The sources of donations to political parties, Members of Parliament and candidates will have to be declared under legislation which passed through State Parliament this week.
The historic legislation gives Western Australia the toughest laws in the nation for disclosing the sources of political donations.
Minister for Parliamentary and Electoral Reform Geoff Gallop said today that he had asked the Electoral Commissioner to put the provisions of the legislation in place as quickly as possible after it is proclaimed.
"The Commission will be asked to prepare information and educational material for candidates immediately," Dr Gallop said.
"The political donations issue has had a rocky road through Parliament. Adjustments have had to be made in the search to find a package that would be effective as well as acceptable to the hostile Upper House."
· separating out proposals for the disclosure of expenditure on elections for later consideration;
· proposing amendments to align the Bill with Commonwealth law, only to find that the Commonwealth had later changed plans;
· contributing proposals to improve Commonwealth disclosure laws to a Senate Select Committee of Inquiry;
· withdrawing the 1991 Bill and introducing a tougher one this year, partly because of the influence the State had exerted to strengthen new Commonwealth laws;
· reluctantly making concessions in the Assembly to gain the support of all independents by raising from $200 to $1,500 the threshold above which candidates will have to declare details of the donors;
· totally redrafting and accepting two out of three unrelated amendments, necessary to get the reform through the Opposition-controlled Legislative Council;
· immediately proposing that Parliament adopt improvements under four of the seven headings for reform recommended by the Royal Commission, and supporting inquiry into the others.
"Our new State law will open an era in which the financing of politics is placed on a foundation of public trust," Dr Gallop said.
"In the Assembly the Opposition opposed the need for disclosure of donations as well as saying the new law does not go far enough.
"The Bill is the toughest package that anyone could expect to pass. It is, in fact, an excellent step towards an electoral system which has the confidence and respect of our community.
"The Government welcomes the positive recommendations made by the Royal Commission, especially the recognition that disclosure of political donations is essential to secure an honest and open electoral system."
Dr Gallop said the proposed Commission on Government should follow the recommendation to inquire into the disclosure of electoral expenditure and such other measures relating to political finance as may enhance the integrity of the system of representative government.