In the lead up to the 2019 Federal election, 5.6 million people received unsolicited text messages and robocalls from Clive Palmer across a wide range of topics. Those receiving the messages had no opportunity to opt-out. The ensuing public outrage—Mr Palmer’s party admitted to receiving more than 3000 complaints about the texts—highlighted the need for reform.
We support the provisions of this bill that require political parties to provide an 'unsubscribe' function for all unsolicited electronic political communications.
The community is also increasingly concerned by disingenuous political advertising that purports to present the views of “everyday Australians” but, in reality, involve actors delivering scripted lines.
The Australian Greens have long supported efforts to improve the rigour and transparency of political advertising. We support the aspects of this bill requiring any political robocall to disclose at the outset that the call uses actors. This is a small first step in the right direction towards ‘truth in political advertising’ reforms, and should be complemented by campaign spending and donations reforms.
We look forward to these issues being examined by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters as part of its review of the 2019 election, and hope that the objectives of this bill relating to political communications can be achieved in future.