Finance Minister Katy Gallagher would like to see a cap put on the amount of money funnelled into election campaigns after enormous sums were again splashed on the federal poll.

When she was ACT’s chief minister, Senator Gallagher imposed spending caps to curb distortions in election campaigns.

“They certainly worked in the ACT,” she told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

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“They have been in place now for about a decade. We haven’t seen … that big escalation in spending to deliver particular outcomes.”

Clive Palmer put tens of millions of dollars behind his United Australia Party, and there was reportedly big money spent in the battle for the Victorian seat of Kooyong between former treasurer Josh Frydenberg and ‘teal’ independent Monique Ryan.

Senator Gallagher reckons independent David Pocock also spent a million dollars in the race for the ACT Senate seat.

“I mean, a million dollars on the ACT Senate campaign is something that we have never seen before and that is bringing serious money into these seats,” she said.

But she concedes it is harder for the federal parliament to impose caps than it is for states and territories due to constitutional and legal matters.

“But I have no doubt that this during the normal process of the review of the election which the joint standing committees do, that they will have a look at some of these issues,” the minister said. 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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