Sex Party – Small Parties Decimated, Now Gutted

Small Parties Decimated, Now Gutted
Small political parties in Australia who do not have millionaire backers, are now facing further financial hardship following the government’s new funding and disclosure Bill. The government doubled election nomination fees last month in a move which will financially devastate many minor parties.
Yesterday’s Bill, disingenuously launched by the Minister as being about ‘Disclosure and Reporting’, was a carefully crafted piece of legislation supported by the other major party, to knock half of Australia’s small parties out of the electoral ring.
Sex Party President Fiona Patten said that the increases in funding that the two major parties gave each other under the Bill, would have easily covered the almost $500,00 extra that both Labor and the Coalition will pay in increased election nomination fees, that the government announced last month. “Minor parties will not share in this and will therefore be at a far greater disadvantage when they are forced to pay the new fees at election time. Many of us struggle to pay even half these nomination fees”, she said.
The Sex Party is typical of a small party on the rise with its primary vote growing from 2.2% at the last federal election to an average of 7% over the last four by elections it has contested. Ms Patten said that 95% of her party’s donations were under $500 and that the disclosure aspects of the new law meant nothing.
Mark Dreyfus said in his media release that, “Public funding of political parties is a long established principle and important aspect of our democracy”. Ms Patten said that small parties gave real definition and meaning to democracy in Australia but the Minister had gutted them with these new laws and made a mockery of his commitment to democracy. “What he has done here is simply to cement the financial position of the two major parties because they are in a position to do this for themselves. He has not thought about the broader democratic picture. He should have used some of the $2 million major party windfall to help small parties who have a demonstrable demographic base in the community but do not yet have elected representatives’.
Fiona Patten: 0413 734 613

Robbie Swan
Public Officer
P.O. Box 1131, Carlton, 3053, Vic.
Ph 03 9347 2332

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