The NSW Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is conducting an inquiry into a model of public funding for political parties to apply at state and local government elections. The NSW government announced its support for the introduction of a public funding model following the recommendation from the Legislative Council Select Committee on Electoral and Political Party Funding report released in June 2008. The inquiry was seeking detailed comments on how a scheme should work, including: the criteria to receive public funding, how it should be allocated, who is should be paid to, and the timing of payments and restrictions on expenditure. The terms of reference also raised issues about access to advertising and public information and whether restrictions would contradict the freedom of political communication implied under the Commonwealth Constitution. Building on submissions PIAC made to the recent Commonwealth inquiries into electoral reform, PIAC submitted that reforms to electoral funding were essential. However, to be effective it is also necessary to limit expenditure on campaigns, regardless of the source of funding.
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