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Albanese eyes truth in political ad laws

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he is keen to progress laws which would ban political advertising containing misleading information.

November 29, 2022
By Paul Osborne
29 November 2022

Laws to ensure information in electoral advertising is truthful could be enacted by the federal government.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told parliament he would consider the South Australian model of “truth in political advertising” laws, after the issue was raised with him by independent MP Zali Steggall.

In South Australia, anyone who authorises, causes or permits the publication of an electoral advertisement is guilty of an offence if the advertisement contains a statement “purporting to be a statement of fact that is inaccurate and misleading to a material extent”.

It covers television, radio, corflute boards and social media, but not political discussions, speeches, interviews and newspaper articles.

Mr Albanese said it would be particularly important in the lead-up to the referendum on recognising Indigenous people in the constitution that information is not misleading.

“It certainly is worth examining,” Mr Albanese told parliament on Tuesday.

“Our democracy is precious, and it is important that in the referendum, in particular, but all elections and all deliberations in which the Australian people have a say, that there be truth in what is put forward.”

The laws have been raised in evidence during a parliamentary inquiry into the 2022 federal election.

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