GOVERNANCE

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GOVERNANCE

Policy
Australia should provide trustworthy and transparent governance.

Policy Methods (Federal & State)
To help achieve this Australia should:

  • Establish an independent Federal Commission to monitor and expose corruption and misconduct by federal politicians and officials, and equivalent bodies in all states and territories.
  • Cap political donations and contributions at $10,000 (in total) per person/entity per year.
  • Require more timely disclosure of political donations (as determined by an independent federal corruption commission).
  • 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.
  • Ban all foreign political donations.
  • Ban all property developer donations and contributions to political parties.
  • 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) for at least 3 years from the date of leaving office.(1)
  • Scrap all political pensions, including a phase-out of all current pensions within 10 years so that, like ordinary citizens, politicians plan for their own retirement.
  • Cap public sector wages/salaries at the Prime Minister’s salary ($527,852 in 2017), including all government-owned entities, statutory authorities, departments and political staffers.
  • Remove the four per cent threshold for public funding of political parties and independents, so that all candidates attract the same (and increased) public funding amount per vote.
  • Allow citizens to directly petition Federal Parliament via electronic/online method, asking for action to be taken on an issue.
  • Enable citizen-initiated referenda or plebiscites upon the parliament receiving a petition containing the signatures of one per cent or more of the total of all electors.
  • Support a strong public service and public sector, and an end to ideologically-driven outsourcing and asset sales.

Policy Methods (ACT-only)
To help achieve this Australia should:

  • Increase Community Council funding in order to provide stronger and more diverse local community representation to members of the Legislative Assembly on issues such as planning, environment and education.
  • Seek better Federal Parliament representation in the Senate, by increasing the number of Senate seats from two to four. By comparison, Tasmania with around 500,000 people has 12 seats in the Senate.
  • Restore the National Capital Authority with a genuinely independent mandate, including a strengthened National Capital Plan so as to protect Canberra’s unique setting and environment.
  • Restore the ACT Planning and Land Authority with a genuinely independent mandate.

Footnotes:

  1. 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.

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