19 December 2010
Queensland electoral reforms released by Govt.
The changes limit political donations and cap campaign expenditure, building on the comprehensive suite of integrity and accountability measures already enacted by the Bligh Government.
“We have a responsibility to ensure Queensland’s electoral system is free from the perception of undue influence like excessive political donations,” the Premier said.
“We also have a responsibility to ensure that running for office is not restricted to the wealthy and that every eligible Queenslander is able to vote.”
The ‘Reforming Queensland’s Electoral System’ paper proposes to:
-Limit political donations to candidates ($2000) and political parties ($5000);
-Cap campaign expenditure by political parties, third parties and candidates;
-Increase public funding to candidates and political parties;
-Regulate campaigning by third parties in relation to state campaigns;
-Provide for automatic enrolment of eligible electors;
-Lower the provisional age of enrolment from 17 to 16 years of age; and
-Allow eligible voters to enrol to vote up to the day before polling day.
In 2009, the Premier promised to deliver a comprehensive suite of integrity and accountability measures.
The Bligh Government has already enacted and implemented a new 'Right to Information' regime, new protections for whistleblowers, a ban on success fees for lobbyists, and proactive disclosure of Cabinet decisions.
In the interest of national consistency, many aspects of the proposed Queensland model reflect the model recently adopted in New South Wales.
The Government intends to implement the donations cap from 1 January 2011 and put legislation to the Parliament in early 2011.