GREENS POLICY LAUNCH: Get coal and gas money out of politics

The Greens will stop big polluters corrupting democracy by banning donations from the fossil fuel sector to political parties, candidates, and associated entities.
Since 2012, the fossil fuel sector has donated over $9 million to the major parties. It’s no coincidence that successive governments have refused to take strong action on climate, while letting coal and gas corporations pollute our air and water, destroy farmland and culturally significant sites, and release billions of tons of carbon emissions.
The Greens’ plan will free our politics from the grip of the fossil fuel industry by banning all political donations from the sector, closing the revolving door between politics and the coal and gas industry, and establishing a strong, independent National Integrity Commission to crack down on corruption.
The Greens’ plan will:

  • Ban all political donations from the mining and resources sector (and other dirty industries) and cap all other donations at $1000 per year
  • Stop resource ministers and advisers from working for the fossil fuel industry within five years of leaving parliament
  • Publish a register of meetings between ministers and mining lobbyists (including in-house lobbyists currently excluded from the Lobbying Code of Conduct)
  • Deliver a strong, independent national corruption watchdog
  • Deliver a Code of Conduct for all politicians and senior staff

This policy is a key component of the Greens’ comprehensive plan to clean up politics and revitalise our democracy. Our full democracy plan can be found here: Reform the whole system to end political corruption, and in addition to the above includes election spending caps, strengthening the Register of Interests and FOI laws, preventing disinformation from undermining public debate, and increasing the diversity of political representation so that parliament better reflects our community.
Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on democracy Senator Larissa Waters said:
“Coal, gas and oil corporations don’t donate millions every year to the Liberals, Nationals and Labor because they’re huge fans of democracy – they do it because it gets results. Let’s call this what it is: legalised bribery.
“Big polluters should not be able to buy policy outcomes and corrupt democracy with legalised bribery. In balance of power after the next election the Greens will push to ban all political donations from the fossil fuel sector.
“Dirty donations from the fossil fuel sector plus post-politics job offers are why there are 114 coal and gas projects in the federal pipeline nationally despite being in the middle of a climate crisis, where the science clearly says we need rapid emissions reductions and a phase out of fossil fuels.
“In the past we’ve seen Big Mining spend $24 million on an ad campaign to topple a Prime Minister over a proposed super profits tax.
“We’ve seen the Morrison Government give $21 million of public money to a company chaired by a major Liberal Party donor to frack for gas in the NT’s Beetaloo Basin, in the middle of a climate crisis and against the wishes of Traditional Owners.
“The disproportionate influence of dirty donations on government decisions is why Australia has pathetic climate policies, weak environmental protections, and no action on social, economic and racial justice.
“Elected representatives should be working for the people, not the highest bidder. That’s why the Greens will ban all political donations from the mining and resources sector and all industries with a track record of seeking to influence political decisions, and prevent ministers and advisers from taking cushy post-politics industry gigs for five years.
“We’ll also shine a light on who’s meeting with who by publishing a register of ministers’ meetings, and we’ll hold politicians to account by introducing an enforceable Code of Conduct and a strong, independent national corruption watchdog.
“Federal politics stopped putting people first long ago, and sold our democracy to corporate donors. Fixing that begins with kicking the corporations out of Canberra and creating a system we can trust to work for all of us.
“Only the Greens have a clear plan to restore faith in our democracy, and in balance of power after the next election we’ll push the next government to make it happen.”

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