $4,000 to a maximum of six third parties over four years.

While Victoria recently introduced donation caps, it does not currently impose expenditure limits.

New South Wales has a combination of the two but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the thresholds in Queensland will be the most stringent.

“This is the most robust donation laws (sic) in the nation.”

Premier Palaszczuk said the changes would curb “pay for access” meetings and lunches.

“The days of the $10,000 and $5,000-a-head conferences are gone,” she said.

“This is about making sure there is integrity in our electoral system, that there is a level playing field.”








First posted

October 29, 2019 13:01:11

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