Showing posts with label political donations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label political donations. Show all posts

Friday, 7 February 2020

Vast amounts of money potentially influencing the May 2019 Australian federal election will not be disclosed to the public


CPI, Briefing Paper, 2 February 2020





The Centre for Public Integrity, media release, 3 February 2020:

A new briefing paper released by The Centre for Public Integrity today shows that vast amounts of money potentially influencing last year’s federal election will not be disclosed to the public.


Annual returns released on Monday by the Australian Electoral Commission will only cover some donations to political parties and other participants.

The paper shows that over $1 billion, or 36% of party income, has not been disclosed since 1999.

Donations under $14,000 will not be disclosed, much income from associated entities, party fundraising events, membership fees is likely to be hidden,” said political finance expert and director of The Centre for Public Integrity Professor Joo Cheong Tham.

Campaign spending will not be made public. Voters will not know who spent what in key states or marginal electorates.”

Any breaches of disclosure regulations are unlikely to be investigated, as the AEC lacks the resources and there is no National Integrity Commission.’

We need urgent reform of our disclosure system so that donations over $1000 are disclosed in real time, spending is made public, and any breaches are properly investigated by a National Integrity Commission,” concluded Professor Tham.

Read the briefing paper here.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Political Donations 101: cause and effect 2019-2020


THE CAUSE: Reliance on political donations

Individuals and corporations making large or regular political donations are rarely giving money for philanthropic reasons - they usually want something in return.

Sometimes it is access to a prime minister or premier, sometimes access to a particular minister and sometimes it is a barely concealed bribe in order that the donor gets a specific outcome from a particular government.

The Guardian, 3 February 2020:

The Liberal party received $4.1m from a single donor before the 2019 election, one of the largest amounts in political history, dwarfing former leader Malcolm Turnbull’s $1.75m gift before the 2016 election.

The donations, revealed in Australian Electoral Commission disclosures published on Monday, are second only to the $83.3m donated by Mineralogy Pty Ltd to Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

Both major parties also took significant sums of money from the fossil fuel industry, including multinational giant Woodside, something environmentalists say explains government inaction in the “face of a rolling national emergency driven by climate change”.

The $4.1m donated to the federal Liberal party and its state branches was given in multiple instalments by Sugolena Pty Ltd, a company linked to philanthropist Isaac Wakil, who made his fortune in the clothing industry and invested heavily in property, with his wife Susan, around the Sydney suburb of Pyrmont…..


The Liberals declared $22.6m in donations Labor $18.2m. Total receipts, which include all donations regardless of the $13,800 reporting threshold, other payments, returns from financial investments and loans, amounted to $165m for the Liberals and $126m for Labor.

Australia’s weak donation disclosure system continues to mask a huge chunk of political financing. 

Analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity shows that $1bn in party income has not been disclosed between 1999 and the last reporting year, almost 36% of total party financing.

But the disclosures that have been made continue to show the significant influence of the fossil fuel industry in Australian democracy. Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy, which gave $83,681,442 to Palmer’s United Australia Party, was by far the single biggest fossil fuel donor.

An analysis by the Australian Conservation Foundation found a further $1.89m in fossil fuel donations to Australian political parties.

This data explains why even in the face of a rolling national emergency driven by climate change and community demands for change, the government continues to defend and promote the industries that are the root cause of the problem,” ACF’s economy and democracy program manager Matt Rose said.

Serious donations reform is needed now to make sure our political system works for the benefit of all Australian, not just those with the biggest wallets.”

The biggest fossil fuel donor to the major parties was Woodside, Australia’s biggest LNG exporter. It gave $135,400 to Labor, $136,750 to the Liberal Party and $11,190 to the Nationals. The gas industry lobby, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), was also a significant donor. [APPEA donated a combined total of $24,990 to the federal Liberal and Nationals parties]

Prime minister Scott Morrison recently identified gas as a key “transition” fuel for Australia’s economy, saying “we need to get the gas from under our feet”. 

He also recently struck a a $2bn deal with the New South Wales government to increase gas supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector…..

The federal Liberal party also declared two donations from Adani Mining Pty Ltd totalling $50,000….. [the Australian Electoral Commission identified a combined total of $97,300 as donations directly from Adani Mining Pty Ltd to the federal Liberal and Nationals parties]

Carmichael Rail Network, another wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Australia, gave $50,000 to the federal Liberal party and $100,000 to the Nationals….. [my red annotations]

THE EFFECT: Requirement to fulfil the terms of the unwritten contract between a political party and its donors

Within the 8 months following the May 2019 federal election the Morrison Government acted to benefit certain of its donors in the gas industry sector.

Santos Limited which had donated a combined total of $42,723 to federal Liberal and Nationals coffers in 2017-18 went on to donate another $78,854 in 2018-19, with this result......

According to Lock The Gate Alliance on 31 January 2020:

The ‘energy deal’ announced today between NSW and Federal Governments looks designed to unleash coal seam gas drilling in north-west NSW, threatening drought-affected farmers and allowing Santos to drain 37 billion litres of groundwater.

Crucially, it will do little to bring down greenhouse gas emissions due to its reliance on dirty, polluting unconventional gas.

Media reports indicate the NSW Government has been compelled by the Commonwealth to make a commitment to supply 70PJ of gas for the east coast market in exchange for up to $2 billion in Federal funding for renewable energy and unquantified reduction incentives.

The volume of gas mentioned in the deal is similar to the amount Santos expects to produce at its proposed water-hungry Narrabri coal seam gasfield.

To facilitate the creation of one or more gasfields in north-west New South Wales the Berejiklian Coalition Government held a second hearing into the NSW Chief Scientist’s recommendations on coal seam gas in NSW on 4 February 2020.

As the Berejiklian Government failed to act on the Chief Scientist's original recommendations, this second hearing was a cause for concern......

Lock The Gate Alliance, 3 February 2020:

CSG hearing round 2 must deliver more than just hot air

The holding of a second hearing into the NSW Chief Scientist’s recommendations on coal seam gas in NSW is evidence the Berejiklian Government is not prepared to deal with the repercussions of the destructive industry, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.

The hearing, to be held tomorrow, is only happening because the Government was unable to properly answer questions about CSG at the original hearing, held in December last year.

Lock the Gate NSW coordinator Georgina Woods said it was even more crucial than ever now for the Government to answer questions about its forgotten promises on coal seam gas, given the state and federal governments look poised to sacrifice the north west following last week’s energy deal announcement.

It was deeply troubling to watch government representatives scratch their heads when asked basic questions about their oversight of this damaging industry at the last hearing. It demonstrated an alarming lack of attention to the serious risk coal seam gas poses to groundwater in North West NSW,” Ms Woods said.

Last week’s energy deal with Canberra has raised the very real risk that state and federal governments will run roughshod over the facts and heap political pressure on planning authorities to approve Santos’ destructive Narrabri coal seam gas proposal.

This inquiry has shown how unready and unaware the Government is for the environmental, social and economic damage that will inflict.

There is still time to stop Santos’ Narrabri gas project from puncturing holes in a recharge aquifer of the Great Artesian Basin, one of western New South Wales’ most precious groundwater resources. There is still time to make this important area a no-go zone for coal seam gas and safeguard the water resources of north west New South Wales.”

Ms Woods said it was clear from the last hearing that major recommendations made by the Chief Scientist had not been implemented.

The biggest gaps include failure to provide a three-tiered environmental insurance scheme, failure to establish a standing expert committee, and failure to develop systems that can detect cumulative impacts of the industry on precious water resources,” she said.

There are 11 expired and unused legacy coal seam gas licences languishing over the farmland, towns, and precious water resources of the drought-stricken north west that have never been through the Government’s new system for assessing areas for gas exploration.

The NSW Government is leaving farming communities in the north west exposed to unforeseen and irreversible loss or contamination of water resources and other environmental and health impacts from the CSG industry.

We need a reset from the Government that prioritises water security, people, and the needs of future generations and that means stopping the Narrabri gasfield.”

Brisbane Times reported on 3 February 2020 concerning the Adani Group's strategically timed donations:

On April 5, $12,500 was donated to the Liberal Party; that was four days before then-Environment Minister Melissa Price signed off on the groundwater management plans for Adani's central Queensland mine. 

Another $100,000 was donated to both parties in the month after Ms Price gave final federal approvals to the mine.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Tweet of the Week


Friday, 4 October 2019

And the climate change denying madness continues in New South Wales


All those political donations to the Liberal and National parties seem to be paying off for the Minerals Council of Australia – $28,800 in 2015-16, $50,645 in 2016-17, $88,700 in 2017-18.

Cheap at twice the price if this comes to pass…….

The Guardian2 October 2019:

The New South Wales government is considering legislation that could limit the ability for planning authorities to rule out coalmines projects based on the climate change impact of emissions from the coal once it is burned.

It comes after a campaign from the NSW Minerals Council over decisions that have referenced the impact of “scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions” as a reason for either rejecting a mining project entirely or for imposing conditions on it.

For a coalmine, scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions are from the burning of the coal after it is sold into the market, including overseas.

The planning minister, Rob Stokes, said it was “not appropriate for state governments to impose conditions about emissions policies in other countries”.

He said the government was looking at a range of options, including legislation or a new guideline for how planning authorities should factor scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions into the assessment process.

The recent decisions include the NSW land and environment court’s rejection of the Rocky Hill coalmine in February, which cited the impact the mine would have on climate change, including through the burning of coal in other countries, at a time when “a rapid and deep decrease” in global emissions was urgently needed.

In August, the NSW Independent Planning Commission approved the expanded United Wambo coal project near Singleton but as a condition said the coal could only be exported to countries that have ratified the Paris agreement.

In September the commission rejected the development of a greenfield coalmine in NSW’s Bylong Valley, citing the impact the mine would have on groundwater, agricultural land and on climate change.

The NSW Minerals Council has since launched attack ads that target the planning system for “failing the people of NSW”.

In a statement last week, the council’s chief executive Stephen Galilee said the decision to launch a campaign came after months of “warnings to the minister for planning and others in the government about the risk of the planning system to jobs and investment”.

He said the situation had reached “crisis point” with the Bylong Valley decision.

Stokes said the Minerals Council was one of the stakeholders the government was consulting in its development of a policy on scope 3 emissions.

We are working with key stakeholders, including the federal government, NSW Minerals Council and consent authorities, to develop a clear policy direction as quickly as possible to provide certainty to the community, industry and investors,” he said.

We are looking at a range of options including legislation.”

The consent authorities in this instance include the NSW land and environment court.

But environment groups are warning the government not to bow to pressure from the mining industry. Lock the Gate said the impact of downstream greenhouse gas emissions “is arguably the most complicated, severe and lasting environmental impact of NSW’ export coalmines”.

Lock the Gate coordinator George Woods said the public should also have a say in how planning decisions address the climate consequences of coal developments and that should be done through a public hearing process run by the independent planning commission.

It’s disappointing and frankly dangerous for the planning minister to narrowly consult only with the mining industry on a matter of profound importance like this,” she said.

The mining industry has flexed its political muscle but the government really needs to address the bigger issue and the public sentiment on this.”

Elaine Johnson, the principal lawyer with the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW, which represented Groundswell Gloucester in the Rocky Hill case, said if the government was planning changes to the way planning authorities consider scope 3 emissions, the consultation for that should be broad and include other key stakeholders such as community and environment groups.

The land and environment court, in the Rocky Hill decision, has confirmed that it is entirely appropriate for decision-makers to impose conditions on projects that will contribute to dangerous climate change in a planning context,” Johnson said.

She said that was recognised by the independent planning commission in the United Wambo and Bylong Valley assessments.

We would also say that in 2019 we are making planning decisions in a context which includes advice from the world’s best scientists that we’re approaching a climate emergency,” she said.

If global emissions continue to rise and if serious action is not taken at all levels of government, by communities and business, the impacts of dangerous climate change will be catastrophic.”...... [my yellow highlighting]

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC): the case of the $100,000 cash political donation


Sometime after 2 November 2015 the NSW Electoral Commission appears to have noticed that on 12 March 2015, around two weeks before a NSW state election, an organisation known as Chinese Friends of Labor raised $138,000 from an event held in a 750-seat Chinese restaurant in Haymarket, Sydney. 

What piqued the Electoral Commission's interest was that $100,000 of this money appears to have been raised by Chinese Friends of Labor as cash from 12 donors - five of whom were employees or former employees of a second 350-seat Haymarket restaurant usually described as being serving staff, two who were related to that restaurant's general manager and two who were associated with property development company Wu International Investments Pty Ltd.

The NSW Electoral Commission began to wonder if some of the named donors were perhaps 'straw men' for one or more property developers.

Property developers are of course prohibited by law from making political donations in New South Wales. 

As members of the NSW Liberal Party will recall if they think back on the 2016 NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Operation Spicer investigation into political funding which found the Free Enterprise Foundation and "Raymond Carter, Andrew Cornwell, Garry Edwards, the Hon Michael Gallacher MLC, Nabil Gazal Jnr, Nicholas Gazal, Hilton Grugeon, Christopher Hartcher, Timothy Koelma, Jeffrey McCloy, Timothy Owen, Christopher Spence, Hugh Thomson and Darren Williams acted with the intention of evading laws under the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981 (the election funding laws) relating to the disclosure of political donations and the ban on donations from property developers. Messrs Grugeon, Hartcher, Koelma, McCloy, Owen, Thomson and Williams were also found to have acted with the intention of evading the election funding laws relating to caps on political donations. The Commission also found that Craig Baumann, Nicholas Di Girolamo, Troy Palmer and Darren Webber acted with the intention of evading the election funding laws relating to the disclosure of political donations and that Bart Bassett knowingly solicited a political donation from a property developer".

On 15 January 2018, after further investigation, the Electoral Commission referred the matter of Chinese Friends of Labor & Labor Party state campaign accounts to ICAC and on 26 August 2019 public hearings in Operation Aero began. 

Five witnesses are to be called this week: Kenrick Cheah (NSW Labor community relations director), Steve Tong (former employee Wu International Investments), Kaila Murnain (General Secretary of NSW Labor)Ernest Wong (former NSW Labor MLC) and Sam Dastyari (former Federal Labor senator).

It has been alleged that Chinese billionaire property developer Huang Xiangmo was the source of the $100,000 cash donation. 

Readers might remember that this particular billionaire was the subject of allegations that he paid a five-figure sum in order to have a private lunch with Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton during the period he was seeking Australian citizenship.

Political tragics can follow the hearings here.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation sought US National Rifle Association support for a social media campaign during the 2019 federal election campaign and millions in political funding from gun lobby & Koch Brothers


Pauline Hanson's One Nation (PHON) political party currently only has two members in the Australian Parliament and they sit in the Senate.

PHON wants to hold the balance of power in the Australian Parliament after the May 2019 federal election.

In order to gain the required seats in the House of Representatives, in September 2018 the party was secretly promising to subvert Australia's gun laws in an attempt to gain millions from the powerful US gun lobby to assist its federal election campaign.



Al Jazeera, YouTube, 25 March 2019:

A three-year Al Jazeera investigation into the U.S. gun lobby has uncovered an effort by an Australian political party to seek millions of dollars in political funding while offering to soften strict, anti-gun laws in Australia.

Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit used concealed cameras to track ‘Pauline Hanson’s One Nation’, a right-wing, anti-immigration party, as representatives travelled to Washington, D.C. to hold meetings with the National Rifle Association and other lobby groups, as well as the energy giant Koch Industries.

One Nation’s Chief of Staff James Ashby was accompanied on the U.S. visit by Steve Dickson, the party’s leader in the Australian state of Queensland and a candidate in upcoming Australian elections. Ashby and Dickson were recorded seeking up to $US20 million for their election war chest while promising to soften laws, put in place following a massacre in Australia in 1996.

The strict Australian gun laws have often been condemned by the NRA.

Al Jazeera approached all the groups and individuals featured in this programme. 


After meetings with the US gun lobby Ashby and Dickson met with a representative of the Koch Brothers. Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch, are the billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries - one of the largest privately-held companies in the world - who are known to support far-right political parties, movements and policies.

Despite there being a federal legislated ban on foreign political donations since November 2018 the Al Jazeera video footage clearly shows that just weeks after this ban was put in place Pauline Hanson and One Nation were still considering seeking support from the US gun lobby and the Koch Brothers.

Having been publicly exposed One Nation now denies it had any intention of watering down national gun laws. 

However, it is clear from the Al Jazeera video that One Nation was promising to open doors for the National Rifle Association with the aim of assisting that exact purpose, because it believed that any significant increase in One Nation representation in the Australian Parliament after the next federal election meant it would have the government "by the balls"

The video also reveals that it was canvassing the possibility of concealing any funding it might receive from the US gun lobby by arranging for the NRA to create and pay for a social media campaign for One Nation's benefit in the lead up to the May 2019 federal election, as well as using the Koch Brothers' network of companies to hide the source of any donations they might make. 

After initially pleading intoxicated bragging while in the US Pauline Hanson's Chief of Staff then had this to say.
Prior to these revelations Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP Scott Morrison had refused to rule out the Liberal Party preferencing Pauline Hanson's One Nation ahead of The Greens and Labor at the federal election.

He partially walked back from this position and announced that the Coalition will be placing PHON below Labor on how-to-vote cards in all states and territories except Queensland. However he would not commit to putting PHON last.

So it is looking as though One Nation may possibly get a third member into the Senate.

WARNING TO QUEENSLAND VOTERS

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Queensland official and Senate candidate in 2019 Steve Dickson has a dream voters should be aware of:

“I’m going to be in one of those drug dealing mansions on the beach. I’ll hire it for a month. The ones that are 25 rooms and the chef and everything. We’ll drink and shoot the s**t [out] of everything down the water. Machine guns and everything. That’s my dream….And we can protect ourselves just in case” [Steve Dickson in How to Sell a Massacre Part 2, You Tube 27 March 2019]


Note:

According to The Guardian on 7 March 2018 Australian gun lobby groups spent more than $500,000 helping minor right wing parties, including One Nation, win seats in the Queensland state election in 2017.

According to ABC News on 27 March 2019 the Australian gun lobby has donated $1.7 million to political parties since 2011 and now per capita spends as much on political donations and campaigns as the US National Rifle Association (NRA).



According to The Sydney Morning Herald on 27 March 2019 the number of firearms in Australia is dramatically higher than before the Port Arthur massacre that killed 35 people, raising fears the gun lobby’s efforts to relax national restrictions are bearing fruit. Pre-Port Arthur in 1996 there were est. 3.2 million firearms in Australia, the post-Port Arthur gun buyback under theAustralian National Firearms Agreement saw that number reduced to est, 2.5 million but by 2017 firearms held in the private hands had risen to 3.6 million.

Gun ownership per capita has fallen reportedly since the Port Arthur massacre, with gun number increases since 1997 reflecting the fact that multiple guns are now being held by individuals. The highest numbers of gun owners appear to be in rural/regional northern and central NSW. Grafton and environs is an area with 7,930 registered guns, spread across the collections of 2,043 owners, with one individual owning 91 registered firearms according to The Daily Examiner on 12 April 2016.

Despite the rise in gun possession since 1997 the number of homicide incidents involving a firearm decreased by 57 percent between 1989-90 and 2013-14. Firearms were used in 13 percent of homicide incidents (n=32) in 2013-14. In 1989-90 it was 24 percent (n=75) of incidents, according to Crime Statistics Australia.


Thursday, 31 January 2019

Australian High Court rejects NSW Berejiklian Government's 2018 electoral funding reforms


In May 2018 the NSW Berejiklian Government announced plans to cap election-related spending by unions, environmental groups, and churches at a maximum of $500,000. 

The Electoral Funding Act 2018 No 20 came into force on 1 July 2018.


Australian Financial Review, 29 January 2019:

In July 2018, the Berejiklian Government reduced the amount that unions and other third parties could spend in the six months before an election from $1.05 million to $500,000. A political party and it candidates, however, can spend up to $22.6 million if it stands candidates in all 93 seats.

The High Court said NSW proved that aiming to "prevent the drowning out of voices in the political process by the distorting influence of money" was a legitimate purpose.

However, it said "the reduction in the cap applicable to third-party campaigners was not demonstrated to be reasonably necessary to achieve that purpose".

The court did not accept NSW's argument that $500,000 was still a substantial sum that would allow third parties to "reasonably present their case".

The lead judgement of Chief Justice Susan Kiefel and Justices Virginia Bell and Patrick Keane said "no enquiry as to what in fact is necessary to enable third-party campaigners reasonably to communicate their messages appears to have been undertaken".

The reforms also sought to ban third parties from acting "in concert" by pooling money into multi-million-dollar campaigns, such as the "Stop the Sell-off" campaign against energy privatisation for the 2015 poll. Those who breach the act would have faced up to 10 years' jail.

Former Commonwealth solicitor-general Justin Gleeson SC was lead counsel for Unions NSW and the five unions which also signed up for the challenge.

BACKGROUND

HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, Judgment Summary, 18 December 2018:

UNIONS NSW & ORS v STATE OF NEW SOUTH WALES [2013] HCA 58

Today the High Court unanimously held that ss 96D and 95G(6) of the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981 (NSW) ("the EFED Act") are invalid because they impermissibly burden the implied freedom of communication on governmental and political matters, contrary to the Commonwealth Constitution.

Section 96D of the EFED Act prohibits the making of a political donation to a political party, elected member, group, candidate or third-party campaigner, unless the donor is an individual enrolled on the electoral roll for State, federal or local government elections. The EFED Act also caps the total expenditure that political parties, candidates and third-party campaigners can incur for political advertising and related election material. For the purposes of this cap, s 95G(6) of the EFED Act aggregates the amount spent on electoral communication by a political party and by any affiliated organisation of that party. An "affiliated organisation" of a party is defined as a body or organisation "that is authorised under the rules of that party to appoint delegates to the governing body of that party or to participate in pre-selection of candidates for that party (or both)".

Each of the plaintiffs intends to make political donations to the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) or other entities, and to incur electoral communication expenditure within the meaning of the EFED Act. The second, third and sixth plaintiffs are authorised to appoint delegates to the annual conference of the Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) and to participate in the pre-selection of that party's candidates for State elections. A special case stated questions of law for determination by the High Court.

The High Court unanimously held that ss 96D and 95G(6) burdened the implied freedom of communication on governmental and political matters. The Court held that political communication at a State level may have a federal dimension. The Court accepted that the EFED Act had general anti-corruption purposes. However, the Court held that the impugned provisions were not connected to those purposes or any other legitimate end.

· This statement is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the High Court or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons

Thursday, 1 February 2018

A lesson in political repression courtesy of the Turnbull Government


On 7 December 2017 the Turnbull Coalition Government introduced a bill called the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017.

It is currently before the Senate and the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which reports to Parliament on 2 March 2018.

This bill purports to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to: establish public registers for key non-party political actors; require non-financial particulars, such as senior staff and discretionary government benefits, to be reported; prohibit donations from foreign governments and state-owned enterprises being used to finance public debate; require wholly political actors to verify that donations over $250 come from an organisation incorporated in Australia, or with its head office or principal place of activity in Australia, or an Australian citizen or Commonwealth elector; prohibit other regulated political actors from using donations from foreign sources to fund reportable political expenditure; limit public election funding to demonstrated electoral spending; amend the enforcement and compliance regime for political finance regulation; and enable the Electoral Commissioner to prescribe certain matters by legislative instrument; and Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 to make consequential amendments.

The bill contains these clauses in relation to not only donations made to political parties but also to donations made to advocacy groups and charities which lobby government:

# 287AA Meaning of allowable donor

 (1) A person or entity is an allowable donor if:

(a) for an individual who makes a gift—the individual:
(i) is an elector; or
(ii) is an Australian citizen; or
(iii) is an Australian resident, unless a determination is in force under subsection

(2) determining that Australian residents are not allowable donors; or

(b) for an entity that makes a gift:
(i) the entity is incorporated in Australia; or
(ii) for an entity that is not incorporated—the entity’s head  office or principal place of activity is in Australia; or

(c) for a person or entity that is a trustee of an unincorporated trust fund or unincorporated foundation, out of which a gift is made—the person or entity is an allowable donor within the meaning of paragraph (a), (b) or (d); or

(d) the person or entity is in a class of persons or entities prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph. Australian residents 

(2) For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(a)(iii), the Minister may, by  legislative instrument, determine that Australian residents are not allowable donors.

# 302P Information relating to allowable donor status

(1) A person (the first person) obtains appropriate donor information from another person establishing that the other person is an allowable donor if:

(a) the first person obtains a statutory declaration from the other person declaring that the other person is an allowable donor (unless subsection (2) applies); or
(b) if the regulations determine information that the first person may seek from the other person in order to establish that the other person is an allowable donor—the first person obtains 11 that information from the other person.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), the regulations may (but are not required to) determine that a statutory declaration that a person is an allowable donor is not appropriate donor information.

Note: A person who obtains appropriate donor information may not commit an offence or contravene a civil penalty provision in this Division (see 17 subsection 287(9) and section 302M).

It should be noted that approved witnesses to a Commonwealth statutory declaration come from specific occupational pools and only justices of the peace are prohibited from charging a fee to act as a witness.

It should be further noted that these clauses are in addition to the bill's amending of the definition of an associated entity which GetUp! asserts threatens its independence.

GetUp! had this to say on the subject:

Our lawyers just uncovered a killer clause in the Turnbull Government's new anti-democratic legislation that would decimate GetUp's ability to fundraise.Can you dig deep to help establish a GetUp Survival War Chest -- while we still can?

If passed, this killer clause would force then anyone who contributes as little as $4.80 a week to the GetUp movement to provide a signed and witnessed statutory declaration.

The impossibility of collecting thousands upon thousands of these documents would spell the end of people-powered fundrasing as we know it.

Of course, we're going to fight tooth and nail to stop this legislation in its tracks. But to prepare for the worst, we're creating a GetUp Survival War Chest, to ensure we run can keep our campaigns thriving no matter what.

Can you dig deep now (while we still can) as an act of defiance against this effort to choke off our people powered impact?


Donations page here.