Political fundraising "a cancer" in elections, candidate

A BALLINA candidate taking part in the Labor Party's inaugural Community Preselection claims he will be the first Australian politician to self-impose rules on donations and fundraising.

Keith Williams says he hopes excluding a range of potential donors and limiting the maximum donation accepted to $500 per person will bring attention to the troubling influence of money in politics.

"We must end this preoccupation with raising funds, so we can outspend our political opponents," he said.

Ballina Council Election Candidate Keith Williams.
Ballina Council Election Candidate Keith Williams. Contributed

"It's a cancer. Instead of being a contest of ideas, politics is reduced to a battle of marketing budgets."

Some of his rules include not directing resources towards negative advertising targeting political opponents, not accepting donations from companies or associated persons primarily reliant on government leases or licences, and not accepting donations from any company or associated persons engaged in unethical conduct.

Mr Williams said the Independent Commission Against Corruption's recent work made him hesitant to enter the murky world of politics, but he decided he was able to dive in headfirst on his own terms.

"It's about taking personal responsibility and saying I won't be a part of that system," he said.

"I'm not so naive as to think I can campaign without funds, so I have set clear rules around what I believe is acceptable.

"I don't believe anyone should be running for public office and accepting donations from a business or person that could benefit from their influence.

"Voters need to know that you are beholden to them and them alone."

Mr Williams's full Ethics Policy can be viewed at keithwill.com.

Ballina Preselection

  • September 4, 6pm - Kentwell Community Centre, 20 Bangalow Rd, Ballina.
  • September 11, 6pm - Byron Community Centre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay.
  • September 15, 7pm - Ocean Shores Country Club, Orana Rd, Ocean Shores.

Visit yoursay.nswlabor.org.au for more information.


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