Eight Ways to Clean Up Money in Australian Politics

The Conversation, 2016

4 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2019

Date Written: June 3, 2016


Political funding in Australia is governed by different rules for state (some of which do not require disclosure) and federal governments. Both levels suffer significant weaknesses; foremost is the lack of transparency associated with the place of private money.

When devoted to lobbying, donations can sometimes result in covert influence over the political process. And when made directly to political parties and candidates, they can be shrouded in secrecy.

Neither is public money free from such afflictions; corruption through the misuse of public resources occurs when parliamentary entitlements and government advertising are used for electioneering.

The flow of money into Australian politics also results in various forms of unfairness. The sale of access and influence provides another avenue for the rich to secure greater influence over the political process because of their wealth. And lobbying too can lead to corruption and misconduct.

All these practices are fueled by the increasing demand for campaign funds, and this is unlikely to change. What then can be done to improve the system of political finance?

Suggested Citation

Tham, Joo-Cheong, Eight Ways to Clean Up Money in Australian Politics (June 3, 2016). The Conversation, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3313424

Joo-Cheong Tham (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053

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