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Gambling donations a stain on our democracy, but Liberals, Nationals and Labor happy to keep cashing in

Media Release
Larissa Waters 14 Oct 2021

Forensic research by the ABC has shed new light on just how important a ban on political donations from the gambiling industry is. The ABC’s Hitting the Jackpot investigation revealed that over $81million has been given since 1999 to Liberals, Labor, Nationals and minor parties. 

With gambling industry profits completely at the mercy of government regulation, the Greens say it’s clear that the gambling industry is buying influence and favour, and the Liberal, Labor and National parties are happy to comply. 

Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on democracy Senator Larissa Waters said:

“It’s time to ban political donations from the gambling industry. They have bought policy outcomes that reap them profits and increase misery for so many for so long. The Greens have been pushing for this for a decade in federal parliament but the big parties won’t bite the hand that feeds them.

“Australians are the world's biggest losers to gambling, while the Liberal, Labor and National parties have hit the donations jackpot.

“Donations open doors to Minister’s offices, giving privileged access to industries profiting at the expense of the Australian public. 

“Weak political donations laws mean that not only is it completely legal for the government to accept donations from industries that stand to benefit from weak government regulations, but that we don’t even know where more than a third of those donations are coming from. This is a stain on our democracy.

“The Greens Banning Dirty Donations Bill to ban donations from gambling, mining and other sectors while capping donations from everyone else is already before the Senate and ready to be voted on - but only if the major parties are willing to turn their back on the tens of millions in donations from the gambling industry filling their re-election coffers.

“The Greens have a comprehensive plan to clean up politics and stop politicians writing policies for the highest bidder.  We will:

  • Ban dirty donations from industries like gambling, fossil fuels, pharmaceuticals, banking, defence, alcohol and tobacco
  • Cap all political donations at $1,000 
  • Require real-time disclosure of donations
  • Improve transparency of the Lobbyists Register 
  • Release Ministerial diaries so the public can see who’s meeting with who
  • Stop the revolving door between politics and industry lobbyists
  • Establish a strong, independent corruption watchdog
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