There is no institution more important in our society than Parliament.
That's where laws and regulations are made that affect our day-to-day lives.
For that reason, we need to know exactly by whom our politicians are influenced, and how much their promises really cost.
Parliamentary Budget Office
A Parliamentary Budget Office ("PBO") would provide an independent check-and-balance on spending promises made by politicians.
Time and time again, Western Australians have demonstrated that they care most about cost-of-living issues.
The way that a PBO works is simple:
- Every registered and parliamentary political party would be required to submit for costings their policies before an election;
- The PBO would independently analyse those policies and produce a report estimating how much they cost to deliver; and
- The people would receive this information before they go to vote, and thus exercise a more informed decision.
Lobbyists and donations
It's a sad reality that the majority of Western Australians don't follow politics on a day-to-day basis.
But there are a group of people in our society who do: political lobbyists.
That's why we need to:
- Create a 18-month "cooling-off period" for any MP or staffer thinking about going into lobbying;
- Publish in real-time the diaries of government ministers so that the people know who is connecting with who; and
- Cap political donations at a maximum of $1,000 and publish them in real-time as well.
Indigenous gag clauses
Now more than ever, we need to know what our indigenous people have to say: particularly, around issues of mining and development.
Unfortunately, "gag clauses" prevent indigenous people from publicly speaking about threats to heritage sites.
For that reason, we need to:
- Prevent mining companies from inserting "gag clauses" into their land-use agreements with traditional owners.
- Remove existing gag clauses from land-use agreements, such as the one affecting the Burrup Peninsula; and
- Give indigenous people the right to free and prior informed consent.
If mining companies are not prepared to remove gag clauses from existing land use agreements, the State Government must demonstrate leadership and pass legislation prohibiting the use of such clauses - Wilson Tucker MLC