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EYE-BALL’s – ‘NONE of the ABOVE’ Campaign – New Q’LD LNP amends Party Funding arrangements ….

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– New Q’LD LNP Government …
– amends Party Fundings arrangements
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 2nd Aug 2012 |
T he new Liberal National Party (LNP) QLD Government has made many bold moves since coming to office a few months ago.  Campbell Newman won the election in a landslide winning 78 of the 89 seats in the Parliament.

His latest change is to repeal Political Party funding Legislation passed in May 2011 under the Bligh Government.  This story was picked up by The Australian and the story appears below.

LNP scraps parties’ admin payments

| Author: Rosanne Barrett | Date: 2nd Aug 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

QUEENSLAND’s Liberal National Party is scrapping taxpayer-funded administration payments to political parties.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the government would change party funding arrangements at the September Budget, which would save about $17 million over four years.

Administration payments were introduced by the Bligh government last year as part of a raft of electoral disclosure and funding reforms. A per-vote payment will remain.

Mr Nicholls said the LNP, which dominates parliament with 78 of 89 seats, would be worse off under the proposal.

“The Newman government believes that Queenslanders should not pay for political parties’ administration costs at a time when the state is already feeling the burden,” he said.

Mr Nicholls said the LNP would have been entitled to more than $2 million; the Labor party would have received $581,000; the Katter Party $166,00 and each of the two Independents $43,000 this year.

According to the Electoral Commission parties are entitled to administrative funding of $42,100 per elected member or a statewide amount of $1.0495

… read on-line …

Premier Newman’s comments as quoted above …

“The Newman government believes that Queenslanders should not pay for political parties’ administration costs at a time when the state is already feeling the burden,” he said.

… raise eyebrows.

Why should Qld’s pay any of the administration cost of a Political Party?

The way the system works currently is that you can join a Political Party and pay a membership cost, attend Party meetings and rallies, and be a branch voting member in any ballot to pre-select candidates you want to run for your Party in either the State or Federal Parliament.

Non-Party Members get no opportunity in any Pre-Selection ballot for Party candidates.

Yet – when it comes down to the election – the Political Parties get a refund for each vote cast for individual party’s as long as they poll above 4%.

The author of this story has not painted the full picture. The full text of Treasurer Nichols statements is presented below:

Taxpayer subsidy for political parties to end

|Author: Treasurer and Minister for Trade – The Honourable – Tim Nicholls | Date: 2nd Aug 2012 |

QUEENSLAND’S taxpayers will no longer foot the bill for the administrative costs of political parties after the Newman Government moved to scrap the Labor-initiative.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls today told Parliament of the decision to remove the administration funding from the Budget, saving Queenslanders up to $17.7 million.

Mr Nicholls said that in the same week that Gordon Nuttall appeared at the bar to address the previous Parliament, the former Labor Government introduced new electoral laws that drastically altered the amount of taxpayer funds going directly to political parties.

“At that time in May last year Labor again voted to line its own pockets while the cost of living for everyday Queenslanders was rising,” he said.

“The LNP voted against Labor’s changes to the Electoral Act in opposition and we still oppose them today.”

The increase in funding had a twofold effect, for the first time political parties received administration funding and the formula per vote funding was altered.

Under the current parliamentary composition the LNP receives more than $2 million in administration funding per annum, Labor receives $581,000 or $83,000 per Member, The Australian Party receives $166,000 and parliament’s two independent MPs each receive $41,500.

Mr Nicholls said it was only fair that all departments and agencies participate in the huge fiscal repair task confronting Queensland.

“Cessation of this funding will have the biggest impact on the LNP, given our numbers in Parliament,” he said.

“But we need to ensure everyone contributes. We can’t be making the tough decisions to let public servants go and still use taxpayer funds to subsidise political parties.

“The Newman Government has committed to finding savings of $4 billion and more over the next three years in order to stabilise debt.”

Mr Nicholls said Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie would prepare a discussi on paper on broader electoral funding reform, with consultation to begin in the first half of 2013.

Now – this comment required some more research … the concept that Q’ld’s were pay the administration cost of Political parties just could not swim in my head.

Treasurer Nicholls Media staff were very helpful and directed me to May 2011 when then Premier Bligh introduced the Legislation being repealed by Premier Newman in the above statement.

The detail is in the Legislative bill Passed in May 2011 and titled – Electoral Reform and Accountability Amendment Bill 2011 – the extracts below are from this link …

The first page under Explanatory Notes uncovers what I was looking for –

Objectives of the Bill:

The Bill amends the Electoral Act 1992 (“the Act”) to make reforms to political donations and election campaign expenditure and funding for State elections. In particular, the Bill imposes caps on amounts donors can make to political parties, candidates and third parties for election spending.

It also places caps on certain expenditures by political parties, candidates and third parties in the period prior to an election. The Bill also improves enrolment and voting procedures so that they will enhance electoral participation in Queensland.

Reasons for the Bill

The Bill aims to improve the integrity and public accountability of state elections. The reforms aim to limit any potential for undue influence being exercised by any one donor or lobby group in relation to an election campaign – or any perception of such influence. To balance the effects of capping electoral donations and expenditure, the Bill provides for increased public funding to political parties and candidates for elections and administrative funding for political parties and independent members.

The Bill also aims to improve enrolment and voting procedures for Queenslanders. The reforms are aimed

The first part of the ‘Reasons for the Bill‘ is a setup – the real reason is revealed in the highlighted section that folows.

Achievement of the Objectives:

The objectives are achieved by:

  • Capping amounts donated by donors for use in state election campaigns;
  • Capping the amount political parties, candidates and third parties can spend on state election campaigns;
  • Ensuring the public continue to receive information on issues raised in election campaigns by increasing public funding to political parties and candidates;

… and again further research was needed …

Estimated Cost for Government Implementation:

The proposed reforms to electoral campaign financing will increase public funding for elections provided to political parties and candidates. Additionally, the Bill provides for administrative funding to political parties and independent members. The proposed reforms will increase the functions and costs of the commission, particularly in relation to monitoring and enforcement. These matters will be considered in the 2011-2012 State budget.

And there is the fruit in the pudding … There is a section in the Bill pre amble where they acknowledge Consultation was undertaken …


In December 2010 the Queensland Government released a “White Paper” entitled Reforming Queensland’s Electoral System which was published on the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s website. Submissions closed in February 2011. Nine submissions were received indicating general support for capping electoral donations and expenditure.

In addition, the Electoral Commission Queensland was consulted on the White Paper and operational administrative aspects of the amendments relating to enrolment and voting procedure.

None of these Consultative papers wrote about Party compensation as a back end tradeoff … that was all Premier Bligh and it is criminal in its intent.

From here I went to the Hansard record of the May 11 2011 debate on this proposed Bill. Initially Opposition Spokesperson Mr BLEIJIE (Kawana—LNP) (12:07pm) spoke on the Bill – his speech can be watched via Parliamentary video archive using this link… or read from Hansard records here … at page 1355.

This speech is important – it covers an area of electoral funding that all Australians should be aware of.  The Qld Government were introducing a Bill where public funds were going to be paid to compensate Political Parties, in return for capping electoral donations.

In effect – this was a scam to have the ALP Qld Government pay $2,000,000 towards covering the ALP’s Administration costs.   Other Party’s were to receive funding based on a formula attached to Number of MP’s serving the QLD Parliament.

Political Party Membership in Australia is less that 100,000 – and these members vote on all pre-selection of candidates.  The rest of Australia get to vote for those pre-selected Candidates at STate and Federal elections.  But the rest of Australia have been asked to now pay $10’s millions to these Political Parties to cover their operational costs.

That is a Political Party membership fee without Party membership entitlements.

Do you know your Candidate or Federal Member?  Less that 10% of voters have any personal contact or knowledge about their Member at either State or Federal level.  Why gift them your vote – they receive a $2.50 payment for every vote a Party receives – surely if voting is compulsory – then we should be able to vote our true belief.  If None of the candidates on the ballot has done nothing to earn your vote – then an option to vote ‘None of the ABove’ should be offered.

At the moment the only way you can register this type of vote is to vote informal.  Please – make your vote count to how you want to vote …

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  1. Finlay
    November 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

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