Pacific

Australian report urges ban on foreign political donations

An Australian parliamentary committee has recommended a ban on political donations from foreign companies and individuals.

Unlike the United States and many other countries that ban foreign donations, Australian law has never distinguished between donors from Australia and overseas.

But the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters on Friday recommended a ban on foreign donations to registered political parties and associated entities.

The opposition rejected the committee's recommendation that the ban should also apply to environmental and activist groups involved in politics.

Former President Barack Obama's administration last year called for the Australian system to be reformed to remove the influence of Chinese political donations. China is Australia's most lucrative trading partner and largest source of foreign political funds.