The federal government will ban foreign political donations, require lobbyists for foreign powers to register and impose offences for acts of foreign interference in sweeping new laws to be introduced to parliament.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement on Tuesday in what he labelled the most significant reforms to foreign interference laws in decades.
“This will be the most significant overhaul of our espionage, counter intelligence, political donation legislative framework in decades,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“We should not be naïve, foreign powers are making sophisticated attempts to influence the political process.”
Mr Turnbull said Australia was proudly multicultural but the government must recognise there were more attempts to influence Australia’s political processes thanks to modern technology.
He pointed to “disturbing reports” about influence from China.
“But these reforms are not about any one country,” he added, pointing to Russian influence in the US election.
Political donations will also be banned from foreign bank accounts, …