Election 2010 promises on transparency and integrity

Labor Party

No new announcements we can find, but the National platform 2009 chapter on governance is downloadable here Download Article…

Chapter 11 – New ways of governing for a stronger democracy


  • Simultaneous, fixed four-year terms for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • Establishing an Ethics Advisory Service in the APSC.
  • Introducing a Code of Conduct for Ministerial Staff with a focus on ensuring productive and
    respectful working relationships between ministers, their staff and public servants.
  • Introducing a Register and Code of Conduct for Lobbyists to ensure transparency in the
    dealings between private and commercial interests, the government and the public service.
  • Continuing Community Cabinet meetings across Australia and ensuring
    that Ministers at the highest levels are made available through these public forums
  • As a minimum, restore the 7-day enrolment period after the issuing of election writs.
  • Promote transparency and accountability by strengthening FOI and promoting a prodisclosure
    culture across Australian Government agencies
  • Provide shield laws to protect confidential sources and recognise the public interest in giving
    the community appropriate access to information.
  • Labor believes that government advertising should be governed by strict guidelines that ensure the
    need for government communication campaigns is assessed by public servants rather than
    politicians, that politicians are not involved in the development of advertising campaigns, and that
    the Auditor-General provides an opinion on whether each campaign meets the guidelines.
  • Ensuring the ongoing use of the Lobbying Code of Conduct and Lobbyist Register.
  • Maintaining adherence to the requirements of the code by public officials.
  • Reviewing the operations of the Lobbying Code of Conduct and the Lobbyist Register after an
    appropriate period of operation.
  • Whistle Blower protection
  • Make government operations more transparent by releasing information about the costs of
    government advertising, the costs of ministerial and parliamentary travel and related matters.
  • Ensuring parliamentary entitlements are efficiently used and properly monitored with a high
    degree of transparency.

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Liberal National Coalition

New announcements 01/08/10

The Coalition will reform Question Time

“Our reforms will make Parliamentary Question Time more concise and ensure Ministers are held to account and remain relevant to questions asked,” Mr Pyne said.

“We would seek to introduce four minute cap of the length of answers by Ministers, and a one minute limit to length of questions,” he said.

“We will look to strengthen the definition of ‘relevance’ in the standing orders so Ministers must stay directly relevant to questions and ensure Matter of Public Importance debates follow ‘Question Time’.

Related Documents

See more on the Liberal’s website here

This was not the first call from Christpher Pyne for reform to limit question length. Earlier ones set a one minute limit

Pyne calls for reform of Question Time

JULIAN DRAPE,  October 11, 2009

Michell Grattan reports Coalition pledge here

with the comment “Oppositions usually propose parliamentary reform but rarely deliver.”

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Australian Greens

Relatively new announcements, 20/07/2010

Greens will make Government more open and accountable

Australian Green’s package on openness and integrity

  1. Establish a national independent integrity and anti-corruption commission to oversee prevention and investigation of misconduct and corruption in Commonwealth agencies, federal parliamentarians, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crimes Commission.
  2. Legislate for a code of conduct for lobbyists, ministers and ministerial staff, including ‘in-house’ lobbyists from Government agencies. The Lobbyists and Ministerial Accountability Bill would require ministers to divest themselves of all shares or move them to a blind trust as well and prohibit them and their advisers from working as lobbyists in their former portfolio area for two years.
  3. Legislate guidelines for Government advertising spending over $250,000 to prevent taxpayer money being used for political campaigns.

Greens move to ban handing out how-to-vote cards

28th March 2010

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown will move amendments to electoral laws to prevent handing out of how-to-vote cards at federal elections.

“Action to stop misleading information from being given to voters at elections is needed urgently before the next federal election,” said Senator Brown.

“Voters do not need to be harassed as they approach polling places on election-day.

“Similar bans already exist for state elections in Tasmania and the ACT.

“Banning the handing out of how-to-vote cards would prevent activities such as those witnessed in the South Australian election where misleading Family First cards preferencing Labor were distributed.

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Guarantee truth in advertising and electoral reform for 2010 election

12th February 2010

New electoral reforms should include truth in advertising and be brought to the Senate in the next sitting period said Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today.

The Greens support measures in new legislation for electoral reform introduced into the House of Representatives today including giving voters more time to enrol after an election is called.

“This legislation will enfranchise hundreds of thousands of first-time voters and should be passed as soon as possible to ensure changes are made before the coming federal election,” said Senator Brown.