I am a farmer in Northern NSW and I'm writing in regard to the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017.
This is a deeply anti-democratic piece of legislation that has no place in a healthy civil society.
The Bill is designed to disempower anyone questioning government decisions. It will force charities and grassroots organisations to join a government register and follow complex new rules or face a possible ten years in prison. This is obscene.
It will seriously limit the funding of issues-based community organisations by forcing anyone who donates more than $4.80 a week to get a formal document signed and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace. Where is the democratic principle in that?
This Bill only applies to civil society. In direct contrast massive corporations and the fossil fuel lobby remain unaffected.
Our democratic rights can be steadily eroded through just such moves. We need to work against this dangerous legislation becoming law.