Turnbull government must abandon ‘over-reaching’ attacks on civil society

SYDNEY, April 16, 2018: Greenpeace welcomes Bill Shorten's criticism of the government's foreign donations bill but warns that the current legislation remains terminally flawed and must be scrapped.

The opposition leader today cited a report by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in his statements criticising the “poorly drafted and over-reaching legislation” and promised to move amendments to protect charities and not for profits if his concerns were not addressed.

“These bills will strip people of their individual power and attack progressive politics,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Holly Dawson said.

“The Turnbull government is attacking not for profit advocacy groups to suppress the voices of ordinary Australians and those who are critical of government policy while doing nothing to address the real problem of corporate influence.”

Last week the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters published a critical report on the proposed legislation stating that a number of elements of the government’s bill were badly flawed and making more than a dozen recommendations that it said must be adopted to have their support.

“Last week’s bipartisan smackdown of the proposed legislation should be a wake up call for a government who have gone too far in trying to silence their critics,” Dawson said.

“If the Labor Party is sincere in its commitment to defend the charities Australians love, then it must send this law back to be redrafted. If Bill Shorten supports civil society’s championing of causes such as providing food and shelter to the homeless, protecting the environment, and undertaking life-saving medical research that is exactly what he will do.”

For interviews contact:

Simon Black

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

0418 219 086 / [email protected]