Prioritise trust, transparency and democracy in governance, particularly to help stop corruption.
Policy Methods (Federal & State)
To help achieve this Sustainable Australia Party will:
- Enable Swiss-style binding citizen-initiated referenda and plebiscites upon the parliament or council receiving a petition containing the signatures of at least five per cent or more of the total of all electors.
- Establish a strong and independent Federal Commission to monitor and expose corruption and misconduct by federal politicians and officials, and equivalent bodies in all states and territories.
- Adopt more transparent reporting of political lobbying and all financial contributions, including the requirement for politicians to declare any time they spend with registered lobbyists and a register of issues raised with politicians by both lobbyists and the public.
- Ban ex-politicians and senior staff in government departments from employment with registered lobbying organisations and other relevant vested interests (as determined by an independent federal corruption commission enquiry or similar process) for at least 4 years from the date of leaving office(1)
- Ban all foreign political donations
- Ban all political donations from the following industries:
- Property developers
- Any other industries demonstrated to have a corrupting influence on democracy (as determined by an independent federal corruption commission enquiry or similar process)
"While Australians were distracted last week by Melbourne’s lockdown ending and the final days of the Queensland and United States elections, both major parties joined forces in federal parliament to weaken political donations laws. This will make it easier for federal politicians to accept secret donations from property developers." The Conversation
- Require more timely disclosure of political donations (as determined by an independent federal corruption commission enquiry or similar process)
- Aspire to a ban on all political donations with all election candidates to be publicly funded based on strict and clear procedures and guidelines (as determined by an independent federal corruption commission enquiry or similar process). However, if a complete ban on all political donations is unachievable or unconstitutional:
- Cap political donations and contributions at $10,000 (in total) per person / entity per year
- Require majority shareholder and/or member approval for any political donations from corporations or other organisations
- Cap election spending at all three levels of government to reasonable limits (as determined by an independent federal corruption commission enquiry or similar process)
- Establish truth in political advertising laws and an independent authority to investigate complaints (also see Media policy)
- Ban unsolicited secret tenders for government contracts
- Make freedom of information (FOI) requests and processes more accessible
- Subject political staffers and advisers to greater scrutiny, including the ability to be called before Senate inquiries
- Remove unfair barriers to registration and public funding for minor party and independent candidates, including the requirement that candidates achieve at least 4% of the primary vote before qualifying for any publicly funded campaign expense refunds. Instead, all candidates should have the right to apply for public funding
- Increase the public funding amount per vote (as determined by an independent federal corruption commission enquiry or similar process) so that candidates have less reliance on political donations
- Properly fund and resource State and Federal Electoral Commissions in order to better deliver trusted and independent systems, processes, oversight and engagement that support democracy, including:
- Better informing the public on how the voting and preferencing systems work
- Offering a service to feature profiles of all candidates running in relevant elections on the relevant electoral commission website
- Hold think-tanks and research institutes engaging in public political commentary to the same financial disclosure standards as political parties
- Cap public sector wages/salaries, including all government-owned entities, statutory authorities, departments and political staffers, as follows:
- Federal - At the Prime Minister’s salary ($549,250 in 2020)
- State – At the relevant Premier’s or Chief Minister’s salary
- Bring superannuation contribution rates for federal politicians (currently 15.4 per cent) and all other politicians into line with the rate that applies to the general community (10 per cent with effect from 1 July 2021) (also see Taxation policy)
- Close all political pension schemes to new entrants and bring politicians into line with pension rules that apply to the general community
- Support a strong public service and public sector, and an end to ideologically-driven outsourcing and asset sales (also see Privatisation & Public Assets)
- Support anti-discrimination measures and end all discrimination
- Ensure the reasonable privacy and rights of citizens to freedom of speech, movement, religion, commerce, employment, internet usage and association, and protect ordinary Australians from abuse by governments and businesses
"Do you ever feel like your phone knows too much? That it’s reading your mind, listening to you? You have just passed by a museum, then soon after, ads for the museum’s new exhibition flash up on your phone. You didn’t search for the museum or talk about it to anyone, you just happened to be nearby... You are not paranoid or delusional; you are simply witnessing the tip of the iceberg in targeted advertising, a lucrative business built on the use – or misuse – of our minds, time, and data without our consent. Welcome to surveillance-based advertising." Michael West Media
- Seek better Federal Parliament representation for the ACT in the Senate, by increasing the number of Senate seats from two to four.(2)
- Many government ministers and senior staff find lucrative careers in the private sector in industries they formerly regulated. This makes it too easy to repay favours given. Also see Game of Mates.
- The ACT's population is estimated at around 450,000 (2021), with only two Senate seats. By comparison, Tasmania with around 550,000 people has 12 seats in the Senate.