Queensland to launch real-time donation disclosure system

Electoral Commission of Queensland assessing potential software providers

The Queensland government will launch an electronic real-time political donation disclosure system early next year, with rules governing real-time disclosure expected to be in place before the end of 2016.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland will lead the implementation of the system.

“The ECQ is already working on assessing an appropriate software provider, and cabinet will soon consider what changes to laws and regulations will be needed, such as changes to the Local Government Act,” the state’s attorney-general, Yvette D’Ath, said in a statement.

“The ECQ will also consult widely, including with political parties and interested stakeholders.”

“An implementation plan is currently being considered, but I would envisage that the electronic system will be in place by 1 January, and would go live by the end of February.

“It means that instead of waiting months to see who is donating to a political party, people will be able to see who is donating and how much they are donating before an election takes place,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“An implementation plan is currently being considered, but I would envisage that the electronic system will be in place by 1 January, and would go live by the end of February,” the premier said.

Federal cabinet secretary Senator Arthur Sinodinos in May called for the “continuous real time” of political donations. Labor has said it supports the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters examining the possibility of real-time disclosure. The Greens endorse real-time disclosure of donations.

At a federal level, donations have been in the spotlight again after reports that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull handed over up to $2 million during the election campaign to make up a shortfall in Liberal Party finances.

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