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SA Labor takes action to ban campaign donations

The South Australian opposition has said it will ban campaign donations to political parties if it wins the March state poll.

The proposed ban would apply to individuals, businesses, unions and other organizations.

Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas said if elected Labor would ask the Crown to undertake a detailed analysis of the issues involved and provide policy guidance.

The Solicitor General will also be brought in to advise on potential legal challenges, while Labor will reach out to the Liberals and MPs on all benches to drum up bipartisan support for the reforms.

“There is no doubt that public confidence in our democratic systems is diminishing,” Mr. Malinauskas said.

“If we can do one thing to improve public confidence in our public institutions, it is this: we should ban all election donations.

“No more private money for political party campaigns, no corporate money, no union money.”

But Prime Minister Steven Marshall described Labor’s proposal as “just another thought bubble” from the Leader of the Opposition.

“The reality is that we have donation legislation in South Australia. It’s pretty controlled and it’s very transparent,” Marshall said.

Under current SA laws, political parties and candidates must create a designated account for election campaigns.

All donations must be made to the account and all political expenditures must be made from the account.

All donations, gifts, or loans over $5,310 must be disclosed to the SA Election Commission.

There are also campaign spending limits of $100,000 for each candidate in the state’s lower house, while all candidates and parties receive public funding based on the percentage of votes they receive.

South Australia will go to the polls on March 19.