Political influence should not be for sale: WA Greens introduce Private Members Bill on Ministerial access
18 October 2012
Access to Government Ministers should not be a fundraising source for political parties, and legislation is required to stop this concerning practice, says WA Greens Spokesperson for Electoral Affairs Alison Xamon.
Today Ms Xamon introduced a Private Members Bill , designed to prevent a political party from selling access to Ministers to raise political funds.
“It should go without saying, that selling access to Ministers for the purpose of party-political fundraising is a fundamental breach of democratic principles,” Ms Xamon said.
“Ministers should make decisions according to law and act fairly and in the best interests of the entire community and they are responsible for a wide range of powers at their discretion.
“It is in the interest of every West Australian that we protect the ability of Ministers to do act in the interests of everyone, not just those who can afford special access.
“The Bill I have now introduced to Parliament will enhance public confidence in the integrity and transparency of the Executive and the process of government decision-making.
“The Electoral Amendment (Access to Ministers) Bill 2012 (WA) is short and straightforward. It makes it an offence to promote or hold such an event, subject to a fine of up to $10.000.
“This Bill provides a simple and effective means to safeguard one fundamental component of our democratic system.
“It will go some way to improve public confidence in government decision-making and I urge the Liberals, Nationals and the ALP to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the integrity of the Executive and to support this Bill.”
Note from Alison Xamon: The Bill has some important limits.
- In addition to their Ministerial role, Ministers are also MPs elected by and accountable to their electorate. MPs must be able to consult with their constituents. Therefore, the Bill will not prohibit political party fundraisers that provide access to MPs in their role as electoral representatives.
- The Bill will not prohibit promoting access to Ministers events that raise money for charity.
Hon Alison Xamon MLC
Member for the East Metropolitan Region
Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051
Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931
Phone: (08) 9272 1718
Fax: (08) 9272 1719
Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services,Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering