Media Releases

MEDIA STATEMENT: Truth in Political Advertising recommendation is a win for democracy

19 June 2023

Truth in Political Advertising recommendation is a win for democracy

I welcome the commitment in the interim Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) Report to proceed with legislating truth in political advertising as outlined in Recommendation 11.

This reform is sorely needed, as currently under Australian law it is perfectly legal to lie in a political advertisement. Public trust in politicians has been eroded over time and some of that erosion is due to their ability to lie in political ads.

I have been advocating for this reform since 2021 through my Stop the Lies Private Members Bill, most recently updated tabled in November 2022, to include referenda advertising.

I am pleased to see Recommendation 12 in this report supports the establishment of a division within the Australian Electoral Commission, based on the model currently in place South Australia. Regulations, which are in line with the model proposed in my Bill.

Sadly, we’ve seen how scaremongering and disinformation can get in the way of a fair debate. There is no time to waste.

My Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Stop the Lies) Bill sets the model for what is needed. I will work with the government to see this important legislation through. If the government wanted to take action quickly on this matter, as my Bill is still on the notice paper it could debate and pass my Bill before the winter break.