Candidate Fee Cap Needed for Fairness' Sake

The Greens, Dignity Party and Animal Justice Party are calling on the Parliament to support an amendment to reduce exorbitant fees to run an election candidate in South Australia.

Greens Leader Mark Parnell MLC says the Greens' amendment to the Electoral (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill, which removes the candidate payment from regulations, instead adding it to the Act and placing a cap on the payment, will make the system fairer.

"The exorbitant fees have shut out many minor parties and independents for too long," Mr Parnell said.

"South Australia has by far the highest fees to run a candidate in the country and they desperately need to be curbed for fairness' sake.

"The Greens' amendment proposes a reduction of $3000 to $1000 for the Legislative Council and $500 for the House of Assembly, respectively. This will bring SA more in line with other states," Mr Parnell concluded.

Dignity Party MLC Kelly Vincent: "I call it bullying when the Government and Opposition combine to prevent newer parties from running for Parliament. Because Labor and Liberal have financial resources through business and union donations, they try to eliminate the competition by making us pay huge, unrealistic candidate deposit fees. Parties, like Dignity, are being denied access to democracy."

Animal Justice Party convenor Geoff Russell said: "The Animal Justice Party sees this $3000 candidate deposit as a desperate attempt by the big parties to stop the growth of small parties with an alternative vision for Australia's future. What are they afraid of? Competition? Compassion? Probably both."