Federal MPs and senators who receive personal donations for electoral use will need to publicly disclose them each year, under draft laws brought to parliament on Thursday.

The laws will also extend the foreign donations ban to current sitting members of the House of Representatives and senators from the period in which they have formally announced their intention to seek re-election to the full length of their parliamentary term.

And they will extend the period for which a person is taken to be a candidate by an additional six months, for the purpose of the disclosure period for candidate returns and for restrictions on receiving foreign donations.

The government says the laws – which appear to be largely aimed at independents rather than party candidates – will close a loophole available to parliamentarians who collect donations for federal purposes directly, without disclosing the collected funds.

“The amendments increase transparency and reduce the opportunity for donations to be made to some parliamentarians at a different standard of public scrutiny compared to the requirements that apply for political parties,” a paper explaining the bill said.

The government also on Thursday introduced draft laws to streamline the “qualification checklist” which was introduced to avoid the citizenship disqualification issue of the last parliament.

MPs set to declare personal donations
Source 1


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