Property developer donations to political parties banned in the ACT

Released 27/08/2020

The ACT Government has reduced the risk of corrupt conduct in the electoral system by banning property developer donations to local political parties and candidates in the ACT.

Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said that the passage of this legislation delivered on another election commitment and that the changes would lower the risk of corrupt conduct or perceived corrupt conduct in local elections.

“Property developers depend heavily on decisions made by government about land development applications and other processes,” Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said.

“There is a strong public interest in reducing the prospect of planning decisions being influenced by political donations.

“Under the changes, it will be an offence for property developers and their close associates to give gifts to political entities, and for political entities to accept gifts from property developers and their close associates.,” Mr Ramsay said.

These new offences will apply from 1 July 2021.

“By addressing the recognised risk of undue influence from the property development industry, this ban supports our community, giving everyone the opportunity to participate equally in the political system,” Mr Ramsay said.

The Bill also improves transparency around political donations by requiring that gifts totalling over $1,000 to a political party, generally, be disclosed to the Electoral Commission within seven days.

The Bill represents the third tranche of electoral law reforms to be passed in the Legislative Assembly this year and responds to the report of the Select Committee on the 2016 Election and Electoral Act.

“The Government will continue to work with the ACT Electoral Commission to ensure our elections are fair, inclusive and transparent,” Mr Ramsay said.

The passage of this legislation was a 2016 parliamentary agreement item.

- Statement ends -

Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases

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