PIAC has made a submission to the NSW Legislative Council Select Committee Inquiry into Electoral and Political Party Funding, chaired by Revd the Hon Fred Nile, MLC.
In the submission PIAC argued that Democracy benefits from having diverse views represented in parliaments, councils, debates and campaigns. The principles of equal representation, and equal opportunity for citizens and parties to participate in political life must be central to any consideration of political financing, as must the principle of ensuring that elected members are free to work in the public interest, unencumbered by undue influence, conflict of interest or corrupt practice. PIAC recommended that:
- only individual citizens should be able to make financial contributions that support political parties and candidates and such donations should be capped;
- election spending of political parties and candidates should be capped;
- the financial and other privileges of incumbents and governments must be better regulated to minimise politically partisan use;
- citizens have a right to full information regarding the financial activities of governments, political parties and candidates and any other parties who have significant political influence;
- public funding should be provided to parties and candidates at local, state and federal levels in order to give greater financial equivalency, and that this funding be tied to compliance with electoral law.