The Albanese Government is expected to introduce legislation in the next few months to create an independent regulator to enforce truth in political advertising. ABC Friends has long campaigned for such reform and will push to ensure it comes into effect as soon as possible.

The Government announced plans for legislation to cap electoral spending and donations and enshrine truth in political advertising before a parliamentary inquiry into conduct of the 2022 federal election.

The Liberal Party opposed the reforms during the inquiry, arguing that because the Government had not campaigned on the issues in the lead up to the election, it did not have a mandate.

The election inquiry ultimately recommended a truth in political advertising model similar to that in place in South Australia, which empowers the Electoral Commission to demand withdrawal of an inaccurate and misleading advertisement and publication of a retraction.

In October, the Australia Institute released the results of an exit poll conducted at the end of voting on the referendum, which showed that the vast majority of Australians supported the planned changes, with most wanting them to take effect before another election could be held.

The chances of the draft legislation being introduced and passed were recently boosted when Opposition leader, Peter Dutton, signalled a potential change in the Opposition’s position

Independent MP Zali Steggal introduced a private member’s bill into the Federal Parliament last year, arguing that one of the factors in the continuing public trust in politicians was their ability to lie in political advertising. Her bill covers political advertising across all platforms including social media.

Steggall told the Guardian Australia that the issue should be supported by all members of parliament.

Everyone should be supporting bringing political advertising into line with commercial advertising. Truth in political advertising and voter protections are needed as soon as possible, to avoid advertising that is misleading and deceptive,

ABC Friends' priority is to ensure that the legislation is enacted well before the 2025 election. But that won't be the end of this issue. The legislation is one plank in a continuing campaign to expose misinformation and disinformation in political campaigning and reporting.

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Read the Guardian article