Electoral reforms to save Queenslanders millions

Queensland taxpayers will save up to $3 million annually after legislation to remove administrative funding for political parties and independent members was passed in Parliament today.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the amendments would return accountability to the electoral process.

“The previous Labor Government introduced a provision for administrative funding in the Electoral Reform and Accountability Amendment Act 2011,” Mr Bleijie said.

“These outrageous amendments meant political parties were receiving money from tax payers for their own use while Queensland was in a dire financial situation.

“As the former Premier and her colleagues drove the state to the brink of financial ruin, they added a provision for parties to use tax payers’ money for their own administrative use.

“At the time, the LNP opposed the Labor Party’s move and these amendments are about righting that wrong.

“And to prove a leopard doesn’t change its spots, the Opposition voted against the amendments today and were quite happy to have tax payers continue to foot the bill.”

Mr Bleijie said the reforms were just the start of the Newman Government’s review of the Electoral Act, which would incorporate a green paper, highlighting possible reforms.

“The Electoral green paper will ensure Queensland has a contemporary electoral system, which meets the needs of the 21st century,” he said.

“It is expected the paper, to be released by the end of the year and open for public consultation, will cover political donations, campaign expenditure and public funding.

The Guardianship and Administration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 also strengthened the independence of the Public Advocate, giving vulnerable Queenslanders a louder voice.

“The Labor Party also voted against these amendments and should be condemned for turning its back on vulnerable people on the basis of petty politics alone.”