Political parties would be forced to disclose donations within a month of receiving them — narrowing to a week during election campaigns — under new laws set for State Parliament.
Electoral Affairs Minister John Quigley has won Cabinet approval for a new reform package aimed at making campaign funding more transparent.
Under the current regime, parties must disclose donors once a year.
A spokesperson for Mr Quigley said the changes were an election promise.
“As per our election commitment, the Government is working to introduce a further tranche of amendments to the Electoral Act during this term of government,” the spokesperson said.
“This will include things like improving disclosure laws to ensure more timely disclosure of donations, amongst other things.”
The new laws have been framed after the McGowan Government’s original campaign reform package failed to pass the Legislative Council prior to the last State election.
The Government did not have the numbers in the Upper House to pass the Electoral Amendment Bill 2020, which was referred to a committee.
That Bill, which aimed to cap third-party funding, was introduced amid fears Clive Palmer would buy an election with his unprecedented advertising blitz.
The legislation capped that funding at $2 million and prevented individuals or parties from spending more than $125,000 for each seat they contested.
The reforms would limit campaign funding to $8.125 million per election, assuming candidates in each of the 59 Lower House seats and all six Upper House regions were supported.
Parties would have been free to distribute that $8.125 million among seats and regions however they saw fit, with no maximum cap for individual electorates.
Critics of the legislation were concerned independent candidates — who would be limited to $125,000 — would be outspent by the big parties.
The Bill also sought to ban political donations from foreign sources. The Commonwealth Government passed similar laws in late 2018.